I find it quite disturbing with the audacity of your store manager at the Canal Walk store told my pregnant wife that she is not allowed to take a her child in a trolley with her to the bathroom. Clearly there were no Woolworths items in the trolley. All of the items were from other stores in the Centre which had been paid for in full. She was willing to leave the other trolley with items from Woolworths outside of the bathroom.
Does he not understand how badly pregnant women need to use the toilet when they need to go?
As you are aware, and I am going to state the obvious for you, all your staff are your brand ambassadors. Whether you like it or not your staff fly the Woolworths flag. Bad experiences with your staff loses customers which affects your company’s financial statements.
Discriminating against a pregnant women is not acceptable. Telling someone they may or may not use a toilet is disgusting. He made my wife go to the toilets by Mugg and Bean which is quite some distance. All the while trying to keep up her bladder under control when she was bursting for the toilet. Since when is it acceptable to leave children alone in stores? Has he never heard of kidnapping? How can he tell her that there are cameras in the store to keep an eye on her stuff and our child.
Sir, how would you feel if this had happened to your wife? Furious I would imagine.
Looking back at the situation, he had many choices which he could have taken than the path he chose, I can only guess that the most likely reason was due to him being lazy / not store manager material. The most obvious one to me would have been for him to offer to look after the trolley with my daughter sitting in it and the trolley with items from Woolworths in it while my wife went to the bathroom.
Doing a snap survey of other friends that have experienced the Woolworths Canal Walk, a bad pattern emerged. Do you not think that it would be advisable to rotate the store manager to work shadow your store managers at Cavendish, Blue Route, Kenilworth Centre or V&A Waterfront to learn from how those stores create better experiences than the store he manages badly and provides shocking customer service?
You lost a customer, being sent out of your store, she never returned to purchase the items she picked out prior. I can assure you we will never return.
An annoyed Woolworths Customer
P.S. My wife loves the Woolies Flower Shop’s Oriental Lillies. I would suggest you send her numerous bunches of those with an apology for your incompetent Store Manager and let her know the post mortem analysis of what Woolworths is doing to improve customer experience at Canal Walk and your other stores.
P.S.S I your Social Media team do not understand the meaning of Social Media. I posted onto the Woolworths Facebook Page about my wifes experience at your Canal Walk store today and the post was promptly deleted. They should have rather acknowledged the issue there and then. By replying that they would let senior management know about the issue and let me know how to get in touch with them would have prevented me writing this open letter to you. This is another example of bad social media management that will end up being taught to marketers at university in due course.
I have received email replies from Frances Nunes (Ian Moir’s PA) and Anita Scott, which I’m included below.
The reply from Frances Nunes:
Dear Mr Marneweck,
Thank you for copying in Mr Moir on the email. I am taking the liberty of forwarding this to Anita Scott, Head of our Customer Services Division for her to investigate and respond directly to you. She will feedback the outcome to
Mr Moir who will have sight of your email on his return to the office.
Many thanks for bringing this to his attention.
And the reply from Anita Scott:
Dear Mr Marneweck
Thank you for your e-mail and for bringing this matter to our attention.
Firstly, our sincere apologies for the lack of service, this is certainly not the manner in which we treat our valued customers.
I have spoken to Nicky February our Store Manager in Canal Walk, Nicky was not the manager who spoke to your wife, he is most upset to hear that one of his managers would act in this manner. Nicky is conducting a full investigation into this and will give me feedback shortly.
Please be assured that this matter has been taken very seriously and the necessary corrective action will be taken with the manager involved. I will ensure that you receive feedback as well as a letter of apology for Mrs Marneweck. Flowers is the least we can do to make up to her.
I would personally like to speak to your wife, would it be possible to forward me her contact details?
Once again, I am so sorry that we have disappointed you and we will have feedback for you within the course of this morning.
It should be noted that Woolworth’s Social Media team still have not replied or acknowledged that I have tweeted messages at them. Or replied about the fact that they remove posts from their Facebook page. I think the failure of their social media team should be a textbook example of how not to handle the situation. It also appears that going “Old School” and mailing their staff at their Head Office makes a difference.
Anita has managed to sort things out before lunch today (I’m a bit slow on following up on email today). Turned out the manager in question resigned two weeks ago and is unhappy that he has to work in his notice period. Anita and her team at Woolworths have sent a report back.
Regarding the Facebook post going missing that is due to some moderation efforts at Facebook that the word “toilet” appears to have triggered. The post is back on their Facebook pages’s wall.