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?