So I went out this morning in a desperate attempt to get some of my Christmas shopping finished as this is sort of our last weekend before we head home…we have next weekend but I am not expecting to be too productive as we are going out Saturday for my b-day…did I mention it’s coming up?
Anyway I headed out early knowing that most stores can’t open until 12:00 due to UK ‘trading’ laws…most stores however, open at 11:30 to allow you to browse. I took advantage of the pre midday browsing and headed for one of the department stores on the Oxford Street. As I walked into the store, I heard them announce telling customers that in fact they were open but they couldn’t start serving or advising clients until 12:00…I thought that bit about ‘advising’ was a bit strange but figured it was just a legality that they stated vs stuck to.
I walked around the store and saw one lady walk up to a cash register only to have a woman tell her that she couldn’t serve her until 12…the customer looked a bit pissed but walked off and continued to browse. A few minutes later I was looking at a few gift ideas and weren’t sure if they were included in their 20% off sale they have on now so I asked a store employee if the discount applied … she basically waved me off and said sorry I cant talk to you yet then darted off like a figment of my imagination….
WTF!?? I understand that they can’t start doing transactions until 12:00 but they can’t speak to customers before that! Seriously? If that is the case they should either lock the employees away until 12:00 so they don’t have to deal with the dumbfounded looks from customers (like me) or the UK trading authority should allow them to at least talk to their customers as they could lose sales – I wasn’t waiting 30 minutes to have someone tell me whether or not the thing I was looking at was on sale….next time I am going to walk up to an employee at 11:45 with a really expensive item and ask them if it is okay if I leave the store without paying….then when they say sorry I can’t answer that, I might just leave with it…yeah that’s a good idea.