On Monday, I went to M&S and picked up a nice point-and-shoot camera for Laura’s birthday at lunchtime.
On Monday evening, on the phone, Laura said, “I’ve got some vouchers for the Trafford Centre. Will you come with me and help me choose a DSLR camera?”
On Tuesday lunchtime, I went back to M&S and returned the point-and-shoot camera.
On Tuesday evening, I had a terrible customer experience at Jessops in the Trafford Centre. And still we bought the camera from them.
It started out okay. Our attendant helped us to choose between the Canon and Nikkon. But once he’d taken out a couple of models for us to look at, he got really rude.
When Laura held the DSLR as you might hold a point-and-shoot, around the edges of the body, he laughed at her. He laughed at her and called over his colleague so that his colleague could laugh at her too. Seriously.
When I began to explain what focal length meant to Laura, he let me get as far as saying “It’s the distance between….” Before smugly interrupting me and saying, “Wrong!” I bit my lip, but I could have smacked him in his. Focal length is a measure of distance, so his interruption was out of order. To interrupt before I finished speaking implied that he thought whatever I said would be wrong.
We left the shop to think.
When we came back in, we decided to go to his colleague instead. Surely they couldn’t both be jerkholes? Actually, yes they could. We chose our camera, and we bought it. Between us, we had to say “no, thank you” to the offer of Additional Damage Cover – an in-house insurance scheme – at least six times.
“I don’t buy insurance without reading the small print, and I don’t want to invest the time in doing that right now, so no.”
“No, I don’t want the cover”
“No, we’re alright without the cover, thanks.”
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
“Erm…. Well, now you come to mention it…. NO!”
Forgive my fabrication of the actual words, put it down to artistic license. But don’t underestimate the amount of times we had to turn down the offer. Pushy, pushy, pushy salesman. And, as it turns out, bad salesman. Bad because we didn’t buy the insurance.
I’m a geek myself. I know that those blessed with technical knowledge aren’t always in possession of the best social skills. I understand that selling complex technology requires staff who might be stronger at the tech side, and weaker at the social skills side. I’m happy with that. But at Jessops in the Trafford Centre, I was not happy at all. The staff were rude. The staff were pushy. The staff sucked.
Do I take this further? Can I be bothered?
EDIT 22/07/2010: I went into Jessops on Princess Street to buy a UV filter. The staff member who served me there was brilliant. I really like the company in general, and have had consistently good experiences with them, bar one. It makes what happened at the Trafford Centre all the more disappointing.