Thursday, 15 November 2012

'It's Nice to be Nice'.

    Am I the only one fed up with Melvyn King constantly appearing on television telling us all how the 'bad times' are here to stay. (A man who 'didn't see it coming' and he's only the Governor of the Bank of England).
    I spend too much time discussing whether life is harder than it was in our youth, a long time ago indeed! Times are hard, but not for everyone. Plus I reckon we ordinary mortals are only sold half the story, we get only half the picture. some are doing very well, thank you very much in these hard recessional times.
    The greedy failed bankers still receive massive index linked pensions for life. The energy companies are caught out fiddling the figures so as to inflate their profits. Little or nothing will happen. The price of oil has dropped dramatically over many months, the price of fuel to you and me has hardly changed over the same period. Starbooks, Amazon, Google, all morally corrupt, contributing very little to our country in taxes, despite earning massive profits from their UK dealings.  I suspect we could wipe out much of our debts if we REALLY wished to nail those profiting at our expense. All the aforementioned, I feel, contributes overall to the 'mood/feeling' within the country. A 'feeling' that can be reflected in our day to day lives, both as 'buyers and sellers'. And how we ALL live our lives will affect the mood of the country.                            .
    T K MAX. An international retailer in the USA, Poland, the UK and Canada. Recently opened its 1000th store. Originally of the 'pile 'it high and sell it cheap' philosophy.
My wife bought a rucksack/bag from T K Max that unfortunately suffered a defect in a strap that made the bag unusable. (Have you seen what women carry in their bags!) She took it back and explained the bag had special sentimental value. A cheerful young chap went to the trouble of sorting the problem 'How about £30 to have the bag mended?' he suggested. A visit to a cheery shoe shop, Greens Footwear Ltd in Allenton       and two days and £4 later, job done. Well done all concerned. Happy smiling faces all round.
    CURRYS. Originated from the efforts of Henry Curry who first made bikes in 1884. also Currys Digital Stores. Owned by Dixons.(PC World) around 400 shops/stores.
My wife bought a microwave from Currys. It was fine but developed a fault in the plastic casing. We were horrified as the fault was identical to a previous microwave fault. Apprehensive I took it back. (It was on extended warranty.) Someone lifted it out of the car (helpful at my age) and we were invited to choose another. No interregation, no fuss, nothing. Fresh paperwork sorted for the new microwave. (It took my wife ages to choose another!) and away. Thanks Currys. Happy smiling faces all round.
COSTCO Wholesale 92,000 full time employees worldwide  Founded 1983 first company to go from zero to 3 billion dollars in six years.
 We shop regularly at Costco. Everyone seems happy to work there. We bought a television, the range was bewildering. Three young men (on successive days) took us over, sorted us out, guided our purchase even down to payment methods for best effect. Everybody seems happy to work there. We're waiting to see a long face. (Black mark, the baked potatoes can be iffy!) Nevertheless happy smiling faces win.

DEBENHAMS  240 stores across 28 countries. Multichannel 'Retailer of the Year' 2012. 'Of Proud British Heritage.'  and  stands for 'greater value, wider choice, excellent service'. (Debenhams own words in both cases.)
    My wife bought some boots from Debenhams, price £65. Less than a year old, the tops parted from the soles, making the boots unwearable in wet weather. My wife took them back. She found Debenhams response unhelpful. I did not go into the shop but on her return she was crestfallen to say the least. Not amused I rang head office. Not unhelpful I thought they were nevertheless far from enthusiastic regarding our problems but suggested another visit to their store. Not easy (I am classed disabled) We nevertheless complied.) Monday morning, a wearying experience. Seeing the manager, as suggested, not possible. A senior member of staff took charge. The boots, she suggested, were FASHION boots. (not bought as fashion boots). Of any case, Debenhams guarantee was for SIX months only I was informed.I took off my own shoes, over two years old and we compared. (My shoes are Hotters, British made. No comparison. Another senior member of staff was summoned and EVENTUALLY conceded my wife's boots (made in China) at £65 were poor value. We were eventually offered another pair of boots but declined and accepted a voucher instead. Hopefully they do sell items that will make us smile, not frown; any suggestions. Last words on Debenhams. We found Debenhams lukewarm, condescending, unsmiling and unhelpful in the main as if looking for a let out. On the morning we attended staff were 'thin on the ground' as some staff were on 'Staff Training!!! 

    I have, by the way, no connection with any of the firms concerned. What I do have is friends in a high tech business who, amongst other things, teach massive conglomerations how to teach their staff how to deal with people. A lot of 'how to's' methinks. I once knew an old man in a pub. Long gone, both. I remember nothing of him except for one thing. He used to say, simply, 'It's nice to be nice.' Trite maybe, but wise words. Many a big business would do well to have the old man's words 'WRIT LARGE' in bold lettering on their company walls.

    It occurs to me that a system is needed to give award to firms or individuals that do actually contribute to lifting our moral in these hard times. Any suggestions for Grumpy prizes, to be be known forthwith as The GOK awards!


the fly in the web said...

I used to shop at John Lewis when living in the U.K. and was delighted to find that the staff at their branch in Southampton were same helpful bunch as I remembered last time back on a visit.
My mother was still wheelchair bound at that moment, and shopping for clothes. Not only did the staff take real care over the fabric cleaning options, they took endless trouble to find suitable styles for ease of movement and made her, at 96, feel a million dollars.
Award, please!

thames_side said...

Not sure about this tax thing. I have never offered to pay more tax than I had to. I don't think many people have. Is it differeent for companies? Should they pay a voluntary tax? If so how much. Surely it is up to the government to set the rules so that everybody pays their fair share.

CWMartin said...

I think the GOK award is an excellent idea! I hope your local readers find many to help you. I think any business would be proud to receive an e-mail or letter finding out that excellent customer service has won them an award on an internationally known blog! Unfortunately, I doubt that cheap Chinese manufacturers will be bothered by not getting a GOK.

Star said...

The GOK awards are a great idea!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Fly in the web
My daughter swears by John Lewis.
They deserve to do well.

Thames -side

Agree in a way but these firms are ripping us off big time. They are immoral.

CW Martin
I agree. It would be nice if the good guys won for once. We can but dream.


Thanks, perhaps we should ALL tell the good guys they are appreciated.

rhymeswithplague said...

It's T J MAXX, Ken, not T K MAX....

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Rhymes with Plague

TK Max over here!

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