Here today, scone tomorrow – ASDA Fail!

* Photo courtesy of Jac Meldrum

My sister gets married in a couple of weeks. On a very tight budget her and her husband to be have been busy making preparations and organising their wedding.

For the bit where you have more guests they are having cream teas and that requires scones, lots of scones I guess around 500 ish scones, a lot anyway! My sister approached their local ASDA some time ago to ask if they would bake the scones for them of which they said ‘no problem, of course. Just order them 2 weeks before.’

She went in last week and to her horror they said ‘Sorry we don’t take orders, change of policy’. Change of policy? Since when does a shop make a policy to stop taking orders for what it sells? Anyway she spoke to the manager and he reluctantly said he’d see what he could do.

It seemed like hassle for him as he said ‘That’s more than we sell in a month’ (freshly baked ones not the pre packaged ones). Confidence dented she rang round other stores and Sainsburys came up trumps. The bakery manager was more than obliging and helpful, a knight in shining armour and her new best friend!

This post isn’t to praise Sainsburys (although they did good) but to highlight yet again the poor thought out processes of big brand stores. To question who’s in charge, the customer or the brand? To highlight the failures of policy makers who have no relationship with customers or concept of what their actions mean to the people that pay their wages. To rant about bad customer service.

Of course I have to ask (as was asked of me) would a local supplier have let her down? Bar an emergency I think not, but ultimately ASDA you failed… again.

As usual feel free to comment below.




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  1. Sadly this is usually the norm in supermarket culture. From experience the stores have little movement from their set routine of pile it high and flog it cheap.

    This is one of the reasons why I’d always advise shopping local and independent – a local baker could have probably worked a solution out (at least I would have hoped they could) and offered a service above that of a faceless supermarket.

    It’s likely the “freshly baked” scones are just delivered in frozen/chilled batches anyway and baked to order, so not as if the supermarket really had to do any work beyond ordering more unbaked scones.

  2. Crikey – look out Asda! The last time Gary wrote about poor customer service he was talking about Focus DIY – and they have since gone into administration.

    Coincidence? Who can say? However, if I were Asda’s regional manager, I would be working hard to improve customer service in all stores within 30 miles of Cromer.

    Interesting post Gary – hope your sister has a wonderful day!


  3. Hmm, ASDA aren’t the greatest. When we had all the snow a couple of years back I was using the ASDA home delivery service. For 2 weeks, through the worst of the snow they managed to deliver. But the week the roads between our house and Stowmarket were clear (that’s where my shopping came from) I had a delivery due on the Monday morning and received an email on the Sunday to inform me that my order had been cancelled because it was unsafe for their drivers – obviously they thought it would be safe enough for me to drive there and get the shopping!

    I got an apology (eventually) and a voucher to use online for free delivery for my next order. The problem was that for the next couple of months I couldn’t get on the website and no one on the help line seemed particularly bothered about helping me.

    The upshot is that Tesco now deliver to me each week.


  4. Quick update.

    It was 500 scones not 200. I have corrected it in the original post.

    I’ve got ASDA ringing me in the morning so will report back with what they say.

  5. Ian D

    there has to be a link between Focus’ poor customer service and their financial plight. The public tend to make their purchasing decisions on the basis of price and convenience (not necessarily in that order – for example I live in Cromer so I shop in Cromer price is a secondary consideration) but when I shop I like to know that my patronage is valued and in the case of Focus and the Asda example it clearly isn’t so although some people may have no choice due to location or lack of transport those who do will only tolerate so much poor service. You get what you pay for, not just a product but an experience. That’s why Lidl is so cheap because they basically employ people to process stock not to interact with their customers and I would suggest that most people who shop there probably know that.

  6. Just to follow up. Asda head office did ring me yesterday to look into the problem and did duly call me back to explain what had happened.

    It seems that the bakery was under performing and so the new bakery manager decided to put in place a local policy not to take orders until he had trouble shooted the problems. I pointed out that the main problem was his poor communication and the way he left the customer feeling that it was tough, which they agreed that wasn’t right.

    In any case they were very apologetic and will be sending flowers to my sister as a way to apologise to her which is fair enough.

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