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Old 30.07.2011, 17:46
 
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Dear Joos.....

I know I will never get a reply. But, utterly fed up after my last trip to Coop, I decided to rant a little....



I thought I would write directly to you as I thought, as CEO of Coop in Switzerland, you might take a real interest in the experiences your customers have when shopping in your stores. I am a busy mother of two very young children and our family moved to Ticino from England 18 months ago. I have to say, Switzerland is far superior to England in many respects but one area in which however you consistently fall down is customer service. Sadly this is the reason I feel compelled to take the trouble to write to you today.


I have just returned home from the largest store in Lugano; Cannobio. My weekly grocery outlay at this particular location is 600CHF, and every week my experience is the same. I get to the check-out with a very full cart of shopping and the cashier greets me. She or he begins checking out my groceries. Due to the speed and efficiency at which the cashier scans my goods and throws them roughly into the bagging area, soon a pile of shopping begins to grow as I cannot keep up with her and bag them quickly enough, despite breaking out in a sweat in order to attempt to do so. By this point I am already getting a little annoyed as I watch heavy items thrown on top of more delicate items such as my soft fruits.


Now comes the really irritating bit. In fact, all the mothers I know share the same comments on exactly this subject when they get together - the cashier runs out of room in the bagging area, so stops checking them through. Instead of offering to help she then sits idly whilst you furiously try to stuff your shopping into the bags to clear more space. No, she never offers to help. No, instead she sits, arms folded, just watching. If you are lucky, and its a really bad day, there will be queue of other customers, also watching you as you sweat and haul your bags into your trolley. Now, let me ask you this. Does your cashier not have a responsibility to assist all your customers to the best of their ability? Otherwise, what is the point of having a human sitting at the desk. Surely a robot would do the job just as well. Just a little compassion for their fellow man would not go amiss - if you see someone struggling, is it not your natural reaction to want to help? The answer, if you are a Coop cashier, is plainly no.


Just to add a final insult to injury, as soon as the pile is reduced somewhat, and the cashier is able to check through the last of your items, does she wait for you do finish bagging before prompting you to pay? Of course not. Instead you have to pay when she is ready for you to do so, so she can begin this process with the next customer, meaning that there are now two of you competing for space and bumping into one another in the small bagging area. This is not efficiency, it is just plain rudeness. I can't think of any other way of spending 600CHF that leaves me feeling so demoralised, annoyed and actually publicly humiliated. Spending our hard-earned money should be a pleasant experience, however, when I leave my house to visit one of your stores I feel apprehensive at how stressed I will be by the time I return home. I would much rather spend my 600CHF each week buying a nice designer shirt where the shop assistant would treat me well, but unfortunately this experience is unavoidable. I almost feel as if you are angry at me for spending so much money with you.


Despite your store offering the biggest variety under one roof in Lugano (and a really very good international selection of food), and undoubtedly better quality than Migros, I would happily shop with ANY of your other competitors, if they treated their customers any better than you treat yours, but sadly all the other stores are much the same. So, for you surely this is an opportunity to stand out from the rest. You could get your cashiers to smile, to offer to assist with packing bags if they are unable to continue scanning thereby showing that they are not unfeeling towards their customers. You could even stop that horrendous practice of checking the next customers groceries through whilst the previous customer is still loading their bags. If the cashier helped in the aforementioned way this would not be necessary anyway, as each customer would be processed much faster - two pairs of hands are better than one. I don't believe I am coming from an uneducated viewpoint, as I ran large seminars on improving customer service for a multinational company for five years. Consider my advice free in this instance as I potentially will benefit from it if you decide to implement anything I suggested!


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  #2  
Old 30.07.2011, 17:54
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Great post and so very true, to be honest now, after being treated the same way many times, I take my time and pay when I'm finished...

My money until its in my bags I say...
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Old 30.07.2011, 17:56
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Re: Dear Joos.....

We are a family of two and three cats and I also think I have to break a sweat to bag everything before people start looking at me funny and the cashier looses her temper :S That does not happen in Germany o rFrance though...
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Old 30.07.2011, 17:58
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Unfortunately no Coop stores in the Tessin offer the "Passabene" service. You should campaign to have it introduced.

You scan stuff as you shop and can pack your grocery bags while you shop. When you get to the check-out you hand the cashier your gizmo, she downloads what you shopped, rings it up and you pay. Your groceries never left the cart....unless you were picked for a random check and then it was just not your lucky day.
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Old 30.07.2011, 18:01
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Re: Dear Joos.....

I am afraid that this is the way all stores operate in all of Switzerland, and probably the way it has been for many many years. When I find myself in the same situation as you described (which I know beforehand, by eyeballing the content of my shopping cart) I don't bag, and simply transfer the items straight back to the cart. I bag calmly by my car's trunk, while my kids eat a small treat that keeps them entertained.

I don't think my reply will help you in any way regarding your feelings towards the stores, but might make your shopping experience less...unpleasant.
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Old 30.07.2011, 18:04
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Agreed!

I don't have any children, but have been accustomed to less frequent, bulk shopping trips. These are not supported in Switzerland.

The topic also came up when complaining about the ridculously small sizes of freezers and freezer compartments.

I've always been told, that I should do my shopping daily--that's they way it's done here, and I should conform.

Not a fan at all!
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Old 30.07.2011, 18:05
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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Unfortunately no Coop stores in the Tessin offer the "Passabene" service. You should campaign to have it introduced.

You scan stuff as you shop and can pack your grocery bags while you shop. When you get to the check-out you hand the cashier your gizmo, she downloads what you shopped, rings it up and you pay. Your groceries never left the cart....unless you were picked for a random check and then it was just not your lucky day.
Oh seriously, such a time saver! I swear I used to be the one sweating with a baby strapped to by chest and a toddler wandering off to knock over a few breakable items whist the elderly lady behind me inched closer and closer, supercard at the ready, and the cashier just looked on.

Until then, though, I would smile very nicely at the cashier and then take your sweet, sweet time!
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Old 30.07.2011, 18:09
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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We are a family of two and three cats and I also think I have to break a sweat to bag everything before people start looking at me funny and the cashier looses her temper :S That does not happen in Germany o rFrance though...
That used to happen to me in Germany all the time!

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I am afraid that this is the way all stores operate in all of Switzerland, and probably the way it has been for many many years. When I find myself in the same situation as you described (which I know beforehand, by eyeballing the content of my shopping cart) I don't bag, and simply transfer the items straight back to the cart. I bag calmly by my car's trunk, while my kids eat a small treat that keeps them entertained.

I don't think my reply will help you in any way regarding your feelings towards the stores, but might make your shopping experience less...unpleasant.
... and for that reason, when I lived in Germany I used to do excactly that, although it was my husband who got the small treat!
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Old 30.07.2011, 18:30
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Re: Dear Joos.....

Ignore the cashier and just bag your stuff in your own sweet time. Don't let them stress you. What you might try is putting the stuff back into the shopping cart instead of trying to bag it so then you have your time to bag your items. I know it's tough with two children (been there, done that) but the more you let the cashier upset you, the worse things get. Don't expect them to help, they are not paid to help you, it seems to be the law of the land and I doubt it will ever change. I still only shop once a week - even after 17 years here, I refuse to conform to that piece of nonsense. And if the cashier gives you lip, tell her off - it doesn't matter what language you use, most people will understand the tone of the message. People don't get cross enough here and the cashier will never expect you to talk back to her! I do feel for you.
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Old 30.07.2011, 18:50
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Re: Dear Joos.....

on the other hand you also have the people that do it sooooo slow. Like the next customer already passed and they are STILL bagging. ugh.

Anyways I refuse to go to the coop now. I shop or local or migros. Coop is to spendy, no customer service what so ever and their food is simply crap I find.

Oh well I guess thats what monopolies do for you.......
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:00
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Re: Dear Joos.....

I hate to pour cold water on your rant (or P*** on your Bonfire as we say in Newcastle) but like most rants about Switzerland, there is another side to the coin.

In my experience, people in the UK tend to get very irate behind people who hold up the queue, take too long packing, paying etc and it can be a very stressful experience.

The good side to your experience is that the same thing doesn't happen here....the queue is good natured, placid and no-one stands by your trolley tutting loudly. And to be perfectly honest, I would rather it be like that than some 17 year old spotty kid in Sainsburys throwing a 5kg bag of potatoes on top of my freshly chosen strawberries and chocolate eclair.

So if she really does "throw heavy items on top of your soft fruit", thats really bad of course...but my experience here is that everybody is happy to take their time, and for you to take yours!

Try and slow down and chill out a little bit.....take your time and ignore the cashiers if they annoy you
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:06
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Re: Dear Joos.....

I suppose as I have lived here all my life, your rant really surprises me.
It's always been like that, it's just normal.
It's not rude or unkind, it's just busy every day life.
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:29
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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I know I will never get a reply. But, utterly fed up after my last trip to Coop, I decided to rant a little....
Ah! How refreshing.... By the title of this post I thought you were a Neo-Nazi trying to pull a fast one on the mods by addressing the Jews through a phonicly similar slur.
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:33
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Re: Dear Joos.....

So that's basically

Dear Joos

F* you

Jasmine
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:40
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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So that's basically

Dear Joos

F* you

Jasmine
I didnt know the EF offered Cliffs Notes
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:46
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Re: Dear Joos.....

That's just the way it is, and as locals have confirmed, always has been. The trick is to plan ahead. You have to load the belt in the order in which you will bag the things: heavy things on bottom, light on top. Big things, bottom, little, top. This requires a little planning when loading your cart as well.

Then- don't seek out the checkout with the guy buying a pack of razor blades, go to one with someone who has a fair bit on the belt. Then you have time to load the belt. Still, be quick loading so you have time to pack the bags. The plastic-y bags with the web handles that cost a franc or two are well worth bringing as they pack better.

As for cashiers manhandling and tossing heavy items on top of light ones, I haven't seen that too much but it is a pain. If you say,"Please be careful." you will shock them out of their catatonic state. That I know for a fact. When it comes time to pay, I find it annoying when the person in front leisurely finishes packing, then pulls out their wallet, pokes around for money or a card, if it's money they search for exact change and if it's a card they put in in upside down and then forget their PIN. But not that annoyed, usually.
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:49
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Re: Dear Joos.....

It's store policy that cashiers shouldn't help customers bag their groceries. I asked a cashier about this once and she said that due to possible health injuries, they have been told to sit and watch. As much as you may want to blame the cashier, they can't do much about it either.
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:52
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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It's store policy that cashiers shouldn't help customers bag their groceries. I asked a cashier about this once and she said that due to possible health injuries,
LMFAO!!!!!!! Only the Swiss could get injured bagging some cat food and frozen pees.
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Old 30.07.2011, 19:58
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Re: Dear Joos.....

It's just the custom....
In other countries, nobody would dream of picking up litter or recycling materials or paying attention not to pollute the environment.
Here we do.. it's the custom
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Old 30.07.2011, 20:01
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Re: Dear Joos.....

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It's store policy that cashiers shouldn't help customers bag their groceries.
They do it at some of the new "Migrolino" stores ... but Sky is probably right
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