Bunnings, The Land That Service Forgot

8 11 2009

This morning I went to Bunnings, a hardware supply shop which claims they sell everything under one roof.  Certainly it’s big, and I suppose they do have only one roof, didn’t really count.

Unfortunately they haven’t got enough staff and the ones they do have are rude and don’t want to be there.

I went in looking for a triangular shaped hook for the lightsaber prop I bought the other day. It’s a pretty specific item so I wasn’t convinced I’d find it, and if I did find something similar, I’d be happy enough with that.   Naturally you don’t want to walk into a store and ask if they have any hooks for your lightsaber because that tends to get funny looks.  In fact, you look funny now as you read this.  Yes, I can see you.

Anyway back to the story. I arrived about 8:10am and looked at the first place I thought would be likely, which was in the chains and hooks section.  They didn’t really have anything similar, so I went to the locks and knobs. I even tried looking at bathroom fittings and found a tap with a similar ring that would have been ok, but it was too small.  I carried it around anyway, on the off chance that a Bunnings Staff member would come out of hiding so that I could ask them a question.

I wandered along about 5 different aisles looking at all sorts of bits and pieces, including plant hangers, bags and shower curtains.  No luck, but as I said, I hadn’t really expected much.

I returned to the front of the store and asked the woman if there was anyone around who could help me.  “What do you want Darl?” she asked.  I explained, and she waved up the right side of the store in a general fashion.  Asking for more specific locations she said to try Aisle 14.  I expected she would lead me up there and show me their range, but she turned away and stared out the glass doors.

Finally I saw a Bunnings girl sitting at a desk and showed her what I wanted. She called me “Darl” and waved me back the way I came.   When I didn’t move, she struggled out of her chair and led me back where I came from.  I said I didn’t see anything there, but they have a lot of stock and maybe I missed it.  Looking bored the whole time she wandered the same ailsed I had seen and pointed out a few things that were nothing like what I’d shown her.  Eventually she got bored and dismissed me with a “That’s all we’ve got Darl.”

I thanked her and headed to the power tools section. I am after a Dremel for Christmas. Well, until I saw the price.   Upon entering the power tools section, there was a young girl and a guy behind the counter.  He greeted me with a “What are you looking for, Matey?”

I told him the Dremel and he waved a hand in their general direction.  The girl gazed into space.

After checking out the Dremel range, I headed off to the far end of the store to see if I could get some wire to make my own hook.  I found some, but it was in reels of 16 metres.  I needed about 6 centimetres.  I looked around for a staff member to see if they had anything shorter, or if some could be cut and to see if I had any options.  After walking the aisles for about eight more minutes I found another Bunnings staff member, hiding in a corner.  “Yes Darl?”

Explaining what I wanted she said they couldn’t sell shorter lengths and then led me back to the original aisle, and during the walk I explained I’d been there myself and with another staff member.  Perhaps she was hard of hearing or had been around too many power tools, because she didn’t seem to understand.

“Did you try here, Darl?” she asked, obviously trying to get away.

I said again that I had.  She said that was all they had. I thanked her.

Making my way back to the front of the store, I passed two more Bunnings members who asked “How are you going, Matey?” without breaking stride or waiting for an answer.

Perhaps they thought I would have asked for assistance and had to get away.

It was a dreadful experience, and as I said, I didn’t really expect to find what I was after.  The two people who actually helped, I appreciate, but they did so with a bad grace and an obvious disinterest.  The others who actively avoided me, I have no words for. In the end I was there for one hour, twenty minutes, most of that was looking for someone who would actually answer my questions about their range.

I doubt I will return to Bunnings for a long time.  If I do, it will be for something that I have called and checked on first.   To be fair, it was early Sunday morning, but that’s no excuse for the attitude I saw today.

Perhaps they need some staff customer service training.  They can all do it under one roof.

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