I had a rather bizarre experience in Marks & Spencer’s on Saturday, when I went in to buy a new jumper.

I saw the jumper I wanted, seemingly one of its kind.  I tried it on, and it fitted perfectly.  I was pleased with it and joined the queue to pay.  When I got to the counter the conversation went something like this.

Assistant:  “I can’t sell this to you.”

Me:  “Why not?  The jumper was on the shelves for sale with lots of others, and here’s my money.”

Assistant:  “I know, but sorry, you can’t buy it.”

The people behind me in the queue shuffled about and coughed.  I wondered if my face didn’t fit or whether my bank card looked a bit dodgy.  I tried again.

“Look.  I have my money ready and the jumper has a price tag on, so why can’t I buy it?”

Assistant:  “I will go and get the manager.  Please wait.”

So I waited.  About five minutes later the assistant returned with a grim-faced manager.

Manager:  “Sorry, but you can’t buy that jumper.”

Me:  “Can you please tell me why?”

Manager:  “If you wanted to bring it back, then we couldn’t give you a refund.”

Me:  “But I don’t want to bring it back… I want to wear it!”

Manager:  “It needs to go back to the manufacturers.  The others went back, but this one must have been missed.”

I couldn’t see anything wrong with it at all, and was becoming angrier by the minute.  The manager took it from me, and I found a different jumper and joined the queue again.

Me:  “Am I allowed to buy this one?”

The assistant smiled through half closed eyes and gritted teeth, as she rang up the purchase.

Who has ever heard of a customer not being able to buy something on the shelves that they want?  Whatever happened to the ‘customer is always right‘ saying?