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  • Do you complain?

    Misty's thread about her computer got me thinking!



    Do you complain when you get dodgy/sub-standard goods? Food, electrical items and so on?



    I'm not a Victor Meldrew (honestly!) but I do take the humph when I get sub-standard food in particular from big, reputable stores, this year I've complained twice already:



    - Bought a really nice quiche from ASDA couple of weeks ago (normally shop in Sainsburys for your interest ) and biting into it, I almost swallowed and choked on a long piece of plastic string embedded into the quiche. Gawd, as well as feeling sick, I was pretty annoyed. Sent it to Head ASDA branch in Leeds, apology back and got £15 in Vouchers.



    - Blossom's (our dog) had 'Butchers' dog food for years now, it's the only thing she'll eat regularly. We found a small piece of blue plastic in the meat earlier in the year and so Blossom (yes, Blossom!) wrote a letter of dismay to the makers and she received £8 in Butcher's vouchers



    In the past I've complained about Sainsbury's Cherry Ice Cream and I bit on (ouch!) a cherry stone in it, complained and got a £20 voucher. Even complained about their baked beans being 'hard' once and received £3 (yes, seriously, no jokes please! )



    I wonder sometimes if we are always more ready to complain about non-food products and take back the faulty TV, the video cassette to Whsmiths, the Car, the hoover, etc, etc.



    We had an ongoing complaint with Coldseal for months (more the fact they were totally inept, useless and unable to communicate properly or do anything they promised!). They started out brilliantly, but we'd never reccommend them again!



    Any experiences anyone?!

  • #2
    To be honest I'm usually so busy complaining about yobs I don't have much time to complain about other things



    I can't think of anything I've had to complain about really. Last time I complained was to....guess who? Yep, Comet! They took my tv away for repair and after three weeks it still hadn't been returned. Actually, come to think of it, my sister did the complaining...she went to 'close-to-the-top'. I still waited another week for it to be returned. Oh, and I did complain when I opened a tin of peas and found a dead caterpillar! I got a letter explaining how the peas where inspected and £2 worth of vouchers....well it was about ten years ago



    But have no fear, if complaints are called for I will complain



    Misty
    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mistyeyeddreamer@Mar 25 2003, 11:51 AM

      Oh, and I did complain when I opened a tin of peas and found a dead caterpillar!* I got a letter explaining how the peas where inspected and £2 worth of vouchers....well it was about ten years ago
      Yikes, a Caterpillar!



      Reminds me of the time, during 1997, Beth and I had some Fish and Chips one evening after we finished work. On eating the battered fish, Beth found a cigarette paper embedded in the batter.



      Needless to say, I took the 'evidence' back to the shop straight away and demanded my money back. The owner of the shop insisted that no-one smoked in the shop and thought that the cigarette paper must have got there through the batter mix that they bought in from a third party.



      As he got pretty irate when I wouldn't hand over the cigarette paper (now in clear plastic bag 'm'lord as exhibit A'!) we complained to the EHO and they investigated further; we we're interviewed several times and it was a lot of paperwork for the EHO (who was great). The shop staff did smoke in the shop and they found evidence of that - the court fined them and they were also forced to make improvements to the shop where they had other storage and hygiene problems.



      We couldn't claim any further as Beth hadn't eaten the cigarette paper - apparentely if she'd swallowed it and had felt/been sick she could have claimed further damages. Still thesedays, with all the supposed 'no-win-no-fee' companies about it makes you wonder!

      Comment


      • #4
        My complaints (to date) have been:



        (1) Marks and Spencers Yoghurt - it hard some hard plastic substance in it - I took it back and they offered me a replacement yoghurt (I said I never wanted a yoghurt from M&S again...I would be too scared of eating one...) - they gave me a £5 voucher.



        (2) At an Indian Restaurant in Callander - the food was watered down, tasteless (not like 't' proper ones in Yorkshire) - I explained I wasn't happy with the meal. They did nothing about it. I wasn't brave enough to challenge any further!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hollygolightly@Mar 25 2003, 2:28 PM

          (2) At an Indian Restaurant in Callander - the food was watered down, tasteless (not like 't' proper ones in Yorkshire) - I explained I wasn't happy with the meal.
          LOL Holly



          Vindaloo Heaven Yorkshire.



          None of us would ever bother to eat out I think if we thought everywhere was the same as some of those restaurants etc we see on the 'Life of Grime' etc. Has anyone seen 'When Chef's Attack'? - it's been on a lot on one of the new SKY Channels - 'Reality TV' - the things some of the waiters/chefs/cooks do are really really disgusting!

          Comment


          • #6
            we dont complain very often but if the food you buy is not up to standards, its a health and safety risk (or something like that).



            once i bought some ice lollies from sainsburys and my kids found pieces of lolly sticks inside the ice creams, i complaint and got a replacement and some extra points on my card.





            sallyanne

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            • #7
              We have also found Blue plastic in Butchers tripe!!! Three times now.



              Recently I complained to a well known cosmetics firm about a jar of face cream being grainy - got told to send it back and got a ten pound voucher - which only covered price of product.



              Coldseal???? A few years ago at NFH house we had the whole house double glazed excepting patio door. These people would not leave us alone, they kept ringing up driving us mad. One day they rang three times in a week (same guy ringing).

              I told him in no uncertain terms that we DO NOT WANT ANY MORE DOUBLE GLAZING! I didn't swear or anything or get offensive - but I was sarcastic. About fifteen minutes later, trying to work, phone rings again and a voice says in a fake Sunderland accent; "Can I interest you in half price double glazing?" It was so obviously the bloke from Coldseal taking the ****. I was so angry I rang Trading Standards immediately. The upshot was.... Coldseal apologised by letter and said did we want our patio door at a vastly reduced rate..... speechless aint the word.



              I was put off restaurants when I knew a chef...



              But to answer the question - yes I would complain about foreign bodies in food.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have one to add, - which turned out to our advantage.



                It doesn’t really concern a product complaint, but it certainly involves an element of unsavoury corporate intimidation.



                Have you ever been to a large department store, and (having shopped legally of course!) been stopped at the door by a surly security goon when the alarm activated just as you passed through? Invariably this is due to slack staff procedure when cancelling the security tags/codes, thus triggering the alarm upon exit.



                Well this happened to my wife, TWICE in the same store, in the space of a year. She was followed and stopped outside the store (HMV), then taken back into the shop entrance, where despite her continuous protestations, her bags where searched and purchases examined, before being allowed to leave with a half-formed apology and vague explanation. She was completely distraught and embarrassed.



                This sort of thing goes on commonly, and it is entirely illegal. Stores rely upon a lack of legal knowledge on the part of the consumer, and just sheer bluff, in order to operate and perpetuate a policy of security that should never exist.



                You may not be stopped, challenged, touched, intimidated or otherwise coerced into following what the security personnel want you to do. And perhaps most heinous of all, your property should never be removed from your care and control, to be dealt with, searched or otherwise manipulated by the security.



                I was absolutely fuming on the first occasion, and they sent me cheque for £125.



                On the second occasion, I was ready to take them to court, as I really wasn’t interested in their ridiculous explanations about the electronic (or otherwise) shortcomings of their surveillance equipment.



                Unfortunately, my wife (who is a timid delicate sort!) wouldn’t go through with it - but I still got a cheque for £250.



                My point is that firms do not readily part with that kind of money unless they realise they are seriously out of order.



                It strikes me, that if everyone were to kick up a fuss should they be (un)lucky enough to fall foul of this miserable practice.



                Then they really would have to review things. It’s corporate bullying on a personal level and it Stinks. With a capital ‘S’



                Morbius.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Morbius, that is a terrible thing to happen to your wife!! I swear if anybody ever stopped me like that I'd take them to court for assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping and anything else I could think of!!! It's all very well them sending you money, but as you say it's because they know they are in the wrong. It must have been utterly humiliating for your wife and affect (you say she is timid) must have been devastating!



                  Oooh, I get so mad when I hear stories like that



                  Misty
                  "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well to be truthful I do complain but only when I have to. I have recieved vouchers from Reckitt (Finish Dishwasher Powerball Tablets) for replacement dishwasher tablets after the last lot didn't even dissolve, and it left all the crockery and cutlery in a right state. Took the offending article back to Sainsbury's and they gave me the money back but Sainsbury's got me to fill in a report of what had happened so that how we came by the vouchers.



                    Moaned about my new car (Land Rover Freelander), boy have I moaned about that, it's all down to salt and grit on the road getting behind the break discs and making a very annoying squealing problem. Got it on dictaphone and played it back to them, now they are replacing the whole breaking system. It will cost Land Rover a few quid to put the problem right, but I don't care I paid good money for that car wish I had stayed with the BMW.



                    The best Company by far and away is Lakeland Limited, they don't quibble and question they just replace or refund they are ace and in that respect I would prefer to buy from them even if they are a bit more expensive cause I know that if I hit a glitch they are very good at resolving things.



                    So yes I do complain often but only when there is something to justify it. Trouble is with us Brits is that we don't complain enough. In America they complain loads and get excellent results, we should be the same.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      oh dear oh dear!!!!



                      spare a thought for the poor souls on the receiving end of the complaint!! they only sell the stuff you know they dont actually make it/package it etc.



                      I too feel very strongly about this subject but perhaps not in the way that the general theme of this thread seems to be going!!



                      For my sins I am a duty manager in one of Scotlands biggest superstores and to be quite frank some of the c**p ( sorry folks!) I have had to put up with from so called irate customers is appaling!



                      On more than one occasion I have had to have security "escort" someone from the shop! I have been sworn at , spat on , kicked , and so on just because their "complaint" wasnt dealt with to their "satisfaction"



                      For example- a forieign body in a foodstuff is actually quite common "get me a manager" etc , then I get involved "what are you going to do about it?"- what on earth can I do at 7pm on a Saturday evening!!!!! I have no head office back up, im the only manager on duty and yet this idiot is shouting and swearing at me because I "only" refunded him and also replaced the product. - the product and foreign body needs to be sent off"!- we dont actually have laboratories for analysis on our stores!



                      I think someone said that British people dont complain like the Americans.



                      You are so right! the difference is that most British people dont KNOW HOW to complain properly- most British people think that causing a scene is complaining properly. I can assure you that I ( and my colleagues) switch off the moment the voices start getting raised.



                      In answer to the original question then yes I do complain but do it properly to the right people and always get results



                      just spare athought for the poor soul next time you have a complaint folks!



                      ps if you want tips on how to get results then im glad to help??



                      thanks for putting up with my "tirade"



                      HF

                      "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"



                      apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan



                      Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by morbius@Mar 25 2003, 8:41 PM

                        This sort of thing goes on commonly, and it is entirely illegal. Stores rely upon a lack of legal knowledge on the part of the consumer, and just sheer bluff, in order to operate and perpetuate a policy of security that should never exist.
                        Hi Morbius,



                        Your wife was subject to what is known as "wrongfull arrest" in the retail industry. It is absolutely inexcusable and you were absolutely right to go for compensation!!



                        Dont agree with your comment above pal but of course respect that you have your own opinion on this .

                        I cannot of course comment on the policy of that particular retailer regarding this issue .



                        You are absolutely correct and I am glad that you made the point that the only person who can remove items from you/ search your belongings is a police officer. Store/ security personnel DO NOT have the right to search your goods although they can ask you to show them items on your body/ posession.



                        The other really important point to make is that should any of you ever be unfortunate to be stopped in this manner then the more noise you make at the time the more probable it will be that the security personnel will think you have something on you! You MUST ask them to tell you WHAT you are supposed to have concealed and WHERE it was taken from and also WHO saw you.- this is important!!



                        Once you have satisfied them that you have done nothing wrong THEN you make your noise!! and go for the the jugular! deal only with the store manager. If he / she is not available then demand to see the area manager. - this may not actually work but trust me the minute that area managers/ head offices get involved then there will be cold sweats breaking out!!



                        Well done Morbius for getting the cheques from them and yes again you are right they will not part with that sort of cash unless they know they are heading for big trouble and finally the thing that ALL major retailers want to avoid totally is bad press and or a prosecution from Trading Standards- keep that in mind!



                        bye for now



                        HF

                        "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"



                        apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan



                        Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Horsefans - I used to manage shoe shops in London - and boy oh boy oh boy do I know about the other end of complaints!

                          Three different companies, but the one that got the most irate customers was a shoe company that sells itself on fitting your childrens shows, better not name it. It wasn't actually the shoes at fault (in 90% of cases) but people expecting fashion shoes to last for years - they don't!!!!! People would come in and behave as if I made the shoes myself on a last at home!!! Totally unreasonable.



                          Not all complainers are like that obviously but you're right - some people seem to think they'll only get what they want if they make a scene, they like to come across as 'winning over the big money grabbing corporation that done them wrong'



                          Spinks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am not a complainer normally but thanks to a major complaint i had about a computer retailer i am now able to access you guys on my brand new computer.

                            I took my old one into be mended and was told it would be a week.

                            After a week i went back and it wasn't ready.

                            2nd week still not done.

                            3rd week it had the back off of it.

                            4th week they were waiting for parts.

                            5th week the engineer was on holiday.

                            6th week it was being fixed as we spoke!

                            7th week still not fixed.

                            Luckily i had taken out extra insurance and in the small print it said that if it wasn't repaired with in 6 weeks they had to replace with like for like.

                            As mine was 4 years old they no longer sold them and the cost of buying a new one had gone down and the store ended up giving me a new package and a new printer.

                            Now when this is 4 years old i will send it in again for repairs!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tracy, thanks for that, you've given me hope. Although I've got my 'puter back it's not working. So, I must peruse my policy a bit more Hope mine's as good as yours



                              I've still not got the product recovery disk but the girl on the phone said it was posted yesterday morning and sent by first class post. I suppose I should give it another couple of days. If it doesn't turn up I expect they'll deny all responsibility and blame the post office



                              Misty
                              "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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