Dear Mr Sainsbury,
Firstly, I am making the assumption you are a 'he' who runs the chain of well-known supermarkets, an assumption based only on the fact that if you were a 'she' the state of affairs in your retail emporium would NEVER have reached the dire straits ('Money For Nothing') which I, a once loyal customer, believe it has now reached.
And secondly, I wish you to take extra special note of the phrase 'once loyal customer.' This used to be the status quo ('Whatever You Want') but is no longer. In fact, my loyalties no longer lie with any supermarket in particular as I have come to the conclusion that, like politicians, you are all as bad as each other. The only thing I am loyal to now is the pound in my purse and thusly it will take me to Aldi, Lidl, your erstwhile good self or wherever else I can spot a bargain.
My missive to you today is based on a brief shopping trip into your Maidstone store made yesterday. If truth be told I made the trip only to avail myself of the free parking you offer to customers if they spend ten pounds or over and this was easily covered by the purchase of milk, pizza for dinner, a newspaper, soup and some lemon and ginger teabags. My real reason for going into town was to purchase hair colourant, loose face powder, tights, a pair of shoes from Hotter (which actually turned into two pairs because I was racked with indecision) and to spend the Waterstones voucher kindly presented to me by my daughter last weekend in celebration of Mothering Sunday.
You would do well, Mr Sainsbury, to take a leaf from the customer service provided by Hotter. The lady in there could not have been more helpful and polite! Not a whine, nor moan, nor a rolling of the eyeballs, despite my 'Shall I have black, pink or blue? Wide 6 and a half or extra wide 6? Flats or with a smidgeon of a kitten heel?' Nor did she raise her eyebrows at the appearance of my feet clad in purple 80 dernier tights which clashed pretty much with everything I tried on. Oh no! The Hotter lady exemplified EVERY good feature of excellent customer service. Send some of your staff there. They might learn something. Like how to smile.
I made my selections from your shelves, Mr Sainsbury, as quickly as possible, in order to avoid listening to the gaggles of staff that gather in your aisles whispering to each other in bitter tones about how they hate working for Sainsbury's and how the new floor manager is a right bossy cow, and who the hell did she think she was anyway? Her, starting from nothing, slicing green streaky out the back?
I took my purchases to the self-scan checkout because as usual, despite a massive line of tills, only four of them appeared to be open. Well, it was only a Saturday morning. Hardly a busy time, eh?
Mr Sainsbury, when I go to a self-scan checkout I do NOT expect to be told by one of your staff how to place MY bags in the bagging area. Firstly, I am doing my bit for the environment by using my own bags and not the flimsy excuses you now provide for less green-minded folk, which split if you burden them with so much as a grapefruit. (The bags, not the folk.)
Secondly, I have been using the self-scan option for months, nay years, and I have always placed my bags in the bagging area in exactly the same way and even though your staff person says she finds they work better if you place them HER way, that is of no consequence to me and she should stop offering generally unhelpful and patronising advice. If I am to be forced to serve myself, I shall do it MY way. And that includes being surly if your machinery fails to recognise the weight of a magazine because it has a free gift attached which throws everything (including your self-scan assistant) into a tizzy.
To continue my rant - I also expect the 'Double Points On Your Next Shop' vouchers that are issued by your stores to be accepted back by your stores, or the whole exercise becomes futile. The one I foolishly tried to use yesterday refused to 'blip.' Apparently, according to your charmless employee it was because it had a 'yellow band' circumnavigating its edges. Delivered in a tone that suggested I had been at it with one of my grandaughter's colouring pens.
Much punching ensued. Of the keypad on the scanner. Like a fool, I attempted to inject a smidgeon of light humour into the situation with a 'I shall leave this operation in your skilled hands, ha ha, tra la!' to wit the response was, 'I wish I was bloody skilled at something else.'
I also expect your new parking ticket machines to work properly i.e that I can enter my car registration number on the screen without breaking my fingers. I also expect, when offered a parking receipt, to be issued with a parking receipt. Please ensure your receipt roll is replenished on a regular basis. Oh, but I forgot - you are a man and no doubt it is Mrs Sainsbury who is the only person capable of replenishing rolls of anything.
It is all very shoddy, Mr Sainsbury. Very shoddy indeed.
Yours insincerely and unfaithfully,
Mrs Hunt (D)