Thursday, 28 May 2009


Sent by post to Boots Customer Service

Dear Sir/Madam

Good heavens! I’ve never had a retail experience like it. I happened upon one of your chemists recently and was perusing the shower gel products, when I happened to notice another customer standing behind the till area.

‘Good heavens,’ I thought. ‘That’s a bit unreasonable. I didn’t think us common folk were allowed behind the counter where all the drugs and cash is kept.’

Perturbed, I was. Then, having made my shower selection (Boots’ Mango and Jojoba body wash – smells delicious incidentally, good enough to eat. But don’t. It tastes disgusting) I made my way to the checkout to pay. And lo and behold, the lady I mistook for a customer was a Boots employee. SHE WAS WEARING HER HOME CLOTHES! I’m absolutely positive you wouldn’t condone this blatant disregard for staff uniforms. Especially in a chemist where there are drugs and things.

Now, I do not wish to name names about which branch and whom and where and when and whether and any other words beginning with wh, but I would have thought a general reminder to all staff that this is inappropriate clothing (the jumper looked like it was from Next) would not be too much to ask. You will find enclosed a picture of how we (me and some other people I asked – names and addresses can be supplied on request) expect our chemists to be dressed.

Yours truly,

Tim Broughton

Received from Boots Customer Service

Dear Mr Broughton

Thank you for contacting us about your recent shopping trip. I am sorry to learn that you are disappointed because a member of staff was not in uniform and I appreciate you letting us know about this.

Unfortunately without knowing the name of the store that you went to, the approxiamate time when you visited the store and a description of the staff member I am unable to investigate this fully.

I have however made our Store Operations team aware of your experience. They have assured me that they will raise and consider your comments at their next review and take any action considered appropriate.

Please also find enclosed a questionnaire, which will help us make sure we've provided you with the very best customer care.

Thank you again for contacting us. If you have any further questions please contact me personally on 08450 70 80 90.

Your sincerely

Andrew Martin
Customer Care

Sent by post to Boots Customer Service

Dear Andrew

I think you might be mistaking be for a dobber. How shocked I was by the clear whistle-blowing attitude evident within Boots. Is it really the case that a stalwart fulcrum of the British high street would so easily slap the firm hand of conformity upon its employees – those community-spirited souls enriched with a sense of goodness and sniffle-defying fibre? This appears to be an issue running right to the core of the organisation. We’re gonna need more than a questionnaire for this one, old boy.

I shudder to consider the consequences of revealing the identity of the ‘Home-Clothed Tommy’. Exiled to head office no doubt. A stint in the Department of Performance, never to be seen again?

A simple, subtle reminder allowed to trickle to the troops would seem a far more proportionate response.


Tim Broughton

PS Should this leave a gap in the minutes of your next Store Operations Review, may I suggest a stirring rendition of Rule Britannia. Works every time.

1 comment:

  1. It is funny isn't it how you always get a prompt reply if you write something innocuous about how the staff didn't wear a uniform - obviously a piss take because who actually CARES what an employee wears - but you will never get a reply if you actually wrote about something real like the fact that a soap brought you out in a bright red rash on a day you were to do a TV interview.