Computer says no – new levels of idiocy?

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

  • scott1nthesky
    Participant

    With the frustrations I (and many of you on here) have endured to travel for business and leisure recently, I didn’t think the bar for stupidity could be set any lower than the recent combined horrors of BA, Swissport, and Air France. It turns out I was wrong.

    Travelling through LCY this afternoon, I tried to buy a New York Times from WHSmith. I know everything is available online, but I spend so much time on my laptop that I prefer to get news and opinion pieces from the print edition; it’s an occasional treat for me when I don’t need to spend the whole flight writing.

    I couldn’t pay for the newspaper at the self-service kiosk; it gave me an error message. The staffed checkout was unstaffed…I found a member of staff after some searching and they came to help. Events unfolded as follows:

    Staff: “Oh, it won’t scan. We can’t sell this anymore.”

    Me: “What do you mean?”

    Staff: “Well it won’t scan. So we can’t sell it. It must’ve been removed from sale”

    Me: “But it’s today’s paper…it must’ve been delivered today? And it’s on display over there…”

    Staff: “Yep, but you can’t buy it.”

    Me: “What will you do with this now? “

    Staff: “We’ll destroy it because we can’t sell it. You can choose another newspaper…”

    There was no hint of irony or humour, I believe he was genuinely serious. I walked past 20 minutes later and the same newspapers were still stacked up on display.

    I didn’t think the inability to buy a newspaper would feature on this month’s travel frustrations 😀

    13 users thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    scott1nthesky, let´s just hope that level of crass stupidity doesn´t extend to the new security screening hires !!

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    Likely a recruit from the airport management team looking for advancement.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    PatJordan
    Participant

    I had to read this twice, and then check that it wasn’t Friday 13th !!!

    That a shop offers a product for sale, only to refuse to take payment for same product beggars belief. Surely these new fangled tills have a facility to manually input an item which will not scan….or does staff training not include this?

    And therein lies the problem: in the race to the bottom in staffing costs, the concept of customer service has all but disappeared.

    Maybe WH Smith should ask Michael O’Leary’s advice: just imagine him refusing payment!!

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    _glbetrkkr_
    Participant

    Perhaps selected another NYT from the stack? Somewhere from the middle of the stack? 😂😂😂😂😂 The clerk did say to select another paper

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    esselle
    Participant

    Was the employee perhaps last working in BA’s IT department?

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    BPP
    Participant

    This does confirm WH Smiths retail position nationwide ‘At the bottom of the pile’.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    Not much different from Tesco ! I picked up the last W_End FT to discover that the supplement was missing. It did not particularly worry me so I included it in my would be purchases. Mentioned it to the cashier thinking maybe there were other copies at the back of the store. The supervisor checked this out but then said they could not sell it to me as it was incomplete even though I was prepared to pay the full price !

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    johnnyboy69
    Participant

    I need to lie down in a darkened room after reading this….

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Frank
    Participant

    Next time (God forbid there IS a next time), you might respond by saying….”Let me save you the trouble. I’ll trash the newspaper myself. No need to thank me”

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    RoyJones
    Participant

    I’m not convinced the decision was as idiotic as made out. A part of the newspaper was missing so it could not be sold. Th
    e staff should have taken it off the shelves but hadn’t. Imagine going into a restaurant ordering a steak with baked potato and salad and only the steak comes out because they have run out of baked potatoes and salad. You would be somewhat “disappointed” and probably not expect to pay the menu price. Same with the newspaper except there is no price in the computer for just one part of the paper, ie its unsaleable.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    To me the above are not a parallel situations as any restaurant would routinely let the customer know what was and was not available at the time of ordering. And I don’t understand the writers logic as to why the paper could not be sold given that the purchaser was not asking for a discount or at all concerned about the missing section.
    It is reasonable to expect a basic modicum of common sense to prevail in this simple situation.

    9 users thanked author for this post.

    Chris in Makati
    Participant

    I’d have been inclined to leave the payment for it in cash, tucked out of sight somewhere behind the unmanned manual checkout desk. If possible do it in full view of any CCTV and walk out with the paper.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    nevereconomy
    Participant

    If you think this is idiocy, you clearly have not tried to claim your State Pension after deferring It………………

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    WilliamRead
    Participant

    Well made point. Not long ago my local WHS high street store was very well run, with a manager who was visible in the store most of the time, and who was well known to all the regular customers. Now no manager (if there is one) is ever seen, and staff are few and far between. Formerly a top store on any high street, but not any longer.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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