Saturday, 4 January 2014

Overly helpful - but totally useless

I quite often pop into Holland and Barrett in Chiswick.  It's a shop I love and loathe in equal measure.  They very often have great offers which make ingredients such as cashews, almonds and other bits really cheap - but equally they do stock a lot of new-age pseudo-medical homeopathic-herbal bollocks too.

The staff are very friendly.  So friendly, that it makes it hard to dislike the sheer amount of time they take just to put something in a bag.  They ask for your reward card and then try to push an over-priced and (probably, although I've never read it) content free magazine on your for a couple of quid.  I know they probably have a little sticky label inside the till drawer telling them how many they must shift per week per person, but it still grates.  

The worst thing of all is the way the passive aggressive way they have been told (obviously, as they all do the same in every branch) to ask for your reward card by saying "do you have your reward card with you?".  The tacit assumption in the phrasing is that you do already have a reward card, but may not have it with you.  It's designed to make you feel as though you should have one.  The psychology behind it isn't hard to discern - in fact it's so obvious (yet masquerading as "subtle") that I find it very annoying.  I have succeeded in one way in which I've previously failed though.  A few years ago, I pitted my wits against the staff at a stall in Paddington Station (War Of Words) and failed.  I have never been rude, or even uncivil, to the staff at Holland and Barrett - though somehow I have managed to get myself known as someone who neither has (nor wants) a loyalty card.  I count that as a small personal victory.

I don't have many loyalty cards at all.  It's not through any mistrust of my shopping habits being run through a pattern-analysing supercomputer by Tesco - simply a lack of space in my wallet.  By the time you have membership cards, and driving licence and debit cards and credit cards in there, where would you put all the loyalty cards you get offered?  Having said that, I do have a MyWaitrose card.  Obviously.



1 comment:

  1. For the self-identification as a coffee chav, right? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530902/The-Waitrose-coffee-revolt-Free-drink-offer-attracts-Chavs.html

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