13 October 2005

Non-computer corporate bullies

For your amusement, the contents of Coles’ online feedback form:

The basic issue concerns me taking photographs in your stores. The staff at Wanneroo very politely told me that this was not allowed. Points for the staff, they did their job.

They were unable to explain why I was not allowed to photograph. Shame on Coles for not keeping them informed.

The local [cool site, for a supermarket, pardon the 100m long URL] Dewsons store was quite happy to let me photograph, once I had assured them that I was not from Coles and was not there noting prices so that Coles could undercut them.

I am not interested in being told that I can’t take photos in what amounts (lawyers and technical details notwithstanding) to a public place.

Dewsons had a valid reason for questioning me, but went ahead and let me photograph (and write down prices, even! I’m teaching my children about food). Coles did not even ask questions, just said “no”.

In terms of shutting out the competition, this policy is just dumb, because if I was a competitor scoping the store out, I’d use a boring-looking but high quality camera ’phone and just take enough pictures while pretending to shop and talk to be sure I had everything covered, then gradually walk away from my trolley, “hang up” and leave. You’d never know what I’d done. If I was a terrorist, you’d never know that either because I’m a Caucasian dressed in jeans and tee shirt. Try banning ’phones from your stores and see how far you get.

I’m not interested in contributing to that mindset. The very least Coles can do is not leave your staff in the lurch, give them a reason for the policy. Better still, Coles could let me know that the policy has been declared witless and rescinded.

Awaiting Coles’ response with some anticipation.

Looks like I’ll be shopping a Dewsons from now on...


M said...

I think maybe you overestimate the level of malevolence here.
They are stopping you because once, way back they were told to stop people.
No more intelligence or thought process was involved.

Experiment with this :-)
I find it greatly amusing to go through a drive through fast food place and state _very_ explicitly what i want, and follow that up with "I do not want fries, drinks, any form of dessert or anything else with my order".
then listen to the poor fast food drone splutter and stumble over what they should say next. You see they get drilled into them _excactly_ what they have to say in 90% of all situations, and when you put them in a situation that is against all their training (or brainwashing), they have a metal fit.
Lots of fun :-)

skribe said...

Woolies have never even bothered me when I've been taking pictures. It happens so often at the Perth store - admittedly mostly with cameraphones - I think they can no longer be bothered.

As for Dewsons, I've had my say.

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