Posts Tagged ‘#complaint’

I haven’t had a good rant for some time, but this one had to be done.

It has happened to all of us. We find ourselves in a supermarket standing in a queue and the person in front of us is constantly trailing away from the queue to get other items.

This is called shopping, they should no longer be in the queue. The queue is for those people that have finished shopping and are now ready and waiting to pay.

It’s a simple concept but some people have figured out ways to try and manipulate the system. I’m here to expose those people and their deplorable tactics.

Don’t get me wrong people, I’m not an idiot I understand sometimes you might see the odd item that you didn’t know you needed within grabbing distance in the isle whilst queuing,

but if you have to walk more than a couple meters away from the queue to get it, then you have given up your queuing privileges. You are now back to shopping. Get the hell out the queue!

This one women took the biscuit. She started queuing before me with an almost empty trolley but every few seconds she would dart off and return moments later with more items until her trolly was almost full.

What’s worst, when it was time for her to pay, she still held up the queue by disappearing through the isles once again and somehow returned with another trolley full of stuff. Yes you read that correctly, ANOTHER TROLLY FULL OF STUFF!

It was as if she was using the trolley in the queue as some sort of place holder whilst she went gallivanted around the shopping centre returning once every so often to the queue just to dump a few items. Unbelievable.

This is not a fair way to shop people. Stop trying to be smart it’s not cute.

However, I am fair, there are one or two exceptions I am willing to allow:

1. If you are already standing in the queue and you notice an item is damaged or you accidentally picked up the wrong item and you want to exchange it for another one.

This is perfectly acceptable but should be done with an exaggerated facial expression whilst holding and looking at the item disapprovingly accompanied by a big sigh and a shake of the head.

Thus giving the people behind you an exlplanation as to why you are leaving the queue and your trolley unattended.

Please note: This technique should never be performed more than twice on the same shop. It is likely to attract less sympathy and patience from the people behind you on a second attempt. Just pay for your slightly damaged goods and move on.

2. There is also a time limit.

People leaving the queue naturally create anxieties for the others that are still queuing. Leaving them to ask themselves questions like:

When are you coming back?

Can they take your place if you don’t return before the cashier has finished serving the person in front of you?

What’s the correct shopping etiquette for something like this without causing an all out riot!

In some places like South East London where I grew up, jumping the queue could leave you with some broken limbs. You would be an idiot just to assume.

Queue Shopping is immoral and unnecessary unless you are purposely trying to piss people off. Nobody is fooled by your antics, but I can guarantee they are highly irritated. So the next time you are in your local supermarket, ask yourself one question, am I shopping or am I queuing?

Sebastian Bowen.

The Fishtank Podcast.


To whom it may concern at Currys & PC World,

I have long been a fan of technology and reserve at least a few hours a month to check out the latest gadgets on offer. However over the last year I have noticed that my local Curry’s/PC World appears to be struggling. 

For example, recently my old crappy printer eventually stopped working. Actually it stopped working after I smashed it to bits with a hammer for consistently jamming on me. 

I recently wanted to purchase a new colour printer/scanner that was able to print double-sided. I needed to be sure about a few of the specifications before completing my purchase so I asked for some assistance at the counter. 

I was told somebody will be with me in a moment. I assumed that this would be a five minute wait followed by a five minute conversation with a sales assistant and then I would be on my way home printing counterfeit money in no time.  

It didn’t take me too long to realise that I was going to be waiting much longer than five minutes. 

You see, I wasn’t the only one waiting for assistance, there were 7 of us in total. I am a patient person so I waited, and waited, and waited some more, and after 25 minutes a member of staff became available. 

You might assume the reason for the long delay was because your store was extremely busy that day and your staff were rushed off their feet and doing all they could to attend to all of the requests made by the demanding customers, but you would be wrong. In fact there were less than 15 customers in the whole store but the problem was there were only two members of staff on duty and one of those members of staff was stuck behind the till.

In a store as cavernous as yours, it is ridiculous to think that two members of staff would ever be adequate, especially when customer queries can last up to fifteen minutes per person. 

Unfortunately the lady behind the counter received a torrent of abuse from angry customers that had had enough of waiting around to speak with somebody. I have never seen anything like it. I did feel sorry for her, she looked like she had been severely battered with words.

One customer was picking up a repaired PC. He asked the lady at the counter for a bag to put it in, so he could carry it home. That suddenly turned into a huge fiasco that would have fitted perfectly in an episode of Faulty Towers.

Apparently there were no bags big enough behind the counter and the woman at the counter was not allowed to leave the counter so the situation became gridlocked. The guy needed to leave to make an appointment but had no way of transporting the PC home. The women behind the counter had no way of contacting the one assistant that was on the shop floor. 

To make matters worse, the guy became even more incensed and animated when the women behind the counter asked him why he didn’t just bring his car. That was like adding paper doused in petrol to an overheated printer. Needless to say the guy went nuts. I had to interject with a bit of light humour to calm the situation down. 

Once the calm had been restored, the women behind the counter remained silent and refused to say another word, the other customers continued to try and talk to her. Things got awkward really quickly. You could see in her eyes that she was considering one of two things, either quitting her job or killing everybody around her. At this point I just slowly backed away.

I have been shopping with Currys for many years and this is the worst I have ever seen it. I am used to having to wait a little bit of time but this one took the biscuit. Is this a glimpse of the future for Currys or do you have a plan to curb experiences like this in the future.

I look forward to your response


Sebastian Bowen.

Currys Response. 10/09/20

Dear Sebastian, 

Case Reference: CC2793321 

Thank you for your email dated 8th September 2015. I have been unable to locate a telephone number to contact you on. 

I am sorry to learn of your recent experience. Your complaint will be referred to the Manager of the Store in order that action can be taken to pursue this matter internally to ensure that other customers are not disappointed in the same way. Could you please advise which store you had visited. 

Every complaint that we receive is taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly, there are also occasions when aspects of feedback will be utilised to identify improvement opportunities, however, we are not obliged to share all our findings. 

Although it is a disappointment to hear from an unhappy customer, it is through feedback such as yours that we learn where we can improve our customer services. Please accept my apologies for the frustration and inconvenience caused as a result of this matter. 

Thank you for contacting Currys KNOWHOW™. 

Kind regards, 

Fares Sailan

My Response 17/06/2016

Hello Fares,

Thank you for responding to my email back in September.

Sorry for such a long delay in responding back to you. Ironic considering the subject matter in my first email. It was not my intention but I have been busy. I’m sure you of all people will understand. 

Currys Barnet

The store that I was referring to is in Barnet. they had me waiting around forever. I have recently returned to the store to find it better manned with staff. However the level of shared intellect or knowledge of products remains the same. It’s getting to the point where I feel I know more about the products than most of the staff do. Do you even have a training policy anymore?

On my last trip to Currys I wanted to buy some Thermal Paste to carry out some 

repairs on an old PlayStation 3. I already predicted before I entered the store that nobody was going to know what the hell I was talking about despite the fact it’s a common item when repairing most electronics. 

The first member of staff I asked told me to try B&Q across the road. The second member of staff said she had never heard of it and had a look on her face like I was lying or making the product up. In the end I searched the massive store for fifteen minutes and found it in a section next to the keyboards. Why? I have no idea. 

When I showed the two members of staff that I had indeed found what I was looking for, they just stared back at me gormlessly and appeared completely unfazed by the whole situation.

It’s still a stressful experience no matter what you go in the store to get. Quick and easy transactions are extremely rare.

Also is there any reason why I can never find compressed air in a can. It’s a great tool for cleaning dust out of electrical appliances. That should be an item you always have in stock, sitting next to items such as Thermal Paste in a section that is clearly marked PC repairs. But hey what do I know.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to your response.


Sebastian Bowen. 

Awaiting response from Currys. 

Still waiting for a response from Currys. 

This is one that really bothers me, because it’s something we all learn as children, but for some reason we don’t respect as adults. Too many times whether it be on the train or in other public spaces, some people don’t like to share seating space. For sake of this rant I am referring to public benches or train passenger seats.
Let me give you a few examples.

Scenario 1: The Seat Filler.

I board a busy train in the morning and look for a seat. Many people are standing up but I can still see random spaces. I look to see why people are not using any of the available seats and low and behold there are bags on them.

Extreme case of chair filling

As if that wasn’t bad enough when I ask a person to move their bag, instead of apologising and moving it quickly, you have the audacity to look at me and scoff. it’s not like I have asked them to share their morning coffee with me or anything, JUST MOVE YOUR BAG!

Scenario 2: The Bench Hogger.

I’m walking in the park or some other open public space. My legs eventually get tired and I decide that I want to sit down. I walk over to a bench that is easily able to seat two possibly three people easily, but some idiot has sat right in the middle of the bench. As he sees me approaching he makes no effort to slide along to either end. Please don’t be like this guy, he’s an idiot. In cases like these I will choose to sit as close to you as possible to make you feel uncomfortable and eventually obliged to move along.

Extreme case of bench hogging

Scenario number 3: The Seat Blocker. 

I board a busy train looking for a seat. There are a few darted around but all appear to be the middle seat of a three seater, or a single seat next to the window. For some reason some adults don’t like to sit in these seats and they try to keep them vacant for their imaginary friends. When you see people desperate for a seat just MOVE DOWN! Don’t make me have to step over you and your bags like a poor mans obstacle course and attempt to acrobatically contort myself into the space. Either way I’m sitting down so you might as well make it easy for all of us instead of getting your feet crushed as I “accidentally” step on them to get in.

When I am in an aisle seat an the window seat is vacant I shift across to the window seat making it easy for the person standing to sit in the aisle seat. This is logical behaviour. Don’t be an idiot and make people’s lives more stressful than it has to be.

This is a key indicator to give up your seat.

Also I shouldn’t even need to type this, but shame on you if you’re one of those people who bows their heads and pretends not to notice the elderly person or a women wearing a baby on board badge when she is standing and waiting for a seat. Get up and stop being selfish.

We teach our children to move down to allow other children to sit down, so why do we throw away this logic when it comes to each other when we are adults. We all like to sit down at times but some of us make it more difficult for the others. The next time you’re sitting down and somebody else is standing check yourself and make sure you are not the reason why.

To whom it may concern at B&Q,

I had the misfortune of shopping in one of your stores recently. This summer I had to complete some overdue projects around the house so I needed a few tools and materials to complete the jobs.

I will be the first to admit that my experience at building things is limited. I built a spice rack once for my grandma when I was about twelve years old but since then things have been a little quiet. However my ambition and determination is second to none. I assumed my enthusiasm would be enough to get me started and the experience of your trained staff would surly help me with the rest.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The staff working there do not appear to have any training on anything, including basic life or communication skills. I was astonished by the lack of knowledge they possessed about anything they sold. I asked one guy where I could find a funnel and he stared back at me blankly for about twenty seconds before taking me to four different aisles that didn’t have funnels. I then asked him if he knew what a funnel was and he responded back with, kind of. Needless to say I did not manage to purchase a funnel that day.


This looks like fun, but can you show me where the funnels are please.

How is anybody supposed to ‘Do It Yourself’ if you can’t get any basic information on any of the merchandise that you sell? I spent most of my time on my phone watching DIY tutorials on You Tube to find out what I would need and how to do it (It’s a good job I have a decent data package on my phone).  Whenever I asked staff where to find all the items that I wanted to purchase, they were clueless.

On at least six occasions their default answer for everything, no matter what you asked for was aisle 36. I quickly realised that this was a tactic they employed to avoid having to help anyone. Once you let a member of staff disappear from your side you might as well give up on finding them ever again. 


Try aisle 36…again

To make matters worse, when a member of staff is trying to locate another member of staff to assist you, they end up giving you a complete tour of the whole store in an attempt to find them. Why not supply your staff with walkie talkies? This would save time and energy for everybody involved.

My experience was a terrible one and due to the fact that I could not seek the correct advice in store, it meant that I had to make more than two trips to find parts that I was unaware that I needed. The ironic thing is every time you pay for an item and the cashier hands you your receipt, they make such a big deal about asking you for customer feedback, as if they are doing an amazing job or something.

Consider this letter as my customer feedback. I found shopping in B&Q stressful and highly frustrating and I am not in any rush to return there in the near future.


Sebastian Bowen.

B&Qs Response 

Good afternoon Mr Bowen,

Thank you for your email dated 26th August 2015. We apologise for the delay in response.

We are very sorry to hear that you have cause to complain on this occasion in regards to the customer service that you have received in store. 

We have contacted the Store Manager to pass on your comments and requested that this be addressed internally as a matter of urgency.

B&Q constantly strive on customer service and it is clear that on this occasion we have failed to meet your expectations. Rest assured this is not the way we expect our customers to be treated and will endeavour to ensure that this sort of behaviour does not continue
Due to the nature of your complaint, an internal investigation will be carried out and we unfortunately will be unable to provide any feedback.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us and we hope that this incident does not deter you from shopping with us in future.

Thank you for contacting B&Q.

Kind regards,
Lisa Harkins B&Q Customer Services

My Response

Hello Lisa, 

Thank you for getting back to me. I was starting to feel like B&Q really didn’t care about their customers anymore. 

In regards to the internal investigation that you are about to conduct, have you considered just employing or training more staff that are knowledgable about the products you sell? Or at the very least equip them with some form of tech so they are permanently connected to a reliable source of information. That way they have no need to stare back at you with a blank expression slapped across their face whenever you ask them a simple question. 

Why are you not able to share the results from your investigation? I believe customers would be delighted to read that you are fully aware of how bad things are, and they would be eager to hear how you’re planning to improve things for the future.

In the meantime I have come up with an ingenious idea that I think would benefit your customers greatly. It’s called DIY PRO! 

Example of a DIY PRO team.

What is DIY PRO? I hear you ask. 

DIY PRO is my soon to be copyrighted idea that gives customers a “real shop” experience. DIY PRO will allow customers to book a designated time slot with an expertly trained member of staff. When the customer arrives at the store they will receive undivided attention from a DIY PRO.This will allow a customer like myself to show the DIY PRO a photo or a badly drawn picture of what I want to build, and the DIY PRO will lead the customer to every aisle assisting with options on tools and materials and the best way to approach the project. Hence the “real shop” experience. 

After the short market research that I conducted, I discovered that an overwhelming 100% of your customers said they would like to feel like they are in a real shop. 


Real shop experience = happy customers.

Despite the fact that this service should already be available to your B&Q customers for free, I am willing to bet my hard earned money that you could charge a reasonable fee for this service and customers would be willing to pay it. Anything beats walking around the store for hours scratching your head like a confused monkey. 

If you like the sound of this idea let me know, because for an agreed fee, I would be happy to organise and facilitate the launch of DIY PRO to the people of Great Britain today. 

I look forward to your response, 


Sebastian Bowen. 

B&Qs Response

Good afternoon Mr Bowen,

Thank you for your email dated 4th September 2015 regarding your experience with the B&Q Friern Barnet store. Please accept my apology for the delay in our response.

I am very sorry to hear about the poor customer service you received from one of our stores, and must apologise for the inconvenience caused. This is not the level of service B&Q expects for its customers and I can understand your concern and disappointment.

Your complaint has been passed to the Duty Manager of the store for an internal investigation. I have sent them a further email to advise that any comments they can provide in response would be appreciated.

Once I have received a response, I will certainly contact you with an update.

Thank you for contacting B&Q.

Kind regards,

Nicole Turnbull B&Q Customer Services

My Response

Hello Nicole, 

Thank you for getting back to me. It’s much appreciated. What happened to Lisa? Did she find another job. I hope it had nothing to do with me. 

I am pleased to hear that you will be sharing the findings of your internal investigation with me. As a customer I feel like for the first time my input finally matters. I am sure your methods for smoking out the perpetrators are second to none, but I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my services free of charge as a mystery shopper. 

I have no experience as a mystery shopper in the professional sense, but how hard could it be. Essentially I am a mystery shopper every time I enter a shop that I have never been in before. I will even wear a disguise if it is necessary, in fact of course it’s necessary I have the perfect thing upstairs in the wardrobe. To avoid and ensure their is no confusion about who I am, I have included a photograph of what I will be wearing to pass on to your management and security teams.


My secret disguise

I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and I can’t think of a more fitting time to try it on. 

In fact the very thought of this has got me excited and I think I’ll do my first mystery shop today. I know if we work together we can eradicate any ill willed behaviour amongst the B&Q family and offer an honest and impeccable service to all future customers. 

Please can you also forward me a shift rota for all staff so I can work out a schedule. This will ensure I get to test everybody and treat everybody fairly. 

I look forward to speaking to you soon, 


Sebastian Bowen. 

B&Qs Response

Good afternoon Mr Bowen,

Thank you for your email dated 10th September 2015. We apologise for the delay in response.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with the requested information for data protection. All quality on items and staff is done internally within the business.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Thank you for contacting B&Q.

Kind regards,

Lisa Harkins B&Q Customer Services

My Response 

Hello Lisa, 

Glad to see you came back. I was beginning to think you had abandoned ship and moved on to other exciting retail adventures. 

Lisa, I would be lying if I said your response did not come as an utter disappointment. Receiving a copy of the rota was necessary in order for to me to conduct a thorough investigation.  

Fear not Lisa, because I have come up with another ingenious idea. I will wear a hidden camera to ensure I remember whom I have spoken with and what they have said. Last year I won a bid on eBay that made me the proud owner of one of those flash spy pens you see in all the James Bond films. I have included a image in case you don’t watch spy films. You should spy films because they are awesome. 

My awesome spy pen


Is that not the best thing you have ever seen. I can’t wait to use it. Everything will go ahead as planned. 

Is that not the best thing you have ever seen. I can’t wait to use it. Everything will go ahead as planned. 

Looking forward to seeing you all in the near future. 


Sebastian Bowen.

No Further Response

Art by Niko Grimwords

When I first heard that China had introduced designated walking paths for people using their mobile phones, I laughed and thought it was a ridiculous idea. Fast forward almost a year and I find myself begging that London will introduce something similar.

Mobile lane in China

Apart from the consistently unreliable bane of my life that is London Public Transport, mobile phones are the leading cause of crowd congestion in the city. Actually let me rephrase that, idiots on mobile phones are the leading cause of crowd congestion in the city.

One moment you are perfectly happy walking at a normal socially acceptable pace, only to find yourself taking pigeon steps to your destination. Sometimes it takes me longer to get out of a tube station than it does for The Undertaker to walk to the ring at Wrestlemania (If you’re not a wrestling fan you will have to trust me on this one, it’s long). The most common location for the congestion for some reason is near the entrances and exits of all Tube stations. The cause of this is usually some bloody nincompoop walking at a snails pace whilst looking down at their phone either texting or checking directions.

Some people are completely overwhelmed by their texting and come to a complete halt. They stand there oblivious to the world whilst everybody else tries to shuffle around them like a disobedient child that won’t get off of the floor in Tesco’s on a Saturday. Move tot he side or get out of the way you fool.

Everybody in the city has a phone and unfortunately everybody thinks they have mastered the capability of multitasking. The truth is they haven’t. I must admit I am a culprit of this myself. However not all of us are totally incapable of doing both at the same time. I am one of those people who can manage to maintain a consistent reasonable walking speed whilst operating my device, thus reducing any disruption for my fellow commuters. Why some people feel the need to come to a complete stop is beyond me. After all, it is supposed to be a mobile phone, mobile being the key word.

I think it is time we introduced a mobile lane to the streets of London so all of the zombies can be late together. It is clear from their lack of pace that punctuality is not something they care for. I don’t see why the rest of us need to be punished. Anyone caught in a non-mobile lane using their phone should have to take a forfeit chosen by  the angry commuters that are being held up behind them. This would not only serve as a reasonable punishment but it would be hugely entertaining and a satisfying addition to my day.

So the next time you are out and about and you find yourself replying to a text in a busy public space. Take a moment to look up from your shiny precious phone to ensure you are not the one that is causing the traffic and being a complete douchebag. You could be doing it right now!

Sebastian Bowen. 

The Fishtank Podcast.

This rant is long overdue.

Every morning I am forced to endure the constant torment that is London public transport. If that wasn’t bad enough, most days I find myself sitting or more than likely standing next to some guy picking his nose.

Firstly let me start by saying that this problem is not restricted to men, I have seen women doing it too. I thought that this was a dirty habit that people grew out of by the age of three, in fear of being teased by fellow pre-school classmates. Well that’s how it was in my day. If you got caught picking your nose nobody would associate with you. My social circles were filtered even back then.

People have come up with so many different elaborate ways of extracting their slimy emerald nasties. Some are blatant with it, some try to be sneaky with it assuming you don’t know what they are up to.

Recently I was unfortunate enough to sit opposite a guy who was so brazen with it. He was knuckle deep into his nostril before I had to say something to him. It was making me feel sick, I needed him to stop so I opened my bag and offered him a spoon. He looked at me as if he wanted to shoot me. He was clearly embarrassed and stopped what he was doing immediately. Result! Feel free to use that one, it works every time.

Then you have the eaters, the ultimate level of gross. This is not uncommon either I can honestly say I witness this on a daily basis. Again some of them are covert about it but others don’t give a damn. They will chew on that mucus like its a fresh stick of gum. In some ways though eating it is better, because it means they are not flicking it or wiping it on the seat.

The scientific term for picking your nose is rhinotillexis and the term used for eating it is mucophagy. Scientist argue that there are some benefits to eating nasal mucus, but I am not entertaining that theory, the very thought of doing it makes me want to heave.

If you are one of those people that enjoys picking their nose, please do it in the comfort of your own home. Nobody needs to see that.

Sebastian Bowen.

The Fishtank Podcast.


Over the years people’s manners have become almost non-existent. There was once an unwritten rule that if you were trying to enter a public building or transportation that you would step aside and let the people trying to exit go first. This is not only polite but it’s also common sense. That rule appears to be a thing of the past these days.

On many occasions I find that I am the only one at a train station that has the patience to let people off before I go storming on looking for an available seat. I understand that getting a seat is important to some people, but that seat is still going to be there after you allow people to get off the train first.

Whilst I’m on the subject of manners, it is also good etiquette to say thank you to somebody when they hold a door open for you. The amount of times I have been surprised at the lack of gratitude from people, is far too often. People behave as if I am employed to hold the door open for them, and even if I was, there is no reason why you shouldn’t say thank you. Having manners and treating people a certain way helps to build a sense of community and unity. This should be a universal goal for all of us.

I want to share some simple rules that I was taught by my parents growing up. They have helped me to be a better person in society and I am hoping they can help you to.

  1. Always say please and thank you, it can never hurt.
  2. Always address your elders with respect.
  3. Allow people to exit before you enter. (Wait your turn)
  4. Share with and help others instead of standing back and watching people struggle.
  5. Treat others with respect don’t be a douche bag.
  6. Clean up after yourself because nobody else wants to do it for you.
  7. Respect differences.
  8. Don’t eat with your mouth open. Nobody wants to see that.
  9. Never use profanity or violence to make a point or resolve an issue. This can be hard at times.
  10. Admit when you are wrong and always be willing to apologise. Take responsibility.

There are a lot more I could have shared with you, but I believe if people can embrace just these ten rules then the world would be a better place to live.

I know a lot of you are probably unaware of your rudeness and are completely oblivious to your own ignorance, but it’s not too late to change. Please teach and encourage young children how to behave and share my ten rules with them. Let’s all try to make this world a place we all want to live.

Sebastian Bowen.

The Fishtank Podcast.