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It takes seven days for Asda to say "fuck off" - Songs of innocence and of experience [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Douglas Spencer

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It takes seven days for Asda to say "fuck off" [Oct. 30th, 2009|08:58 pm]
Douglas Spencer
October 22nd, from me to Asda:
    I wanted to buy two twelve-packs of 200mg ibuprofen and a ten-pack of Beechams hot lemon, and was refused at the checkout with the till giving the message "limit:2". It's correct that there's a limit (by law) of two packets of ibuprofen, but there aren't any ingredients in common between the ibuprofen and the Beechams, and no reason in law why the two shouldn't be sold in combination. Apparently, to be an Asda customer, I have to choose between painful knees and painful sinuses, and can't solve both problems at once. This took place at Atlantic Village, Bideford -- but your staff there told me that it was a group-wide policy brought in to satisfy the relevant law. In fact your policy has misread the law concerned. I wonder if I should simply shop with some other retailer?

October 29th, from Asda to me:
    Thank you for your email.
    I'm sorry to hear you are unhappy with the policy we have in place which limits customers to only buying 2 items of medication.
    When customers are purchasing any medication it currently flags up an limit alert on the checkout when the item is scanned to prompt all checkout colleagues to make sure the customer they are serving are not purchasing over two items of medication.
    I've passed your comments onto our pharmacy team here at ASDA House so they are aware of your comments.
    Thanks again and if there is anything else I can help you with please let me know.

Which, being translated, says "this is Asda repeating stuff you already know; I've passed your message on." No guidance on whether or not I should shop with someone else instead, which suggests that they don't care.

In other news, Sainsburys persists in allowing me to buy stuff I need.

[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2009-10-30 10:27 pm (UTC)
It's bad enough the medical profession and the MHRA telling us what pills we can or cannot take without fucking amateurs joining in. Like, why can't you have three items of medication? If one was a painkiller and one was a laxative and you also wanted some zit cream, would that be evidence of suicidality or something?

Eejits of the worst sort. Doo gooding, inexpert eejits. What they need to prevent is somebody getting multiple packs of THE SAME medication, like 75 paracetamol.
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[User Picture]From: jon_a_five
2009-10-31 03:22 pm (UTC)
But I'd love to know how to kill oneself with that combo.
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[User Picture]From: starbrow
2009-10-30 10:36 pm (UTC)
To be fair, what are they meant to say to your question about shopping with another retailer?

I often get similar questions in my job, and there really isn't anything you can say to that. If you say "Oh no, please stay with us," you sound like you're begging or desperate and that's one thing no company (and the larger the company, the more unlikely they are to say this) wants to sound like, but if you say anything but that, you risk causing offence.

To be honest, ASDA probably don't care who you shop with and aren't really fussed about losing your possible business - plenty of other people shop there. I try to avoid them, personally, but that's because of the way their American counterpart treats its employees.

If I'd dealt with your complaint, I probably would have tried to show a little more empathy, and emphasised a little more strongly the bit about passing your comments over - I would have probably said they would review your comments and take appropriate action, something like that.

I do feel for the people in the retail sector who deal with complaints - I imagine they must get this sort of situation a lot, where they really can't help anyone because of store policy. It might be a stupid policy, but it's store policy until someone can convince the right person to revise it, unfortunately.
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2009-10-30 10:43 pm (UTC)
Something like "we recognise this is an issue" would have been a big help. Even better, some suggestion that local discretion was being considered. But to me, this reply reads like "that's the policy, tough" -- and that's not a reply that's going to encourage me to shop there again.
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[User Picture]From: starbrow
2009-10-30 11:05 pm (UTC)

Yeah, the response isn't well-written and it never hurts to say something along the lines of 'we recognise that this has caused you frustration and we're working on a solution'. It's difficult to tell, though, whether you maybe just got a response from someone who doesn't give a damn about their job and was just trying to tick all the right boxes, or if that response is straight ASDA boilerplate and ASDA as a whole don't give a damn.

I imagine that the policy will get changed - it's clearly a stupid policy, and once enough people complain, someone higher up will start listening.
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