…in so many ways, but especially if you’re disabled, and especially if you use the one in Upton, Wirral. But first, a little back-story…
Why? Well, despite many of the stores’ locations adjacent to the supermarkets, they are no part of Sainsbury’s. They are, in fact, owned by the group which owns Argos. Online, it’s actually a branch of Argos – the checkout process uses Argos’ deeply defective software, which assumes everyone lives in A House, on A Street in A Town – god help you if you live, as I do, anywhere that deviates from that simple-minded formula. It simply can’t cope with my address:-
X Post town
A simple format which I’ve never had any problem with (I do a huge amount of shopping online), except at Argos and, now, Homebase.
I placed an order with Homebase some weeks ago, and was unable to input my address correctly (it’s impossible, as an alternative to the above, to put Flat X, XXX Court, on one line, which would have solved the problem, because the line won’t accept more than about 6 characters. Just how unimaginably stupid is that, for it never to occur to anyone that someone may need to input more than just a simple number?
I have by the way, been shopping online for pretty much as long as it’s been possible to do so. Even in the early days there was nothing quite as retarded as the Argos/Homebase checkout address page. That’s because anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that there are a variety of address stiles in use – it’s not always simply number, street, town.
So, to make sure it had some chance of getting to me, I replied to the acknowledgement email, which displayed the wrong address, pointing out my correct address, and telling them that if they tried to deliver it to the pub a quarter of a mile away (which is what Argos have done in the past), I would be exceedingly displeased.
I got back an email promising to ensure the package bore my correct address. However, when it arrived, they’d completely fucked it up again. Luckily, it came by courier, not by Argos van, and most, if not all, of the courier drivers know where I am.
Today, though, I went to the Homebase store in Upton, Wirral, as I needed a few items. Sod’s Law, of course, dictated that what I wanted was up on the mezzanine. But, hey, the customer lift (elevator to my colonial readers), had an Out of Order notice on the door. To my certain knowledge that’s been there for at least 3 years; it looks like it, too, being torn, dog-eared and coffee-stained. Oddly, the lift was up on the mezzanine level, but didn’t sport an OoO notice. It was clearly turned off, though.
I managed to get up and down safely, if exceedingly painfully. Going up is painful, coming down again is downright dangerous, as my quads are atrophied, and with my knees bent my legs have very little strength. OK, that’s the case going up, too, but that’s not dangerous – it just (ha!), hurts.
So I thought, man, are Sainsbury’s in for a bollocking when I get home. No point in complaining to the staff – I’ve already done that. Cretins. However, to add insult to injury, the checkout numpty, picked a 10- quid item out of my basket, and asked if I’d like to put that on a Homebase storecard. WTF is wrong with these people?
I used a basket – I wanted 4 small items, max, I wasn’t going to impulse buy a sack of cement or a bloody door, so I saw no point in taking a trolley (and how would I have got the trolley up the bastard stairs?). At the checkout there was nowhere at all to put the empty basket. The words piss-up and brewery, with the inability to organise the former in the latter, sprang inevitably to mind. I refuse to believe no-one uses baskets – there’s a stack of the buggers by the door – so is providing somewhere to dump the things when they’re finished with too much to ask?
Then it dawned on me – it’s no longer Sainsbury’s. So, back home and off to the website to find out where I complain. The website deals ENTIRELY with the online operation. People who pitch up on foot – many hundreds in the course of a day – are completely disregarded – and we’re back in the brewery again.
There isn’t a link that says “Are we fuckwits? Please let us know…”. Er, how many guesses would you like?
Or one that says “Yes, we know we’re in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act, but we don’t give a shit…”.
There’s just this:-
For any other customer issue, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
What? They expect only one issue? Good luck with that!
I think we all know that anything sent to that address will wind up with some underpaid minion who couldn’t care less. The chances of anything getting to anyone senior enough to get the problem fixed is approximately the same as the chances of a snowflake in hell.
So I’ll see if I can track down the CEO online and pester him, in the meantime, I’ll just bitch at you lot.
It’ll probably do me as much good as moaning at Homebase anyway!