Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today, inside my bubble ...

Last Sunday, while I was waiting for Nicky to finish work, I popped into Carrefour to grab a few grocery items. Never did I expect I would end-up with an unpleasant encounter with a rude and angry cashier.

It all happened unprovoked. I had only 3 items in hand. So I headed for the express lane to pay for them. I was 3rd in queue. However, as the cashier was accepting payment for the gentleman in front of me, she very rudely asked me and the rest behind me to change queue as she had to get small change for her cash register. Quietly I changed to the next queue. However, the queue wasn’t moving at all when this cashier returned to her counter. Politely I asked her if I could pay at her counter. She nodded without looking at me while extending her hand to accept my items. While punching in the cash register, suddenly this was what followed:

Cashier: “Make sure you have small change with you!” … (she blasted rudely in Bahasa Malaysia to all of us in the queue)

Me: “I don’t have small change just a RM50 note” … (She ignored me and finished punching all 3 items, so I had to give her my RM50 note)

Cashier: (yelled!) … “Didn’t I told you to make sure to have small change!”

Me: (taken aback) … ‘What can I do, I don’t have small change? What if this man here also don’t have small change too, what can he do? You don’t have to be so rude, we are paying customers here. We are not taking things for free.”

Cashier: “I already told you to have small change ready. I already got scolding from my supervisor just now!”

Me: “That’s your problem with your supervisor, don't take it out on us!” … (I took a closer look at her name tag “Sha Rina”)

Cashier: (she challenged) ... “Go, go ahead and report!” … (while handing me the receipt and my change)

Boy, was I fuming by then! I didn't want to say anything else and proceeded to report to the Duty Manager. Their customer service subsequently called me yesterday to get a feedback on what actually transpired. I don't feel bad for complaining. If I had not, then the problem would have persisted. Look at the long run, Carrefour's image is affected. Their industry is so competitive and quality service is as important as pricing. All this can spiraled down to affect their bottom line and subsequently all their employees too.

All this over the fuss about small change. She had the change anyway... just give me the change and I would be off! Probably she did have a bad encounter with her supervisor earlier but must she be so inconsiderate and take it out on innocent bystanders.

Would you have react differently? What would have been your reaction? How would you expect Carrefour to handle this situation? Please feel free to contribute your comment.

3 Bubbles:

Hi Hi,
Yes I am back, and nursing a flu.

I would have done the same thing as you. There is one thing I've learnt from being in the bitchy advertising industry, and that is to be assertive when I am right. I have chided cashiers who were rude and who took out their frustration on me when items were not priced properly. I say "why are you angry at me? It is not my fault your system is not aligned or if your items are not tagged."

I have complained and demanded for my change at cashier counters a few times, abt 3 just from Delifrance. This was bfore the rounding up/down policy. Once i was at One U Delifrance and I asked the cashier why I am shortchanged by 2 sen. She said I don't have change. I said then you shld inform me rather then just assume you can take my 2 sen. It is not the money, it is the principle. She glared at me, and the gentleman behind me cheered me on.

I said all you have to do is open your mouth and tell me you don't have change and ask me if I minded not getting the 2 sen. I would have gladly said yes, But to not tell me, is to cheat me.

I will continue to assert my rights and will never hesitate to chide or scold service people if they do not serve well. Of course, I also find opportunities to praise.

I always complained to the UH pharmacists that I have to wait a long time. But the last 2 times were very fast and I commented on their efficiency. They smiled and said yeah, system changed already.

So you go on and help improve our service industry, sister. It is for their own good, but makes it better for everyone else too. What you have done will make Carrefour a better place for me when I next visit. And for that, I thank you!! If they learnt anything, that is!

Hi there,

I work in the service industry specifically in a similar area but here in Kuwait. We have Carrrefour and other specialized retailers. Generally speaking, Carrefour is not up to the industry standard when it comes to customer service even the basic one. I am assuming that what you have there is the Hyper Market concept. If it is that concept, then don't count too much on customer service especially from the cashiers.

If I were you, not only complain but bring it up to their Head Office in Malaysia and even take it further. It only takes one really bad incident to change the attitude of an organisation especially when they can't afford to lose more customers.

All the power to you

Hey Friends!

Thanks for the POWER ON!

I'm waiting for my next trip to Carrefour. If I see the same cashier at the counter, I will go up to her and test her. If she fails in the same manner, I will write to their Management and to the local daily, The Star!