Taking the shine off

It’s not often that I feel the urge to write about shopping, or more accurately the customer service I’ve not received. But this time I think it’s worth it.
Recently we made the journey to the Trafford Centre on the outskirts of Manchester in order to visit the Jessops store. The reason we made the 200 mile round trip, well they were the only store in the North of England that had the range of cameras in stock for me to browse and try out. When we arrived at the Jessops store they were reasonably busy so we wandered along the displays until a member of staff was available, now when I say reasonably busy the ratio was probably 1:1 for customer to staff member. I eventually caught the eye of one of the members of staff and told him I was interested in the Nikon D7000 he duly pointed me to the display stand, which I’d already seen then went on to deal with another customer. After again playing with the display camera for a short while I returned to the staff member and inquired about the kit price as it was not marked, he nodded and dealt with another customer. At this point I must say I was tempted to leave but it was a long way to go to return empty handed.
Thankfully another member of staff arrived and I asked the price, she tapped away at the computer and eventually told me how much the kit was – which was similar to the online prices from other suppliers so I was quite happy. I then asked for a filter and waited for her to collect the stock. We paid and then left, happy with the new kit and eager to try it out. The drive home was a nightmare, and I remember sitting there in the two hour traffic jam wondering why I’d not bought online.
Anyway, a day or so after getting home I was sorting out my wallet and looked at the receipt, it was then I noticed how much Jessops had charged for the camera, it wasn’t a significant amount over what she had quoted me but was enough to make me contact Jessops via their ‘online contact form’ and enquire why the amount was higher than quoted – now I’ll admit this was  my fault as much as theirs, I should have checked the amount before paying. My excuse, and I’m sticking to it is I was bored and frustrated waiting to be served and did not think to do the maths in my head adding the items together (plus I did not see the item values as she input them just the total at the end). So I sat back and waited for a standard response telling me I should not have been so stupid in the store and checked the amount before paying, however no response came. So I waited another day or so and then thought I should try e-mailing Jessops customer service direct which proved fruitless, obviously replying to customer queries is an alien concept at times.
Now as you may or may not know I use twitter quite often and noticed that Jessops had an account there (@Jessops), so I decided to send them a tweet and ask how long it took to get a response normally from their customer service department. A short while later they replied, and I was thankful I wasn’t talking to a brick wall after all. Their reply was simple, they’d been in touch with customer services and they would be in touch by the end of the week. And so I sat back, and waited for customer services to get in touch, perhaps being a bit naive I thought perhaps by Thursday afternoon there would be some sort of message but no, Friday came and by the end of the day I came to the conclusion they really didn’t want to answer me. I sent another tweet to their twitter account and they replied that they would get them to contact me on the following Monday, but do you know what, I’ve given up on them.
Seriously, if Jessops have no regards for customer satisfaction then why should I chase them continually for a simple response, and that is really the issue, they did not have the manners to reply to a question and this is why I won’t be returning to Jessops in future. Most of us work hard for our money and I don’t see why I should be giving it to companies who hold their customers in such low regard. I’m not that old, or at least I don’t feel it, yet I remember when shops actually cared about their customers and not just how the figures add up at the end of the week. So, I’ll be buying my camera gear online in the future, but not from Jessops 😉
And if anyone from Jessops customer service reads this (I’m sure you must exist somewhere out there) you really took the shine off buying a new camera, if you want to keep customers you should try harder.

UPDATE (13th October 2011)  – Following this blog entry I received a tweet from Jessops saying they would get their customer service department to contact me first thing on Monday (10th October 2011); so late that Monday morning I received an email from Jessops customer services asking for my telephone number so they could call and discuss any issues. After spending nearly two weeks waiting for an answer they wanted me to sit around and wait by the phone to discuss something which doesn’t need discussing, either they overcharged or they didn’t, the slow/poor service in the shop is another issue and not one I really care about given that I don’t intend returning to the Trafford Centre. So I replied that they could contact me by email or post if they wished. Now, I know I shouldn’t but I did find their response amusing – they are upset they cannot apologize over the phone but they are still waiting for a response from their regional manager? So they wanted to apologize but as they had not spoken to the regional manager they didn’t really know what they were apologizing for, which makes it a bit hollow really. To me an apology means they have looked at the issues and have found they are at fault and have something to apologize for. Anyway, I want a job as Jessops regional manager, they’ve had two weeks now to respond to the issues and have yet to do so, looks like they don’t have any pressure on them to get answers or results.

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