IN YOUR CORNER
When it’s time to deliver, stores are suddenly not game
Beware! Often with big companies, what happens at a local level is often very different from national policy
The problem with very large companies that have scores of branches throughout the land is that the employees who deal with customers often tweak or totally misinterpret policies devised by the head office.
And not in a way that’s good for customers – or the company’s reputation.
A few years ago I investigated a classic example of this. A man went to a branch of the decor chain @Home to buy two coffee tables. He was told they’d be available within 10 working days, and made to pay an extra R350 as a delivery fee.
Standard practice, you may be thinking, but the fee wasn’t being levied for the delivery of the furniture from the shop to the customer’s home – he was planning to get them there in his own vehicle.
No, that R350 was to cover the cost of having those tables transported from @Home’s warehouse to the shop!
The head office quickly cleared that up as a misunderstanding by store staff, including the manager, and the customer was refunded.
Sadly, it seems such madness was not an isolated case.
Pieter Halgreen recently responded to a Game advert for a stove “special”.
But when he went to his local Game store in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, he was told he’d have to pay an extra R250 to get a stove delivered from the warehouse to the store, and told he’d have to wait seven to 14 days for delivery after making payment.
After he “made a big fuss” the store waived the R250 charge.
Game owner Massmart confirmed delivery fees were only charged for delivery to an address supplied by a customer.
“It is not Game’s policy to charge for delivery from a warehouse or a supplier to the Game store,” said communications executive Phumzile Siboza.
“We have instructed our operations director to investigate and revert with feedback as to why Mr Halgreen’s transaction was handled in this way.”
And then she said something very few corporates could bring themselves to say.
“We are so sorry and embarrassed.”
That beats the hell out of the tired, meaningless: “We apologise for the inconvenience.”