Bad customer service is one of the worst things a person can experience, especially in a place where you’ve paid more and are expecting better services. The presence of social media and other platforms has enabled people to find areas where they can freely share their bad experiences and can get a response immediately, and also to a bigger audience. Customers clearly share their experiences without fear knowing that by talking about it another person wouldn’t have to go through it again or they won’t go through it again when they visit the same business premises to acquire a product or service.
A European based supermarket Carrefour, which was the first hypermarket in the world has finally opened two branches in Kenya. One at the Hub Karen, another one at Two Rivers Mall and is set out to open another one at Thika Road Mall. It is quite unfortunate that Kenyan branches have been filled with a lot of controversy over bad customer service being offered across the supermarkets. Some of their customers took it to Facebook to air out their views, something that sent social media in a frenzy.
One of the bad customer service experiences at the Carrefour that made my tongue tied was that of a white American woman racially discriminating Kenyans. According to social media post, the victim who was a woman explained how disappointed she was after shopping at the supermarket. She said that a beautiful white woman came up to the front of the line and passed all other people who had queued up. Due to her having two little girls the elderly man who was at the front of the line excused her to pay. She then spoke up and said to everyone there, that we are lazy Africans and that is the reason as to why we are not progressing in life. This is racial discrimination against every African worldwide and this actually caused the supermarket to issue a public statement to say that they do not share the same sentiments as the woman and they are carrying out investigations to find out why she did it and take action.
Another bad customer service experienced at the Carrefour Two Rivers Mall is that of a woman who was carrying a one month old baby on a trolley which had an infant seat. After checking out the items and was now heading back to her car one of the staff came towards her and told her to take another trolley regardless of the fact that her baby was asleep on it. The unfortunate part is that the staff did not give a reason as to why she was to change the trolley. One of the staff started removing things from her trolley without her consent which was totally unacceptable. When she told one of the workers to accompany her to her car so as to keep an eye on the trolley, that is when they accepted to allow her go with the trolley to her car. She said that it wasn’t not only the first time she had a bad experience at that supermarket but also during the time she was heavily pregnant. After finishing to do her shopping she went on to the line for pregnant women so as not to stand on the queue for a very long time but the staff kept on serving men instead of her even though it was a line meant for pregnant women.
Wait for it, for those of us who love freebies. So apparently some of the items which are said to be on offer aren’t really on offer and you actually end up paying for them if you aren’t keen according to one of the customers. The customer went to the two rivers branch and bought the Dettol glycerin soap whose deal was, buy two bars get one free. On checking the receipt, the third bar of soap which was meant to be free wasn’t and was charged on the bill. She realized this and complained until she was refunded her money.
Carrefour has so far issued two statements in regard to the poor customer service experienced at their branches but it seems like they are not taking appropriate action to prevent the incidences from recurring.
There was a time I shed light on some muffins that were being sold in one of the local supermarkets lacking the expiry date sticker. It took two weeks and the company rectified their mess. So this incident at Carrefour caught my eyes where they were selling products that had expired and therefore not fit for consumption according to a customer who post it on social media. For instance, a customer bought a hot dog roll from Carrefour Two Rivers and after two days of checking the pack it had maggots in it. Another customer identified the bubble gum flavored dairy milk had an expiry of February 2017 and it was still on the shelf ready to be sold. She pointed it out and the response was that the mess would be rectified.
Am not sure what should be done to compel Carrefour supermarkets to upgrade and completely overhaul their customer service department. Remember, potential clients would make a decision based on these experiences. This being customer service week, I hope to see Carrefour enact some strict customer service policies that would change its image that has now been tainted by the poor customer experiences from some of its customers. Whether by training their employees or treating them well, something has to be done. Several cases of poor customer service have been highlighted by their customers on the Buyer Beware Kenya Group, some of which have been touched upon in this post.
Carrefour has branches in other countries and looking at the reviews, something needs to be done urgently about their customer service.