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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Cracking The Code At Waitrose: Car Park Blues

I owe it to you to keep you informed. About the car park problems at the Richmond-Upon-Thames branch of Waitrose, of course (see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/Waitrose for background as an alternative to a sleeping tablet). I'll let you know if I win the £500 gift card. In fact, I might provide you with a free coffee - provided you have your own cup.


Sent: 02/06/2018 12:36
Subject: Car Park at Richmond-upon-Thames Store

Greetings, My Long-Suffering Recipients of Justified Groans

It had been my misfortune to feel compelled over a long period of time to draw attention to the malfunctioning of various aspects of the car park at your Richmond-Upon-Thames store and the dangerous dangling metal on one of its floors: indeed, most recently to the automated announcement  in one of your car park lifts to the effect that such lift was going down rather than up. Mercifully, everything has eventually been fixed except that I cannot vouch for whether the announcer can yet determine in which direction her lift is travelling. 
Alas, there is a further problem associated with the car park which is of long standing but with which I have not chosen to trouble you previously. However, it has escalated and I really do think that your local management should strain itself to do something about it. Let me explain the problem. In order to qualify for a discounted car park charge on account of the amount of money spent by the parker at the store, it is necessary for the parker to have their car park ticket stamped at the checkout when making payment. There is a machine operated by the cashier which effects the stamping or, more precisely, there should be a machine at the checkout which effects the stamping . For several years, your resources did not extend to arming the cashier at the end till of the battery of tills (furthest from the front of the store) with the necessary machine which necessitated the aforesaid cashier having to rise from their chair and disturb a neighbouring cashier to do the stamping for them. Recently  the end cashier was blessed with their own machine for which I congratulated the cashier on that till the other week and expressed my sympathy for what she and her colleagues had had to endure. She looked at me knowingly and thankfully. 
But machines have now gone from several other tills including the till which I patronised yesterday. On this occasion the particular cashier did not rise from her position but instructed me to accost her neighbouring cashier to engage in the stamping of my ticket. The neighbouring cashier did oblige but doing so created an inconvenience for both of us and a dirty look from the shopper who she was attending when I made my approach. Of course, I could have waited until the cashier had finished with the customer in question but this would have resulted in a longer stay and hence the risk of a higher car park charge.
If you will tell me how many stamping machines have disappeared I will happily endeavour to manufacture some Heath Robinson replacements for you at no expense to Waitrose.
I hope you will not regard me as pedantic or a trouble maker. I simply wish to see the store run efficiently and to the mutual benefit of Waitrose and its customers.
I am
Stephen Gold

Waitrose Customer Service
To: Stephen Gold
Re Car Park at Richmond-upon-Thames Store
06 June 2018 09.01
Dear Mr Gold,

As promised, I have been in contact with a member of the branch management team, James.

James advised me that all checkouts were supplied with a stamp machine, however since going live they have been removed on several checklist due to faults. 
The machines sit with the manufacture to replace and fix however James advised this is no easy task. Each location has its own code (hub who manage our car park, manage over 3500 across the UK). and rebuilding a new code takes time. 
James would like me to reassure you, that the management team are very well aware of the problem. James mentioned that he would like customers to raise any concerns directly with him, or the manager on duty, so that he can help straight away.

Myself and James would like to apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience caused.

We're passionate about continually improving the service we offer our customers. If you'd like to feed back on the service I've given you, please click on the link below to take part in our quick survey. As a thank you, we’ll also enter you into our monthly prize draw where you could win £500 in gift card.

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Kind regards 
Waitrose Customer Care