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View Full Version : SC free zone?


Crafty1289
09-09-2006, 03:33 PM
I was thinking recently, I think I used to work in a relatively SC free zone!

I used to work at Argos, a catalogue store well known in England. For those who dont know it, I will explain how the system works. There are 2 areas of the store. The shopfloor has desks around the place with laminated versions of the 1500+ page catalogue ring-binded to them. The desks also have a stock checker on them, which enables customers to check if the item they want is in stock, using live info from the store server. If the product is in stock, they write the code on a slip and take it to a cashier at the till desk. The cashier types the code in and repeats what the product is and the price, along with any notes / promotional / battery details that are flagged up. (the main catalogue is 6-monthly, promotions are run monthly, so customers will not know about any promos unless they read the promo leaflet) Customer confirms, and pays, while a picking slip is printed in the warehouse, the second, larger area of the store. Customer then moves along to the pick-up point with their reciept and collects their product from the staff there.

There is limited stock on display, mostly promotional items and toys and brightly coloured stuff. And none of it is edible :D so the potential for SC'ness here is greatly reduced. Its rare that people leave products in random places, because most of them only pick up goods that they have just purchased!! So they dont leave things lying around in the wrong place etc!

Out of stock complaints are reduced because of the stock checker system. They find what they want, check the stock, and if it aint in stock, they choose another item!

If they want to inspect an item before they purchase it, they arrange a veiwing, in the same way they purchase it, and the staff open the box and show them, they dont just tear into any old box and wang the packaging around like i see customers doing in some shops :eek:

The other thing about Argos is its computer system is very very good. If a customer sees an item is out of stock at one branch, the staff can access stock data at the 20 nearest stores, and reserve anything for them at any of those stores - customers like this, and so rarely leave without a smiley face, even if the product they want is 15 miles away, they know they're going to get it!

The only time SCness arises in Argos is at busy times. See, all the staff are trained in picking, collection, and cashiering. When there's a queue at the tills, people come from picking and collection to man the tills. Then the throughput of customers means there's a queue at the collection point! So staff then come off the tills and man collection and picking, even if there's still a queue at the tills. Customers queueing at the tills dont like to see this.

You also get those who dont get the system, they come straight to collection point expecting to pay for their good there, and I have to explain they have to pay before their goods are picked. That got the :confused: look a few times.

Then there's those who arrange a viewing of a product, come to collection to view it, and them try to give me the cash for it!!! NOOO you have go and pay someone with a cash drawer!!!! IE. a cashier!!! "Cant I just give you the money here?" NO! I'm not insured to take 300 off you and walk halfway round the store to a till!!!!

However, in all my time at Argos, about 4 months over Christmas, I never got yelled at, never got belittled, and never experienced any major sucky customers, the exception being those who said our queues are too long. As I explained above, theres nothing we could do and most were understanding. Very pleasant place to work.

I just though i'd bring a bit of light relief to the SC forum! There is light at the end of the tunnel! ;)

cheese
09-09-2006, 05:51 PM
Must be even less SC free now you have those payment machines. So if it is busy you can get customers to use those and have enough staff free to get stuff out the warehouse. Only stupid thing about those is if you pay with a card and enter your PIN, you still have to sign a signature slip when you reach the front? Is entering a PIN not enough..thats all everywhere else asks for :|

Oh and I assume you didn't work at the jewellery counter (if you had one).. that is certainly not a SC free zone! The staff behind there do their best but there doesn't tend to be any queue, just lots of people pushing at the front (like at a bar). Makes it difficult to decide who was there first. Also, I've seen plenty of people ask for an bracelet or something..decide if they want it by studying it from every angle for 10 minutes while the member of staff is unable to serve anyone else..then decide they don't like it and want to try another one, and on and on. And of course people who don't understand why you can't try on earrings.

Crafty1289
09-10-2006, 11:52 AM
Must be even less SC free now you have those payment machines. So if it is busy you can get customers to use those and have enough staff free to get stuff out the warehouse. Only stupid thing about those is if you pay with a card and enter your PIN, you still have to sign a signature slip when you reach the front? Is entering a PIN not enough..thats all everywhere else asks for :|

Oh and I assume you didn't work at the jewellery counter (if you had one).. that is certainly not a SC free zone! The staff behind there do their best but there doesn't tend to be any queue, just lots of people pushing at the front (like at a bar). Makes it difficult to decide who was there first. Also, I've seen plenty of people ask for an bracelet or something..decide if they want it by studying it from every angle for 10 minutes while the member of staff is unable to serve anyone else..then decide they don't like it and want to try another one, and on and on. And of course people who don't understand why you can't try on earrings.

I take it that you worked at Argos then? :D I'm not sure about the checking signatures, People used to get sucky when they came to collection and had to get their card out again and both copies of the reciept. Yes, I need you to sign the goddam reciept in front of me!!! The QP machine told you this as it was printing the reciepts!!! Then they rummage about in their bag for 5 minutes for the card they used only 1 minute ago. :confused: But this was in the pre-chip and pin days. Then there were those who signed the reciept at the QP machine - which part of "AT THE COLLECTION DESK" did they not understand?????? :eek:

Maybe they have to make sure people aren't using cards fraudulently - there is no cashier at the QP machine obviously, and I think one of the rules of chip and pin is that there must be a cashier present when someone enters their pin (ATMs use a different system). So they get around this by having the customer sign at the collection desk. One possible explanation.

I wish i could go back and work at Argos again. I really did enjoy it! I was a Christmas Temp in 2003 i think.

AFpheonix
09-10-2006, 06:53 PM
machine told you this as it was printing the reciepts!!! Then they rummage about in their bag for 5 minutes for the card they used only 1 minute ago. :confused:

What is WITH that? I'm constantly held up waiting for customers to dig their card out of their black holes of purses. Does it not occur to them that they could get a wallet that would easily fit in that huge bag, and they could put cards and all that loose, balled up cash floating around in there in one convenient place?

I'd be scared if I was in a position where I didn't know where my debit card was.