– TRY SOMETHING NEW TODAY, PERSECUTE A CUSTOMER!
Big supermarkets like Sainsbury’s are no longer satisfied with selling shoddy products at inflated prices and using strong arm tactics to drive every other small local independent food shop out of business so the they can control the entire domestic grocery shopping market.
They are now becoming obsessed with a delusion that they have a right to control and abuse their customers at will – as well as extort ‘fines’ from them for using Sainsbury’s car parks or failing to abide by the precise ‘rules’ about car parks which Sainsbury’s dream up.
Below is a letter I sent to Sainsbury’s today describing a ridiculously abusive item of their behaviour experienced recently.
Dear Mr Jerome Kenyon,
On the fourth of April 2009, at about 21.30 I made some purchases at the Horsham branch of Sainsbury’s.
I tendered my car parking card, as usual for, swiping. I have a distinct and unequivocal memory of doing so, because I remember the till operator handed it back to me together with the till receipt and change, and my hands were vaguely full of dealing with packing shopping at the the same time. So, being unable to handle all these items at the same time, I distinctly remember the till operator dropping the parking card accidentally, and then only handing me the change and receipt which I bundled into my wallet together as I always do.
Because of the kerfuffle I have described ( which always tends to take place as till operators usually ignore the fact you are packing shopping away and just thrust the receipt and change at you without the normal politeness of waiting, expecting you to deal with that at the same time – a usual feature of every supermarket !) I was so involved in getting my shopping out of the way for the next customer and putting my wallet away, that I failed to notice at the time that I had not now been given the parking card which had been swiped, and the till operator had forgotten to give it to me as she had put it to one side in order to wait for my hands to complete the other tasks so that I could then take the parking card.
When I then went to my car and discovered I didn’t have the parking card needed to release me from the car park, I then remembered I hadn’t been given it back by the till operator.
Not a problem, you might think. I certainly didn’t think it was as I went back to the store to ask for either that card or another so that I get could get out of the car park.
Unfortunately, your staff at the Horsham branch of Sainsbury’s have shown themselves to be persistently aggressive both to me and to many other customers that I have observed in the seven years I have lived here. So, they did manufacture a very big problem indeed.
In the twenty years of living at my North London address and using Sainsbury’s and various other supermarkets, I never, ever, saw or experienced this consistently aggressive, controlling and idiotic behaviour that I have experienced at the Horsham branch of Sainsbury’s.
So your staff went out of their way to create a problem. This is exactly what happened.
I went to the customer help desk and explained I had lost my parking card somewhere between the till and now and couldn’t, therefore, get out of the car park. I showed my receipt which showed I had just spent £41.
The customer service person, one ‘Michelle’ (she refused to provide her surname so rather stupidly cannot be properly identified as an individual) sent someone off to the till I had used to retrieve the card. This person came back saying there was no sign of the card.
This idiotic customer service person, then asked me to pay ten pounds to be released from the car park ( I had the receipt, only a few minutes old, showing I had spent £41). When I pointed this out, she then asked for a £5 fee to be paid for a lost card. I pointed out that I had not lost it, but that the till operator had failed to return it to me and that I distinctly remembered exactly what had happened and how she had apparently forgotten to return it.
This Michelle person became instantly aggressive and hectoring and quite shrill, doing what all brain dead bureaucrats do in imagining she was doing her job properly and obeying the ‘rules’ relating to car parking; and failing utterly to use one solitary brain cell to understand that what she was doing was an utter parody of what Sainsbury’s intend in the management of their car park.
When I protested that this was ludicrous, this person was very, very, unpleasant, argumentative and unyielding.
She was thoroughly rude and talked down to me in the most demeaning and unpleasant manner designed to humiliate me and show me she was excercising her ‘control freak’, power crazed mentality.
She absolutely insisted I pay up an extra fee, or remain trapped in the car park.
I was completely polite in every way in the manner I spoke to this person, and in the course of me remonstrating that it was ridiculous to demand a fee to allow me to leave the car park under the circumstances, I simply used an index finger to point in her general direction as I said I was adamant I would refuse to pay this wickedly oppressive fee.
This total idiot then instantly latched onto the (completely wrong) idea that I was being violent and aggressive simply by virtue of me pointing a finger to emphasise a point in a perfectly normal piece of human communications behaviour, where hands wave about in various ways while talking to other people – body language comprising well over 50% of communication and verbal language comprising as little as a mere 30% on occasion.
She instantly said , the minute I pointed this errant finger, downwards at the counter as it happens, that she was refusing to speak to me because “I was being violent and abusive” (which I absolutely was not) and told me she was calling the manager and grabbed the ‘phone in a dramatic fashion as though she was about to be physically attacked, and then called for the manager.
How you can you say I was “violent and abusive” for simply pointing a finger to emphasise I was absolutely adamant I would not pay this extortion, I cannot imagine.
What is clear to me is that this dim woman has got it into her head that anyone pointing a finger or generally gesturing with hands, is being aggressive and therefore can be restrained, attacked, thrown out of a store or even, perhaps arrested and charged with violent assault. I am not merely being flippant or exaggerating here, because all of those things follow on from a true situation of a person being actually genuinely threatened with a real threat of violence.
In this case it was entirely in the fevered, politically correct, childish, and immensely stupid little brain of a completely inadequate person who made it plain she thinks anyone pointing a finger in this manner is fair game to be accused of aggression and violence.
The duty manger, Mr Paul or Peter Stares, appeared and immediately made things worse.
Without the slightest attempt to find out what had been going on he said “you shouldn’t be shopping here” and told me I had been banned from the store and told me to leave.
I told him leaving this lunatic place was the only thing I wished to do right now but I was being prevented as Sainsbury’s were apparently determined to keep me trapped in the car park. I also informed him it was completely untrue I had ever been banned from Sainsburys.
This banning was another fiction your aggressive staff had erroneously dreamt up a year ago which was the subject of my previous complaint to you on June 17 2008; whereby Sainsbury’s had apologised to me for this being untrue.
Mr Stares then asked the customer service person (Michelle) for a car park release card so I could leave. She told him she did not possess any as she had run out of them.
This, then, would seem to the reason she had behaved in this disgusting and appalling manner towards me in the first place. The stupid woman didn’t have a card to give me, so this led her into this dreadful torrent of abuse by her, artificially constructed in her little pea brain and furthered by a completely brain dead idea that anyone using a finger to gesticulate with in the course of a conversation is being aggressive and abusive.
Frankly, I am nauseated by all this and I wonder what you might like to do about it.
I am forced to use Sainsbury’s whether I like it or not, and I am sick and tired of the horrendous attitudes of your staff, who seem to have lost all sense of reason and understanding of normal, decent, civilised behaviour. And I am now left wondering, every time I shop in Sainsbury’s, whether you staff are going to attack me and cause a scene again as they obviously have the habit of doing.
It occurs to me the only explanation for this unusual and rather weird behaviour of staff is quite likely to be the constant brainwashing they receive from Sainsbury’s under the guise of ‘training’ – where Sainsbury’s are ‘training’ staff into a ‘them and us’ mentality. ‘Them’ being those irritating customers that “us’ at Sainsbury’s need to have complete control over to obey Sainsbury’s every whim.
That is certainly the message that unequivocally comes across as I routinely see other customers humiliated by Sainsbury’s staff; in particular by being persecuted by Sainsbury’s staff when customers use the Sainsbury’s car park while they do their shopping.
I frequently see people trapped at the exit barrier being refused to be able to leave by ‘security’ people who constantly go on about how they are ‘just obeying the rules’ when people who are clearly shoppers and not people misusing the car park are trapped at the barrier, which then causes a huge queue to form as every one else cannot leave the car park either. It is a disgusting way to treat your customers.
I find all of this deeply disturbing and completely unacceptable.