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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a complainer, I am willing to pay good money for good service and when I don't get it I email the company concerned and then wait for the response.
I complained to Carrefour six weeks ago by email and each week I remind them that they have yet to reply to my original complaint... and I am still waiting.
Today I was in Spinneys and put over 1000 pounds worth of toys in my trolley ( I have to buy these for a children's Xmas party) the assistant at the toy department was helpful and she watched me load the trolley and go on to do the rest of my shopping. Shopping done I went to the checkout and all my groceries and a few toys were scanned and then there were toys without bar codes on, the checkout assistant told me to take them and pay for them at the toy department! I of course refused and he fetched his supervisor and I told her the same, she in turn fetched her supervisor and he told me" take the toys to the toy department and pay for them there".. so I told them to keep everything and walked out of the store, they lost over 2000 pounds worth of sales... now the thing is I cannot find an email address to complain to the general manager plus the head office
Is there such a thing as Trading Standards ( I know this isn't the place to complain about lack of service) or any other organisation that actually helps the consumer here to complain and to get a response?
Maiden
 

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Sounds like the UK more and more - cannot wait to come over I should fit right in !!!!!!!!!

I am a complainer, I am willing to pay good money for good service and when I don't get it I email the company concerned and then wait for the response.
I complained to Carrefour six weeks ago by email and each week I remind them that they have yet to reply to my original complaint... and I am still waiting.
Today I was in Spinneys and put over 1000 pounds worth of toys in my trolley ( I have to buy these for a children's Xmas party) the assistant at the toy department was helpful and she watched me load the trolley and go on to do the rest of my shopping. Shopping done I went to the checkout and all my groceries and a few toys were scanned and then there were toys without bar codes on, the checkout assistant told me to take them and pay for them at the toy department! I of course refused and he fetched his supervisor and I told her the same, she in turn fetched her supervisor and he told me" take the toys to the toy department and pay for them there".. so I told them to keep everything and walked out of the store, they lost over 2000 pounds worth of sales... now the thing is I cannot find an email address to complain to the general manager plus the head office
Is there such a thing as Trading Standards ( I know this isn't the place to complain about lack of service) or any other organisation that actually helps the consumer here to complain and to get a response?
Maiden
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Micki,
It really is frustrating the lack of service and honestly don't bother with a guarantee because they are not worth the paper they are written on.
My washing broke down, got the man out, he looked and told me to phone him the next day.. did so... told they would phone back after 30 minutes... 2 hours later I phoned and had to go through everything... no such thing as a job number here... told to ring back after the feast... when after the feast?.... after the feast... but when after the feast? a year? a month? when?
After the feast... then he hung up on me lol that was last Tuesday
 

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The level of customer service may not be to the level of our expectations but it may be wonderful to Egyptians who have never experienced what is excellent customer service. And as long as Spinneys and Carrefour and others are attracting local Egyptians, who cares what the few stupid foreigners living here think. After all, where else can these foreigners run to to buy their groceries? In the end, we still to crawl back to these hyperstores. There is no other better alternative. I know this type of reasoning is very short sighted but sadly, this is the perspective adopted by many Egyptians.
A couple of weeks ago, I met this Egyptian Chairman of a restaurant. He was looking to hire a consultant to help him market his restaurant. He told me very proudly that the customer service in his restaurant is way above Egyptian average. I suggested to him that since his target customers are foreigners, he should aspire to bring his level of customer service to that of Europe/American standard. He was offended by this statement, saying that since these foreigners are in Egypt, they should expect Egyptian level of customer service. Needless to say, I did not get the contract because I am a foreigner who does not know how to market to foreigners. He offer the contract to an Egyptian instead (partly also because he is cheaper I guess).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rose I agree with your sentiments but it still doesn't mean Egyptian customer service shouldn't be given a shake.
Complaining does work in the big hotels in that they offer you something...but the lesson is never learned because it is just the same the next time you go back.
Would anyone use the Marriott terrace is it wasn't for location? No, the service there is nothing short of scandalous.
 

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Hi Maiden
"Shops with in Shops" ..."Malls with out walls"...
Welcome to the growing global trend. From Harrods to Singapore, to NZ, mainly branded shops or franchised shops operating independantly within the main shop.
My understanding is the Toy Shop, Computer shop, Electronics shop, now trade as individual businesses, they have their own individual cash registers.
The fault is with the toy shop assistant who let you continue shopping without paying for your toy purchases.
(at least it better than the government own department stores here, where you are given a invoice and have to take to the cashier to pay on the ground floor and then return to the department to pick up your purchases usually climbing numereous flights of stairs)

There is a growing number of local businesses that are realising the value of the expat community, and are finding that by improving their practises to met expat expectations, is very profitable. The expat community can be easily targeted, and very profitable.
 

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Inshallah, one day, you will receive a reply from them. And talking about government own department stores here, where one is given an invoice, pay the cashier who is on the ground floor and then return to the department to pick up your purchases.... I think this is a communist invention here or could this be the practice in the 50s? (I've no idea since I wasn't born then, but can anyone advise on this). It is the same in China and other communist (or post communist) countries I went to. The intention seems to be to create more jobs and to discourage shoppers (as the stores in these countries used to be very empty anyway)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No I dont think it is a communist practice as it was very prevalent in the Caribbean the last time I was there..2001 Yes I am sure it is a way of providing jobs and it must also be a way of keeping a tight control on the money taken as you pay a central cashier. It is not just government shops here that does it, lots of little shops also do it and I am quite sure it is the owner of the shop that sits and takes the money, writes out the receipt etc.
 

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If we take a slice out of the history pages, we would notice that the cash register was invented in the late 1800s. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many shops in Alexandria implemented in the cash register and applied the tight control as mentioned by ArabRose.

Again, as Maiden mentioned, the cashier was typically the owner of the shop as he wanted to ensure to do 2 jobs (inventory control and cash control). Many of the shops that were established in the early 1900s in Alexandria still have this system (almost all the shops on Saad Zaghloul street use the aforementioned system). For touristic purposes, one of the shops on Saad Zaghloul even has cash registers from the early 1900s shown as a display of history (last time I checked I think they had 3 old registers on display).

Nowadays, many of today's operations management folks would claim that it helps with queuing. It provides the customer with a sense of having to go through a process which takes time, but actually the process provides the necessary time for the merchant to get ready to finalize the sale. Thus, there are some operational benefits to using such a process (think of food preparation shops, such as bakeries)
 
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