The Customer Is Nearly Always Right!
Walsall FC is often criticised for its’ ham-fistedness in its’ approach toward fans, the recent comments by Roy Whalley being a very good case in point. This now seems to have spread to the souvenir shop, although the apparent casual approach to customer satisfaction isn’t exactly new.
I well remember going in the Bescot shop prior to one game to buy a ‘Goals Of The Season 2006/7′ DVD only to be asked if I’d go back after the game because they’d got the boxes but couldn’t find the discs. How on earth they could mislay anything in a shop of that size is beyond me, maybe it takes a special talent. Then there was the visit to the town centre shop, in order to buy match tickets, when we had to wait to be served until the lad behind the counter had finished trying on his new jeans, the lad being the son of the store manager. Third division club, third division service.I’m not suggesting that the standard of service is always this poor, just relating a couple of experiences I’ve had. Neither of which are comparable to what happened just before the Southampton game. To back-track a bit I recently had a birthday – don’t ask, I’m not telling! – for which I received some money. Normally I wouldn’t buy anything from the souvenir shop as I consider most of what it sells to be vastly over-priced but, prior, to the Stockport game, I ventured in and saw a couple of shirts that are normally priced at around £16 but which were on offer at two for £25. I liked both designs and both shirts seemed to be of a decent quality so I made a purchase. Now, I’m one of those awkward buggers that tend to fall between two sizes, most times XL is fine, sometimes I need XXL. As there were no XXL on show that day I went for XL, this is usually okay and having looked at the shirts carefully before buying I decided they’d be fine. Kick-off wasn’t too far away and I’d arranged to meet someone outside the home end before kick-off, leaving me no time to try them on. If they turned out not to be a good fit I’d still have the receipt so I could get them exchanged.
It goes without saying that they turned out not to be a comfortable fit, so I decided to return them – unworn, except for trying them on – which I attempted yesterday, not having had time to do so on the night of the Oldham game. I presented the shirts and my receipt to the manager who informed me that I couldn’t exchange them because the price tags had been removed! Amazed, I asked her if she was joking. She wasn’t. Apparently it’s ‘company policy’ to take this approach, as my wife was informed when she made an attempt to return them after I’d had a go. At the time I purchased the items I was not informed of this company policy and assumed that, as with any other shop, I’d be able to return my purchase should there be any problem as long as I could present proof-of-purchase. This company policy was not on display anywhere in the shop yesterday and the manager could not produce a copy when asked to back up what she’d said. We were both told that the shirts, without a price tag, would be’ unsaleable’. To take this ridiculous logic a step back, does it not also mean that anything arriving from the manufacturer without a price tag is also unsaleable? And are we expected to believe that the task of attaching a new price tag is beyond the collective gumption of the shop staff? Most of you will have been in there at some time, you can decide for yourselves………………
So, if you buy anything from the shop as a Christmas present you’ll have to leave the price tag on. When asked about this the manager’s reply was that in the case of items bought as a gift the club recommends that the price be crossed out, meaning that if you take anything back they’ll have to attach a new tag! I can’t exchange items that haven’t been used, which are in as-new condition and for which I have the original receipt. In the current financial climate – in any financial climate – you’d think the club would try to provide decent customer service, but no.
People of Walsall FC, you need to decide whether or not you want your supporters, because you’ll lose more and more custom with this kind of third-rate customer care.
Dear, oh, dear…..