Friday, April 12, 2013

Been a while - but customer service still crap

I know, I know... I used to blog like every day and now it's once in a while (you should see my facebook posts, though...).

I don't know quite how it happened, but I got into upholstery. I'm doing a fabulous class, and found a really inspirational teacher, although when she saw my great ebay find (multi-position double cushioned thirties oak recliner) she did say "most people start with a stool."

So on top of that project, I'm making some foam seat cushions for stools (I took the advice) and our hall bench. The internet tells me I need some kind of stocking to put the foam in before I put it inside the cushion - don't ask me why - and fortuitiously, last friday, I was in North Finchley, on my way to meet a friend for coffee, and found an old-fashioned haberdashery shop. I was so delighted. I went in, and she showed me a stocking-type thing I could use, and when I asked her the price, she started serving someone else.

I was a little pissed off and impatient (piss-patient?) but hung around as long as I could, until  I was almost-late and had to go. When I turned to leave, she said "where are you going?" and I said I couldn't wait any longer, I was late to meet someone. She raised her eyebrows like I was in the wrong. I should have known then.

This week, I was driving past the shop on my Friday morning chores-run-around when I thought, hey, I'll run in there and get the foam stocking, perfect. All week, I've been meaning to buy it online, but this is even better, a local, indepedent shop.

[For the sake of not being the goto search on the web for her shop, I'm not going to name it. But let's face it, how many haberdashery shops are there in north London?]

I go in, say a cheery good morning (she's on the phone) and stride to the back of the shop to the roll of un-priced stocking. I still don't know how much it is, but I think hey, support a local shop, I'll pay whatever it is.

She finishes her phonecall, and I expect her to come and serve me, but she picks up the phone to make another call. I wait. It's her utility company. I walk up to her and mouth "can you serve me?" and she mouths, "I'm on the phone." I mouth "I'm a customer" and she does a hand wave that I should wait. I turn to leave - I mean, who needs this? Then I hear her rather agressively tells her utility supplier she'll call back.

By now, I'm at the front of the store, and she runs up to me, and grabs my arm, asking me what I want. I tell her that this is the second time I've returned to her shop and she's not served me either time and I'll go home and order it on the internet. She starts shouting at me and saying "I'm eva-, eva-, eva-"

I briefly think she's introducing herself, but then I realise she's "ever so sorry." I tell her it's too late, and this is not the way to treat (potential) customers and it's too much hard work to go to her shop and I'll go home and order online.

I leave the shop with her gesticulating at the door like I've done something wrong.

She seem's to have been in business for a long time, judging by the faded signage and hand-crafted ocassional price tags. I don't know she does it.

And that is why, ultimately, we'll all buy everything on the internet.

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