Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Mr Price...not so nice

Mr Price has always been one of those shining SA brands for me…. You know the ones that you are extremely loyal 2! That is until my recent experience.
I recently had to purchase office furniture and someone suggested I try Mr Price Home, the ‘Super Store’ on corner of Hendrik Potgieter & Nic Diedrichs Boulevard Wilgeheuwel On The West Rand. Very far for a Sandton chick [had to take my passport] but they apparently had loads of stock! Something Sandton was clearly fresh out of…..

To cut a very long story [not so] short :
1. I spent over R20 000 on office equipment. A LOT of money for a small company (money I don’t just have lying around). Even with that large spend, I still had to actually ask them for a discount and I was made to wait for ages for managers approval [felt a little like they were doing me a massive favour].
2. Whilst I was waiting, two of their staff asked me for jobs?? Slightly unprofessional.
3. I requested delivery and was told it would cost me R150….. ON a R24000 bill you would think delivery would be free?? That also felt like a tall order, especially when I threw a curve ball and asked for it to be delivered on the day that suited me not the store! Eish!
4. I paid in full [had a few issues with the credit card payment courtesy of my other ‘favourite’ Standard Bank]. That was finally sorted.
5. I got a call the next day from a staff member ON MY CELL for a job. So much for privacy!
6. 4 days later I called to check that my delivery was on track and I was told they would not be delivering on ‘my’ day as they have stock take? I asked to speak to the abrasive manager and she informed me of that same fact. To which my response was that does not suit me and why I was not told that when I chose the day. The manager promised to come back to me…. A whole day later but I beat them 2 it.
7. The delivery arrived, once again I was made to feel like they were doing me a favour by telling me that I was the only one that was getting a delivery on that day!
8. The delivery was wrong [partly my fault for not checking up on a bunch of people that clearly did not know their head from there backside]. I had checked the ‘shopping’ list but it was so long and I was so irritated I rushed stupidly. I was missing my 5 office chairs.
9. I called about the chairs, luckily they still had them [I was very irritated now]. I chose to go into the store to collect them just to be safe. I got there, they were not ready [surprise surprise!]. Lots of people standing around holding up counters and a few more doing a stock take.
10. I once again asked for a measly 5 % discount on the chairs as it was part of the original order. I had already been inconvenienced by driving back to get something that should have been delivered if they had of listened and included everything in the beginning! The cashier simply laughed and ignored me. Ringing up the chairs without a thought. I told him I was not joking. He then looked and some other guy, spoke in Sotho and the guy ran off. [My thought at this time was how sadly disempowered these people were]. 15 min later the guy comes back and has no news. The floor manager [not the real ‘big’ manager] just says no discount, to quote him “we only give discount for orders over R15 000” [something that was NEVER offered to me on my first purchase!]. At this point I am so mad I just paid the R3500 to get out of the Store.
11. Whilst this is going on the floor manager speaks to at least 3 customers making their stock take day the customer’s problem. I am fascinated at how low the Mr Price Home customers are on the food chain.

So what has happened? The staff and customers seem to be a means to an end and although the store concept is great, that particular store seems to be totally mismanaged. Maybe this BIG CORPORATE Mr Price no longer cares for its people or its customers [shareholder value now hey guys]? Well good luck on that one without customers you ain’t got no value. There is such potential for Mr P to support small business in the country BUT I will not be referring anyone to them. I realized it just takes one experience [ok a very expensive one for me] to change the fragile face of brand perceptions. I dont think Mr Price will be placing a [red] cap in hand anytime soon for their customers....

So sad and damn frustrating.

[Update:17 Sept- I subsequently found out I should have been offered the option of assembly which infuriated me even more -but briefly, after a call to the Head Office, I managed to get this whole mess sorted. Today Mr Price sent people to assemble the furniture. I am thankful, but saddened that such a fuss had to happen before any real service was given]


Zani said...

Yikes! I went to Lapa Flo in Emmarentia about a week ago. It is a very nice pizza place.....but our waiter kept asking me to find him another job?? He asked about 5 times??

Oh and do these people actually think that you are going to give them a job if they don't even know the first thing about customer service?! Or just how to work with people??!!!

I am starting to see a huge gap/lack in customer service training....

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