Finweek English Edition - - Cover - GLENDA WIL­LIAMS glen­daw@fin­week.co.za

WE HAVE COME TO ex­pect a high level of qual­ity and ser­vice from Woolies. So I was an­tic­i­pat­ing much of the same from its call cen­tre. But it wasn’t to be. A few se­cu­rity ques­tions later and an ex­pla­na­tion of the prob­lem – some­thing I did not buy was re­flected on my state­ment – I found my­self on the back foot. It turns out Wool­worths is happy to pro­vide credit fa­cil­i­ties but doesn’t have sys­tems in place to han­dle queries re­lat­ing to er­rors. Yes, you can re­ceive your bal­ance, your last pur­chase or credit avail­able at the press of a but­ton but point out an er­ror and ev­ery­thing goes pear-shaped.

While ex­tremely po­lite, the op­er­a­tor left me in no doubt I’d need to do all the leg­work to rec­tify its er­ror. And that be­cause Wool­worths’s head of­fice doesn’t have ac­cess to the trans­ac­tions made at their var­i­ous branches. I found that dif­fi­cult to get my head around and – un­usu­ally for me – I was at a loss for words.

So off I go to the Woolies branch where the trans­ac­tion took place. Stand in a queue, see store man­ager, re­quest a print­out of the trans­ac­tion, dis­pute it, re­quest that the dis­pute be sent to head of­fice and leave store. I should send Woolies an ac­count for my time and petrol. And the prob­lem is still some­where un­re­solved in cy­berspace.

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