Our daughter ordered some groceries from ASDA last week which were supposed to arrive late on Friday night but which did not arrive.

As the next day was a Bank Holiday she left it to contact the supermarket on the Tuesday whereupon they cancelled the order and said she would have to reorder and go to the back of the queue with regard to booking a delivery slot.

This particular piece of idiotic modern life caused me to cast my mind back to “the good old days” where a shopkeeper who had made the same faux pas as Asda would have responded differently to a valued customer; assuming of course that ASDA consider their customers as valued.

I imagine in days gone by the response may have been a little different, something along the lines of, “Good Lord, Madam/Sir, I am so frightfully sorry we have failed to deliver your order, I will see to it that I send a man out with a fresh order straight away and please accept my sincere apologies, you will of course not be charged for this delivery.” Had this been in writing they would have ended with the phrase, “We are your obedient servants, ASDA supermarket.”

Remember when staff knew your name, had never heard of loyalty cards and  said 'much obliged' not 'have a nice day'? How shopping lost its soul... |  Small business saturday, Shopping, Lovely

I was further reminded of how much better customer service used to be when I took my car to be washed and having decided to have it waxed as well I went into the nearby TESCO supermarket with the intention of purchasing a magazine to read whilst I was waiting.

Having found a suitable magazine I took it to the checkout where the lady on the till informed me “this isn’t on the system, we can’t sell it to you.”

As I was wearing a mask which I thought might suffice as a disguise I was tempted, for a brief moment in time, to do what is colloquially known as “doing a runner” but thought better of it.

It’s hard to hear when wearing a mask though Lord knows why, however the checkout lady summoned assistance from an employee of higher standing who came to the till to repeat exactly what had been said to me previously.

I suggested perhaps I might just give them the £4.80 in cash but this was not available as an as an option when the “computer says no.”

Upon returning home I was regaling the story to our other daughter who when young worked in customer service for a supermarket and would you believe it, had these ladies been bothered to put themselves out they could through the means of computer whizzkiddery have put the magazine onto the system and thereby sold the item to me.

Yet another example of the abysmal customer service we put up with nowadays and just in case people should imagine that I am not telling the truth about the old days, I have included a rather faded letter sent to my father in 1959 apologising that the Banquet photographs were not shown on Saturday and ending in the proper fashion; “We are, Your obedient servants.”

Ah, how I long for the good old days!


About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase.
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6 Responses to CUSTOMER SERVICE.

  1. I hear you. Not all that long ago, it was “The customer is always right.” Nowadays it seems “The customer is always wrong.” Buying anything, anywhere, has become a total pain in the …

  2. Timothy Price says:

    Hahahaha! Customer service? Hahahaha! Same thing with a cancelled deliver happened to me. That was 4 days after dinking around with me. I could have dropped by on the way home and bought the items.

    The COVID has become such a great excuse to provide crappy or no customer service. Although I will say, although I can’t get an appointment to see my regular doctor, I can get an appointment at urgent care within hours of calling them. Two weeks ago I needed to get my ear de-waxed. When I called they had an appoint within the hour. I couldn’t do that so I said how about 4:30 pm. They said see you then. No one was at urgent care besides me and the staff, so I was in and out, de-waxed and hearing again in 45 minutes. Now that’s great service.

    In 2010, I had to take my wife to the same urgent care for a serious issue. We waited 10 hours before she could see a doctor. How quickly times have changed.

  3. Ian Hutson says:

    I live on my boat, do not (£cannot£) run a car, and have for as long as they have provided “home delivery” been a “home delivery” customer of a supermarket that I shan’t name but which is Sainsbury’s. At the beginning of this year’s Greek tragedy/pantomime they simply stopped communicating, ceased to even show me the booking page on their website, and instead provided a page describing how they were “feeding the nation” (presumably everyone else apart from myself). There was simply no way of contacting them online or by (ugh) “mobile tephelone” (sic), I was just abandoned.

    Six weeks or so ago they began showing me the occasional, grudged, delivery slot that I could book – usually dawn or late night. I have used them because I have to get deliveries somehow, from somewhere – but I do feel when I do so that I am selling my soul – cheaply – to Ms The Devil. When they royally stuffed me earlier in the year I thought then that I wouldn’t go out of my way to urinate in a Sainsbury’s doorway, but now that I think about it, that’s precisely what I shall do at every opportunity. 😉

    Their much-vaunted home delivery service is nothing special or new – when I was a child in the nineteen sixties and seventies vans and lorries used to call, and the local corner ship grocer in the village really did either ride the old shop bicycle with our order in a cardboard box in the rack on the front, or sent the boy out with it.

  4. My Grandfather had a bakers business and he used to have two vans which delivered to people houses, I used to go round with him when I was a young child and I suspect it was a far more reliable service than we get today.

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