Dear Marks and Spencer

I think your food is very moreish. Your confectionary? Totally addictive. Your customer service? Awful. To be more precise, it stinks.

And whilst I’m being specific, I have to make it clear that I am referring to the customer disservice I received at the hands of one store manager on Sunday the 7th of February. He’s the store manager??? at Bluewater. Why the vitriolic tone? Read on, all is about to be revealed.

I had a dinner to go to on the 8th of January. None of the dresses I’d ordered from Next fit. So I decided to order from M&S. I placed my order on the 4th of January, using the nominated day delivery service. This meant my order was due to arrive on the 8th. I know I was cutting it pretty close, but I didn’t have much of a choice as I couldn’t go out shopping.

Waited all day for the delivery, no show. Checked my email in the evening to find out that M&S had sent me one round about 1am to say the dresses would not be delivered because it had snowed. This is the UK, everything grinds to a halt when it snows (except the bills), so I shrugged my shoulders, and dug out something else to wear.

The dresses were delivered the following Saturday, a week and a day after the nominated day delivery was supposed to arrived. I didn’t bother to unpack them, I had my own drama going on. My credit card bill arrived, and it reminded me I needed to return the dresses so I could get a refund. I must reiterate that these dresses had remained sealed in their wrappers, unopened. Since they hadn’t arrived in time, I hadn’t bothered to try them on. They were as pristine as the day they had been made.

Anyways, come Sunday, I grabbed the box the delivery had come in, and headed off to Bluewater to return them. The first indication I had that there were going to be problems, was when the CS woman said ‘The name on your card doesn’t match the name on the order.’

‘I know that.’ I replied. ‘The order is in my married name, the card is still in my maiden name. It wasn’t a problem when I was placing my order.’

She asked for ID in the name on the card. I didn’t have any ID in my maiden name on me, and it was the first time in my entire life I had been asked for ID just to return items. She then asked for my PIN. I do not know my PIN. I only use this particular card for online shopping, and like most of you know, you do not need to enter your PIN when making a cyber purchase. She said she could not process the refund without my PIN. I asked to see her supervisor. Her supervisor came, and said the same thing. So I asked to see the manager. And out he came.

He told me he could not process the refund without a PIN, the register wouldn’t let him. ‘So what am I supposed to do with the dresses?’ I asked. ‘You can take them back with you and keep them’ he said.

‘Keep them?’ I gasped, unable to believe my ears. ‘The reason why I am returning them is because I don’t want them’

He shrugged, he clearly did not give a toss. ‘I can’t give you a refund, you have to send them back by post to the address on the parcel summary’

I tried again. ‘If I send these back via post, I will not enclose my credit card. How then will my refund be processed? Surely there must be something you can do here to help me?’ ‘If you can’t put this on my card, can I have the cash instead?’

He remained inflexible. ‘I’m sorry, the best I can do is give you a credit note.’

‘A credit note? And I can use this to pay my credit card bill?’ I asked.

He clearly missed the irony in my voice. ‘No you can’t’ he replied glibly.

I realised I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I asked if I could leave the box with them so they could send it to where it needed to go so my refund could be processed eventually, and he said a big fat no.

So I left, clutching the box, with the dresses inside it. And I was seething with fury. Reluctantly, I came to the following conclusions, you take your pick.

Marks and Spencer is a thieving company who were unwilling to assist me in getting a refund so I could pay off my credit card bill. Rather they offered me a credit note of £185.50, so I could come back and spend it in their store, like I had a neon sign emblazoned on my forehead reading ‘Mug’.

Marks and Spencer is a draconian company that installs figureheads in it stores, and gives them the title ‘Store Manager’ so they feel good as they strut around their little kingdoms. However, it refuses to give them any discretion whatsoever in carrying out their duties, it doesn’t trust them to be able to exercise such discretion in favour of its paying customers.

The manager is a fully empowered member of Marks and Spencer’s workforce, who just decided that he didn’t want to help. And so he didn’t. I know he could have called up the internet sales people and sorted something out if he’d wanted to. Then again, maybe that hadn’t been in his training manual. Or it had, and he hadn’t read it.

Maybe a name change is in order? Marks and Senser? A little common sense goes a long long way.

There are other less flattering options, but it’s been two days now, and I’m not as cheesed off as I was, so I’ll stop here.

p.s. Your chocolate eclairs are truly scrumptious.


About Joxy

When I'm not cooking or thinking about cooking, then I'm writing, or thinking about writing. I love misdirection....nothing is ever what it seems!
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22 Responses to Dear Marks and Spencer

  1. Totally Love! You should post this on their site, blog, facebook, everywhere that says Marks and Spencer. You should add their logo to this post- for good measure. You should even change the background color of your blog to match theirs!!

    • Catherine says:

      Totally agree with you. I am having a problem right now with Marks and Spencer Aberdeen. I returned 2 mail orders to the store, one £7, and one for £71.20, and should be refunded to my M&S master card. When I received my credit card statement, only the £7 was credit to my account. The other one missing. Phoned M&S bank they said they can’t help as they can’t see the transaction. I went to the store, explained what happened, they took my details and said somebody will call me back. I waited for 3 days, eventually somebody phoned me while I was at work, I missed the call, but when I called them back, nobody admitted they have called me ! So I waited for another day, somebody called my again at 8:30am, I missed the call, again, but I phoned back immediately, at then end managed to spoke to a woman who said she didn’t phone, but could help! She got my details and went on check, and said she can see the £71.20 has credited to my account with number ending xxxx, I said that’s great news ! She then said she will call me back as she needs to check why the money not showing on my statement. 2 hours later, she called back and said, they actually have issued credit voucher to me, because that day I didn’t have the delivery note ! I was like “WHAT!!”. It was a refund I was given, not a credit voucher, I had my delivery note with me ! But she went on and on about I didn’t had the delivery note, so a credit voucher was issued. I cannot believe my ears. I asked her why she said to me the first time that she has “found” my refund record, and said has gone back to my account. And now she said they actually issued a credit voucher! It was apparent that she thought I was trying my luck, she wasn’t listening, and just said the same thing over and over again. Eventually I said, if the credit voucher was issue (which I had never received it), can they issue it again, she said NO, it is your responsibility to look after it.

      It is just so typically that, I do not have my refund receipt anymore, as I never had a problem on refund. At the time, I left my delivery note with the cashier as I didn’t think I need it, I only had the receipt, which I had binned afterwards !

      My next step is to go into the store, asking for all records about my refund transactions, and the details of the credit note, the time that was issued. The refund was at 16:05 on 21 June, I left the store right after that. So if the credit voucher was issue sometime after that time, something dodgy happened in there. What I am thinking, to be honest, was somebody had my delivery note and all the returned items, did another return and issue a credit voucher to himself. I will ask them to check if the credit voucher has been used, if not, can they put a block on it and refund me the money. Although I think the chance is slim to get my money back now anyway, but I want to prove that I am not cheating. If somebody thinks he/she can do this and got away, he/she WILL do this AGAIN to other people. I will say this to the store when I am in.

      My own lesson learnt – NEVER EVER bin any refund receipts !

  2. justjoxy says:

    Girl, thanks for having my back always. The first link I put up on Facebook was deleted, go figure!

  3. anonymous says:

    I feel you have been unfair on Marks and Spencer. Online orders have very little to do with stores and outlets. I think it’s very cruel of you to name the store manager online where the world can see. Many of the problems you have detailed are clearly a result of poor planning on your behalf, and asking M&S employees to bend the rules is asking just too much. My suggestion is send the items back in the post.

    • justjoxy says:

      Anonymous, thanks for stopping by. In what way was I cruel? Was it kind of him to tell me to keep the dresses? I merely narrated the events as they happened. Poor planning? Was I responsible for the snow? Did I prevent M&S from delivering the order on the nominated day? Bend the rules how? They couldn’t refund my card, but were quite willing to give me a credit note? Of course I have sent the items back in the post already. It wouldn’t have cost them anything to send them back via their internal mail system though.

  4. john says:

    Justjoxy, I don’t get it? You’re obviously going to require a pin to pay the refund onto your card, that’s just common sense (which apparently you say M&S doesn’t have). Can you not see that it’s not their fault that they do not know your PIN. You can’t pay or debit a card without the PIN for the very reason it could be fraudulent?

    You have the right to a refund by the same method of payment that you paid in, the fact that you were offered a credit note was fair. There are also clear instructions for refunds on the box, follow them? It’s not Marks and Spencer’s fault that your credit card bill was due, if you had decided to wear the dresses what would you have done?

    It would have cost to send them back through internal mail systems btw. You would also have to contact the ordering office yourself, because you have to go through security to prove you are who you say you are, the store cannot (due to data protection reasons) access your ordering account because they are not the account owner and it breaks data protection for them to do that. So really, grow up and accept responsibility, you should have ordered in plenty of time, have sufficient funds to pay off your credit card, inform the bank of changes to your name and know your own PIN?

    It’s ironic that you say they should have a name change, when really you should action your own one and you wouldn’t be walking around with a card with another name on it.

    I can’t really see why Marks and Spencer is at fault for your lack of common sense.

    • justjoxy says:

      John, thanks for stopping by. I totally get that they were unable to refund my credit card without my pin. What was unwarranted was the sarcasm with which he told me to keep the dresses. Yes, my credit card bill was due, but if I had worn the dresses, I’d have kept them, paid my bill, and would not have been expecting a refund. That’s common sense. M&S offer a nominated day delivery service, I took them up on it, they failed to deliver. I appreciate your concern for my finances, I assure you that I have them well in hand. As for the change of name, that is neither here nor there. As far as I am aware, it is not illegal to retain one’s maiden name. Or is it? The point is they were unable to refund my card at that moment. They could have retained the dresses and made the refund (to the card) at a later date. I made it clear that was what I was after, the offer of a credit note was inappropriate in this instance. A manager should strive to manage a customer’s expectations, and do so politely too.

  5. john says:

    and it’s not thieving? you paid for a product and you got it? that’s not theft?

  6. Vera Ezimora says:

    Some of these companies suck. I don’t understand the whole pin thing, but I do say that the manager should not have told you to keep the dresses. Obviously, you didn’t want them. If you had wanted them, you wouldn’t have been in the store in the first place!

    • justjoxy says:

      Thanks Vera, my point exactly. He could have still gotten his message across without being rude or condescending. On another topic, I’m still checking my email daily in the hope that the okra recipe would be there. Hint, hint, lol.

      • Catherine says:

        I am on your side, I can understand how you feel. The manager should offer you options, the obvious one would be post it back, then you won’t need to bother about the pin. There is no customer service in there ! Hope you have something sorted by now.

  7. annoynmus says:

    get a life would you love!

  8. I don’t get the whole PIN thing, but I suppose the manager could have been more helpful and not ask you to take the dresses back. Kpele.

  9. anonymous says:

    Hello. I was the first anonymous, but certainly not the second.
    I see where you are coming from, and I understand you are upset.
    However you don’t want to blame yourself for the snow, but really are happy to almost simply blame Marks and Spencer. I called you cruel, but I think I just really meant wrong. Wrong to name someone online in black and white. It doesn’t really seem very responsible as a blogger on your behalf, even if the manager had been maybe a bit unprofessional. You came back with “Was it kind of him to tell me to keep the dresses?” that seems a bit immature and tit-for-tat, two wrongs don’t make a right in this world. Just what I think really, I’ve never named and shamed someone as you have on your blog. Also I think you’ll find that Store Manager is a role that is common throughout all of retail, and not Marks and Spencer trying to fuel someones ego. I genuinely hope you resolved the situation, I would be interested to know what became of the dress.

  10. Flower Petal says:

    The moral of this story it sounds like is don’t overspend on your credit card in the first place, and then rely on the refund money from Marks and Spencer to PAY YOUR CREDIT CARD BILL. IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY THE PRODUCTS IN THE FIRST PLACE, DON’T BUY THEM…..

  11. Joxy says:

    Dear Flower Petal, thank you for illustrating why comprehension is still mandatory in school curriculums. The moral of the story is know your PIN. I know it now. I had a £185 odd pounds worth of unworn brand new clothes (delivered late) that I was being charged for, and you think it made financial sense to keep them and not seek a refund? I don’t know how it works in the floral world, but here on earth, we do things differently. And for your information, I got an apology from the M&S chairman’s office, so there.

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