Tuesday, 30 December 2008

I got BANNED from Woolworths - an hour before they shut their doors for good!

This bizarre story starts about three weeks ago, when Woolworths announced they were going into Administration and were selling everything off.

In my local High Street store, on their CD racks, there were four sets of sleevs, each for a 3-CD set called “The Weekend Starts Here” (yes, choc-full of Mod classics from the 60s). On the shelf it was priced at £7. I took the cover to the Woolworths counter and, after much searching (there were at least four sets in the drawer), she scanned it and…it came up as £14.99.

I pointed out that it was £7 on the shelf, so we both trudged up the aisles to the shelf where the display was. She then bent down, took the £7 sticker off the shelf and said “that was last week’s price”. So I refused to pay the higher price and left the store.

Then last Friday, this particular branch was on its last day and now the reductions were 50%, so I was finally going to get what I wanted at the price I wanted.

Or was I?

I went in and took the one remaining CD cover to the counter and said to the rather sullen looking Neanderthal youth behind the counter “You’ll probably find it in that drawer there, listed under W”. He then turned his back on me and proceeded to finger through the DVDs drawer.

I said “Did you hear what I said? It’s a CD set. You’ll probably find it in that drawer…etc”. So he turned and gave me one threatening look. He aimlessly dawdled through the drawer and then said “Can’t find it”. I took him to task and he replied, in a very rude tone: “Well, we ain’t go’ it, ‘ave we?”.

So I left the counter and decided to tackle the Under-Assistant manageress, a tiny lady who for the last three or so years (I’ve observed) has been nurturing increasingly large chips on both shoulders. I explained the situation, particularly about the rudeness of the assistant. - And her witty ripost?: “If we ain’t got it, we ain’t got it, so there“.

I just replied “Well if that’s your idea of good Customer Service, maybe your company deserves to go to the wall and you lose your jobs”.

“Right. Get out of my store”, she commanded.

I just burst out laughing.

Perhaps this offended the little bossy-boots and she threatened to have me escorted off the premises. But I just exited.

As I left the store, a member of staff was on her mobile, trying to find out exactly when that store did close its doors that day. She discovered it was…in an hour.

There’s a triple-irony here:
(i) the very next day I went to the Woolworths in Romford (the nearest large town to us), which was still open, and I got the very CD set I wanted…at £7. So there!

(ii) on the Sunday I happened to be on the radio that morning and mentioned this story. The texts came flooding in, all supporting me.

(iii) since that radio mention, I’ve been stopped three times on my local High Street, with the words “Ray, what’s this about you being banned from Woolworths”. It seems I’ve become a bit of a local hero for everyone in the area who’s ever had a bad experience with the stroppy staff at that Woolworths in Barkingside.

I believe they call it Karma.

(And a Merry Christmas to you!)


Oscar said...

Very well done Ray.

I'm giving you some distance support from Sweden as well!

Wish you a happy new year tomorrow!

Oscar Asplund

headbang8 said...


I have absolutely no comment to make, except that it's great to see you posting again.

A High Street hero, for taking on Woolworths over Hits of the Sixties? England is alive and well.


P.S. My Google word verification tonight is "psoher", which is the sound I assume you made as you thumbed your nose at the thrice removed assistant manageress.

Alan said...

Many places deserve to go out of business. This sounds like one of them.