Today has been a long day - our annual 1hr and 50 mins drive to the Meadowhall complex in Sheffield to Christmas shop from 9 until we get kicked out at 7. Only this year, due to the fact that I seredipitously got a large tax rebate yesterday we got a bit distracted into buying stuff for ourselves.
Save for a copy of Quiltmania Meadowhall is bereft of quilt stuff ( oh except I bought some very expensive pillowcases and contemplated buying an extra set to cut up so I knew I could match the colour in an end of bed quilt throw!), so we focused on electrical goods instead, in particular new TV and DVD recorder.
Not knowing anything about DVDs I asked various 'salesmen' various questions in various shops. All answers were useless. A Sample: Q: I want to be able to pause live TV. Which players do that? A: That's a good question.
Then we stumbled on the Sony Center Shop. All questions were answered in simple detail. There was no hard sell. There was a 10% sale on everything and the TV was already reduced anyway. We checked that we got 10% off everything we wanted, including the TV, then went away to think over a cup of tea. We decide we will never find a better deal and return to buy it. We find Justin, the same cheery little Yorkshire guy who helped frst time round and say, "Right, so do you want to sell us this package of DVD, TV and stand then?"
"Of course. So you want me to get you a better deal? Just hang on I'll see what I can do."
Well, be my guest!!
His manager allowed him to knock £25 of the DVD and £25 off the stand. We checked that we still got the 10% off the resulting price. Yes we did. Bargain! We agree to buy and he suggests that as the stock is split between a store room and an offsite warehouse,we go and do more shopping and he will ring when it is all on site.
He rings soon after. We return. He apologises and says that he brought the wrong stand over from the warehouse but as he was intending to carry all our stuff through the mall to our car anyway he suggests we just drive with him to the nearby warehouse and get the stand on our way home. Fine. Justin puts the order in the till with the manager instructing him how to do the discount. By this time it is gone six and I am dead on my feet. I have been handing the credit card out all day and knowing we have done the deal already I am slow to react when he tells us the sum due and just stick my PIN in. Then, with receipt in my purse, my brain starts to go.... hey, hang on that can't be right, can it? But Justin looks happy. Dennis - who can count in his head - looks OK with it, so we leave.
Just as we get to the door there is a little conflab between Justin and the manager and then he bounces out, all smiles, to meet us. He waits until we get out of earshot of the shop and then says, "You got a good deal there you know. We did the discount wrong and gave you too much." I still can't get my head around it but we establish that he is not going to lose his job and that the shop policy is - we made the mistake, customer wins out! How far is that from my Carcraft experience?!
So three very loud cheers for Sony Centre customer service ethic..... especially as we later realised that they had not given us £25 off the DVD and the stand. They had sold us them for £25! The extra discount over and above what we expected was £364!
(And for any salespeople out there, yes Justin was on commission, yes he did lose out and yes we did slip him cash to make it up to him!)