ASDA – FERRING – NOT supporting customer in store food donations to charities.It really isn’t about the money,Service counts for so much

Today unfortunately I have to blog about some  appalling customer service.And a shocking Lack of support for local charities shown by my local Asda Store

I had the misfortune to go to visit my local Asda Ferring to return a product which was broken.My issue is not about the actual product although I will come on to that in a short while my issue is how appalling the service was.capture

I had also visited the store with my youngest son to look at the Halloween goods and decorations for the house that he wanted to buy

The product i was returning was simply a pair of jeans that I had worn about 5 or 6 times the problem with the jeans was that the little tag on the zip has broken and therefore they were not usable

This should surely be a simple procedure of Taking Back the broken jeans and exchanging for a new pair however as there were none in my size available at the store  that were out on display I picked the next best suitable pair .I tried them on and decided I would take those when I went to the customer service desk who makes the transaction I was charged an additional £10.00 extra because the selected pair  were different to the ones I brought back and the ones I have brought back were possibly at the lowest price they have been sold at  since I had bought them.

I was not happy about this and therefore I dared to question this with the person who has done the exchange (Sam). Then colleagues were called   and there was lots of going to warehouses and looking for stock and another person at the customer service desk that came to help me who said “we would sort out of Goodwill” because of the mistakes.

Finally somebody came back from the warehouse with the exact same style of jeans I had brought into the store and it was a simple exchange and swap this you would think would be the end of the problem however when I went to see the lady who had told me about the Goodwill she genuine  gave me a £3 Goodwill Asda card. So trying to show my son that you pass these things on  when you get the opportunity , I told him to go and get something from the shop ( and we would top it up ) that we could give to a food bank  or a charity or some other good cause that the store was collected for.

Whilst I was talking to the lady in the store about my disgust that there was not a food bank I could give a small amount of shopping to she actually said to me that if I wanted to talk to the manager of the store he was actually walking towards us and my comment quite loudly when he came past was it’s no good talking to the managers here because nothing gets done surely this would have been some form of maybe a trigger or something that the manager could have observed and may be stopped and said is there anything I can do but no unfortunately the manager of  Asda Ferring just walked on by.

This is the whole reason for me blogging about this sorry incident I think it is disgusting that  if people want to buy food and donate to a charity of the stores choice  then there should be a facility for them to be able to do that in-store

As a family  we have done this at a Tesco store I believe we’ve also done it in Salisbury’s as well however it appears that Asda Ferring store don’t want to support the local food banks and charities that are around them at store level  and they don’t want their customers to  either  .

So in a very brief summary I personally would not use Asda Ferring because the service is terrible they’re solution is to throw  you a good will gift card at you, and then when you want to pass that on to somebody else or to another organisation and help those less fortunate you can’t do it so just for the record we gave the gift card to the next person that we saw came into the shop we pointed out (Sharon)  as the lady who had said probably that we shouldn’t do this and lady and husband that we gave it to were really really really pleased. Asda Ferring my opinion is you need to sharpen up your customer service. Whilst for you as part of the massive multinational  Chain, its all about the Profits. This is not the case when it  comes to your customers. I  also now have to explain to a young child why we can give to a charity box or trolley  in your store.

No, I was not paid for the blog, The opinions are mine based on events and service I experienced Yes, we did  give away the gift card to some one we didn’t know

 

 

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Driving Theory test Practice – cos we can all do with a refresher from time to time

So once again, Autumn nights, winter just around the corner. Driving at night, sleet, snow, and frost, all the things that really should keep you off the road …….

Me, I was lucky enough to get a refresher session with a great driving instructor last year , even though I thought I knew it all , a few hours with  Wendy Wiseman  showed me how wrong  I was , i’m sure if you contact Wendy via her FB page  she will be able to advise you  mirror

But road safety I take  to heart, so I was pleased to find on the back of the HUKD  site  the following   which can only help , and I guess if it saves one accident then that’s good

http://www.gov.uk/practise-your-driving-theory-test

Happy & safe  driving

 

If you get great service – Tell as many people as you can – Alleyoops of Worthing

And today i think it’s a good  one to blog . Because the service is THAT  good, and the guy there is THAT Helpful .

What a great  Place to Buy  Skate parts and boards – Alleyoops – Worthing 

Those that  follow  my blog will know that  me and the family  ” skate “, it’s just one of the things we do .We have skated in many places around  the world, and the UK , and as a result  we have to buy  spares and stuff for our skates.

downloadNow in this part of the world there  are 2 main ” shops” that you can go into  for bits that you need, and i have bought  from both of them , I wish i had found the second one first, as  in my opinion the service is just a whole lot better

The shops are  ESP ( in chichester )   and  Alleyoops  (in worthing )

Now  before I get slammed for a negative blog , let me qualify  this  for you , as not negative .I bought skates in ESP, and I wasn’t in any way displeased with them .3165 My son uses them, has skated marathons +  in them and they are great skates ( just for the record  they are blade runners )
and they are a great brand . This Blog is not to detract  from ESP, simply to say that if, for you  it comes down to service  and help is what  you need , Maybe like me  you like to support the high street  then there is more than one place you con look around here

Now we find  that we are looking for a Long-boardMindless Hunter Longboard ML2200 for him, so we went back to ESP, having done our WWW research on the  models we wanted to have a look at . As soon as we mentioned that we had looked on the www , we were told that ” no one would be selling at the prices we were quoting , Bit of a shame that i had  the www page on my mobile , and we left with the feeling that  ESP didn’t really want to actually advise us on a board.this was a surprise

So when we were in Worthing  this weekend and we saw Alleyoops  me and number 01 son popped in, yes, we bought some skate  spares that we needed , and we had been before  but 6 months previously for other spares. the man in the shop recognized us.  told  Number 01 son to  get down the boards he wanted to look at , let him ” test them”  and  was really helpful  on advice .

So we  have now identified the board we want, and know where we will be getting it, In fact i have had a look online when I got home and  although the Alleyoops  website is not  fully up yet, I’m sure that  the prices are keen. and the service is as I say  BRILLIANT

Also as a nice thing, every person that bought goods  in Alleyoops , I heard the guy actually say Thank you to each person . How  ” old school ” is that ..Brilliant

So for a  Huge range of Roller Skates, in lines, including Rollerblade.  aggressive skates, Ice skates, Hockey skates

 

Alleyoops of Worthing  ( right on the seafront, opposite the pier )

Alleyoops South Coast Ltd
Unit 2 Marine Parade,
Worthing,
West Sussex,
BN11 3PU

Tel – 01903216194 (Mon-Sat 10:30-17:00  Sun 11:00-16:00)

This is NOT a sponsored blog, I have received no Payment  or goods for it

and once again, Shimla Pinks – Birmingham Did not dissapoint

 Shimla Pinks Indian Restaurant, Birmingham One again , up  we all went from work  to the NEC for the energy Event. What a busy show, what a great  exhibition. What a long day, talking about  ” Watts”  no pun intended……

The day was made a whole lot easier  when we were told we were doing  for dinner at Shimla Pinks 

All i can say about  this place is WOW  for the food,

Amazing  service, and this time i asked for the gents name ” it translates appareShimla Pinks Birminghamntly to mike ”

Gorgeous desert, and an overall  excellent end to a very long and tiring day

I cant comment  on value as i wasn’t paying, but we all went for choice of the presidents banquet  which was lovely , and Just right for me

I know there are a lot of similar places in Birmingham , however  if you want a recommendation for a great  meal in a lovely clean  restaurant  at a relaxed pace

 

 

 

So what do you do , when you have had the Best of something in the world ……..?

Well. the TV   & media are telling us that  Autumn is here. all the stores  are selling Christmas goods already. and  Halloween is just around the corner….

So time to look back on a summer that was pretty good for  the oldmanleslie  clan.  And leaves us with only 2 problems

When  I run a blog that started off as ” the sneaky latte” and was supposed to give  a guide where to get the best  & avoid the worst. What can I do now I have had many trips to what was the BEST COFFEE SHOP IN THE WOIMAG0783RLD  in my opinion

IMAG0775I guess everything  else will have to compare to it. Just for the record This place I mention, will respond to the ” please make me a nice cup of coffee” challenge that  most places  wont do ,  the response was to  give me   a peach latte so smooth that the peach is  at the bottom, un mixed  so I could  do it just as I wanted.

And then  when I asked for a drink to cool me down, not knowing that there was Iced latte available, I was so very surprised to see that out came the best IMAG0784vanilla iced latte I have ever had, with   just the right amount  of  pure hand-made vanilla ice cream in it, the perfect summer drink  .

So there in lies the problem,  I have now had the best coffee in the world,  many times, so I know its consistent, served excellently  and I know everything else will be second best now.

 

The second problem is  along the same lines.  When as a family you have had the privilege of  going to one of the best worlds best hotels ( acknowledged by some as the best  ) and had a peek at the sort of service that other places can only aspire to. What do you do to avoid disappointment  by comparison in  future

Just for the record, the hotel in question for the coffee  was    and it was the staff in the restaurant  IMPERIUM  that made meal time so  special and something to look forward to

 

My only other comment / picture as if it were needed is of what i consider to be the best hotel in the world, based on our experience as a family. the  staff can’t do enough  for you , there is an air of confidence in the place , and  every aspect of the time we had there was perfect  and without improvementIMAG0720

 

In answer to the title of the blog, simple …..work hard, save pennies and take the next generation of “oldmanLeslie’s if & when they arrive into the world ……that should give me a few years to look forward to it.

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“What a real ” WOW ” of a place, with just the right amount of ” just what was needed “”

What an excellent place for a family meal, we went to celebrate a bit of an occasion for us . the Buffet was excellent
, the food was fresh, presented beautifully . Drinks were a little expensive, but not too overpriced in my opinion ( remember this is Dubai and it’s just not the same as the UK or Europe ) . the rose for my wife was a pleasant surprise , as was the very tasty gift .At the Burj

Our youngest son wasn’t charged for his ” drink of choice ” at all.

 

I accept that  normally  now  you have to pay a lot for good service, well at the burj,  I can say that i don’t think i paid anything like the level of excellent service  we received

A very special thank you to” Mohit ” as he prepared a dish especially for my son. Yes, the main chef in a world-class restaurant took and 8-year-old child ” fully a la carte ”  this really made an impression on my son 

also to

“Ivan”, one of the senior management team. who was kind enough to take time out of his day to come and talk to us. and arranged a personal tour of the hotel,

and also to

the waiter  who went way beyond the call of duty  and ” played ” with my son  out on the beach in the evening as my son said it was a little cold in the restaurant.

The staff even  managed to explain WHY  this is a 7  star hotel

The staff in the restaurant and the hotel have an obvious pride in what they do , and it shows. Even the  things inside the hotel are worth a few minutes to watch

It is so very easy to see why this restaurant should well be one of the best in the world

Located  on the  Ground floor, Burj Al Arab | PO Box 74147, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Thank you to Ivan and his team 

 

+971 4 301 7600
Website
E-mail

So its the simple ideas that are often the best

On a recent great holiday to Dubai with the family, whilst sat on a beach, on the palm, in near 50C heat. i was  pleased to see that the Hotel  Give out free water and ice lollies to their guests during the day.  I guess it’s just one of those things that is a ” nice touch ” and   for this i say well done jumeriah.

The downside to a major hotel giving out bottles of water , all iced and cold in branded bags and nice for the guests is that there is a lot of Bottles left  that have to go to recycling.  So  Why should i choose  to blog about rubbish , well anyone that  knows me will know  of the company i work for  ” Tempcon” and through them i got to hear  about  the  WFAA. The link will tell you what they do , basically  my ” knowing of them ” has changed the way i think about waste

so lets cut through this, My  Idea was  to  simply condense  the bottles down before sending to recycling, there by optimising the space required, reducing the number of vehicles needed to move the bottles and  save fuel etc etc etc.

So My thanks go to the team  at the JUMEIRAH ZABEEIsaac LwakiL SARAY hotel  firstly  for giving me time with their managers to explain  the idea to them and for putting me in contact with   this man ( I wont name him  as it wouldn’t be fair  to him to directly), I’m sure that Jumeriah will do something good with Any money that they save as an international chain of hotels. As its part of their Green Globe  accreditation   . Also a big thank you for the things that the Hotel arranged for us as a gift.  My photo doesn’t do the suggestion any favours really but I hope you can see what was suggested .

 

It’s Just Nice to see that  a truly global brand will listen to a customer, will take feedback , and will also  act on it  quickly and effectively, I will be feeding this back to the managers  that I dealt with directly

Well done  Jumeriah 

 

 

 

Sparks yard – Arundel – West Sussex – update, its just gets better

And then, just when i thought i had seen all the good things at this place, they advertise

20% OFF EVERYTHING THIS WEEKEND ONLY!!
The weather is looking all over the place this weekend so to tempt you out of the house on a wet Saturday and out of the garden on a sunny Sunday we are offering you a fantastic 20% off your shopping bill all weekend! We have tonnes of fantastic new stock and we want you to come and see it!! JUST QUOTE ENGLISH SUMMER at the till to receive your discount.

T’s&C’s – Discount not available on food or drinks from our coffee bar. This offer may not be used in conjunction with any TLC discount and TLC stamps will not be issued for discounted purchases. This offer is only valid on 07/06/14 & 08/06/14

 

 

So on a dismal  bank holiday Monday,  In normally Sunny Sussex,  when  you are tired , and just looking for that little lift / Sparkle  in your day. you decide on a little retail therapy, Asda,Tesco,sainsburys, seem to sell everything, just the same as each other…..

So you look for the Independent ” curio ” shop. some where  that you know you Sparks Yard will  be appreciated, and there will be Nice things to look at, gadgets to buy, gizmos to  think ” why do i need that ”   and  up on the first floor ( until the work is done on their new place ) Great  coffee & cafe facilities. These are the facilities at the moment.  its gonna be good to see how they improve , apparently  its about a month or so off

 

So what added Sparkle to my dull afternoon, a root beer ( proper american )  float  with extra marshmallows, and a yummy Big Old Slab of cake… other gorgeous things that ended up on our  Table, Big old slices of toast & peanut butter ,  a  smoothie that  apparently was lovely, so lovely i didn’t get  to try it , and for the little oldmanleslie, a smartie cookie that filled him up so he couldn’t eat his brownie.

So yes, I like the independent, I  generally go back to what i enjoy, and if it’s this good ,then I tell people about it.

Add to that the imported food section , and  i think the expression is OMG . I came out with  a butterfinger bar, not sure why i had to share it but  all liked it,  space dust that i havent had for years, so i felt like a child again,  and some squeezable candy( the like of which i have never tasted ) 

So in summary, if you are in  arundel for a day , for a holiday , or just for and hour or 2 and you fancy something a LOT different then  Sparks yard is definitely worth a visit

 

Just for the record, NOT a sponsored blog, we paid for what we had, it really was THAT good

 

 

 

2 good things happened today

So following on from my Horrible day yesterday £40.00 to travel 100 miles on public transport in horrible cramped conditions, I was out there again today in the big wide world, ironically about the same mileage, but under my own steam. I actually got 48 MPG from the car and that was mostly Town  driving , so in direct cost £13.00 of fuel covered it . and I could talk  to people ( hands free of course , as it came as standard )  without the fear of someone in the carriage listening to me  so the Difference was I enjoyed every single mile , which put me in a better frame of mind for each meeting….. this must be what they term ” advancement through technology

My car, My radio , and one of my favourites of ALL time played. enjoyed it so much, had to come home, you tube it and find 9.00 minutes plus of sheer indulgence

all in all , I had a great day so if there is ” karma” I Hope you have had a great day too

Enjoy the tune,

It just wasn’t very nice …..

Bairds New Entrance!

Just up the road from us  on the A259 at a quaint little village call Clymping is  Bairds farm shop, Its been there for a long time. and it sells all the nice  things that you would  expect. www.bairdsfarmshop.co.uk/ is the web site and as i say you will find all sorts of nice things in the shop,  There is also one of the best Butchers in the area in there as well.bairds145

My review is not in a section called ” is this a great place to shop “,

It’s all about the sharing, and yesterday when  me and 2 of the Leslie Clan were passing we thought we would try the coffee shop out which is now billed as a restaurant. I have been in there as a coffee shop on a few occasions, for work with clients as its near the seaside , I have been in there as ” thirsty” customer and enjoyed a ” sneaky latte”

This time MRS oldmanleslie was with me, that’s easy , a pot of tea  & a slice of coffee cake ( that she didn’t finish ).and it certainly didn’t look like  bairds078 as  shown on their www

“Little- est ” Leslie  had his current favourite  of Burger  and chips.He did like that he could have as much Tommy sauce as he wanted

The issue I had was that once again I seemed to  be able to find the Most ” card board” burger  in the count.  It was as the menu card described a lamb burger , and it had all that it said it would  in it. It Just was not Nice , it wasn’t  moist.

So here is my question. and  I guess you can answer in comments if you see this:

Should a business do all that it does  very well, and do more of it ?

Or

Should all businesses try to be all things to all people and hope that customers accept adequate

In summary, Baird’s  @BairdsFarmShop1   is great for shopping, gardening stuff, BBQ and the like, and its a nice place to sit  and have a sneaky  coffee….. i will add that i was asked if everything was Ok  but this was ONCE i had paid.

But as a restaurant, It wasn’t good yesterday

What a great Thing for someone who has been driving for 20+ Years

Earlier this year whilst looking around the WWW, I came across an offer on HUKD for a spot of Driver ” training “. like most of the prematurely Silver surfers out there that find these sorts of things and think its brilliant, I clicked to investigate it.

I drive as part of my Job, Not millions of Miles a year, but enough for me and more than some would want, I’m lucky that i have a Great car. At Christmas, i don’t always mind being the Duty driver

Any way, back to the training, i set up the account, and waited to hear back, it only Took about 2-3 days then I met Wendy , the driving instructor you can Contact her via mirror

This lady was amazing, i thought i was obviously the best driver on the road, and that i drove perfectly,car Turns out there is room for improvement and on a 2 hour session Wendy managed to Point out so many little Things i was doing that could be improved, it really spurred me on. This year i will be asking Santa for an IAM membership and i will keep you posted  on how that goes I can only imagine that if you were 17 and looking for a Great teacher to show you How to drive , as opposed to just getting you through your test, Wendy would be one of the best.car2

this one should not need blogging really, But What EXCELLENT service

So the whole purpose of my Blog is  the sharing of information, When some one gets it wrong,  help them to put it right.

So when a Major Multi national Company Gets it  SOOOO right, do i tell the world ( or at least the little bit of it that see’s my  blog )

Hell Yes i do ….

Vistaprint. Make an impression.  Order placed online at  8.00pm on a Sunday night  for a few bits and bobs…..

Goods delivered to me  TODAY ( Tuesday )  before Midday .

All Good  and as described,

Thank you Vista print for Excellent service

Cant comment on the other sites in the world, but i used  ” .co.uk”

What a great Place to shop,

so you may have seen my ” Glasto ” Blog, what a brilliant day we had there, something absolutely amazing to see and something that we will do again I’m sure .

Its not often that you walk into a shop when you are just Mooching and  spend a long time in there, its even less likely that you will actually go back to a store. But this  place i found ticked all the boxes. Image

Really unusual ( to me any way ) things, Clothes, figures, hats, things for mums, dads, and  just about everyone.

It turned out the lady i spoke to was the manager. What a really nice lady she was too.

I wish i could have bought her Monkies, or budgies / parrots on the day, they looked brilliant and i wish i had not resisted, Who knows, when i am back next year, if they are still there Image

Any way , well worth a visit and in my opinion, it has more ” glastonbury ” in it than any other ” glastonbury ” shop

I guess the obvious way to see what they do is  https://www.facebook.com/lilithofavalonltd?fref=ts

 

Its how you handle it that is important ……

Any one that knows me, knows that  one of the things i hold as important is Good service, I think that if you Give good service it will help to calm many situations and  there shouldn’t be anything you cant sort out …..

Warwick Castle

I am not going to name people in this blog as that would be unfair to them, and to the organisations that they represent, it will all become clear, and i will notify them of this post 

About  a year ago whilst  we were on a stay cation ( the buzzword for what used to be called a UK holiday ) We decided that  it would be  good to take the Boys for a day in Warwick castle. To show the history etc and all the heraldry that goes with it, Now i know that the internet is full of offers for places like this, but this was a spur of the moment decision and we  decided to go  and see. Well, we had an Ok day in the Castle , loads to see and do for the Boys , and a great show in the dungeon, but when we worked out what the day had cost us overall, i felt that it wasn’t good value for Money , so when we left and i was asked had we had a good day , i told someone what i thought.  I think they were a little surprised by my comments. but they went and got someone who actually listened to what i was saying. and after a conversation about the ” value ” and how we felt, we left the site.  Warwick castle is a long way from home  for us. so we didn’t simply want to go back and  have another day  there, we felt that we had seen the castle at its best and that was enough.

Merlin Entertainments

The Merlin groups representative that we had spoken to , true to their word, stayed in contact  and  arranged for us to  see what the group could do at another site and  tried all they could to put the bad feeling  behind us, So off we went to chessington, a place which i had very fond memories of as a teenager, this was at Easter, and as the park had just opened for the year, not everything was ready, not all the rides were open, so it wasn’t a good day . which we reported back to the Merlin contact . At this point some companies would draw a line under it all, and the comments would be forgotten, the emails lost , and the customer left  feeling confused. This is not the case with Merlin , Their man-made sure that we went back to chessington, we saw all we wanted to see, and that we had a great time there.  He liaised with the guys locally who really  help us have a great day . the kids loved it, my memories were confirmed, the day was excellent.

Chessington World of Adventures

)

My point is  that  even though i had to pay fuel etc, lunches, drinks, and all the other things that kids have once inside the gates of a theme park, The service that i had received to get me there was excellent.  I didn’t go in to  shout the odds at the team at the castle , i was calm with them . factually correct. and they listened. their customer service is excellent and i would thoroughly recommend a day out at chessington to any one. I can only hope that  the other sites in the group are as good, i suppose i will have to try one each summer.

In closing , to the people who helped me, Thank you very much

a bedroom should be a place you can sleep in …..

All I can say about this hotel is that the Shower Pod / Room was basic, clean but Basic, The room was Small, with 2 single beds( not connected ) this was ok for me as I was on my own. The Cooling fan / AC didn’t work so the room was so hot at night ( room 501 ) I had to open the window…Not a good move as very noisy and still hot , so not a lot of sleep … Breakfast was Ok however it looked like it had been “under the lights” a long time .

 

I raised the issue of the AC not working with the lady at the desk the following morning; she said she would let me know once she had spoken to her manager. This never happened. All I can assume is that in the country she originates from this is classed as customer service as I have used ibis before and they have been much better at service

 

Hotel Ibis , Emblem, in Deutschland

 

does premium price assure quality of service…..

Whilst staying at Center Parcs in Elveden. Me and the family had what I can only describe as an experience of the worst customer service I have seen in a long time. I have full details of who said what…and when. Is it right to name and shame…..also the good things that happened