Blog: Leonie BarrieLast GASP at customer service

Leonie Barrie | 30 September 2011

Faced with harsh trading conditions, ever-more demanding shoppers, and even tougher competition for their business, you would have thought that a focus on service and building customer loyalty would be at the top of any retailer's hit list. After all, if a store gets it wrong it's very easy to lose business elsewhere.

But not so for Australian retailer GASP, whose customer service was so bad that its response to a letter of complaint has swept the internet. For shopper Keara O'Neill in search of bridesmaids' dresses, the patronising comments from staff - including 'With your figure I really think you should buy it' and 'I knew you girls were a joke the minute you walked in' - proved to be the final straw.

But instead of being horrified by O'Neill's treatment and her subsequent complaints, the GASP customer services department leapt to the defence of its salesman, describing him as "a qualified stylist whom has a sixth sense for fashion, and...too good at what he does." "He knew you were not going to buy anything before you even left your house," it added. To add insult to injury, it said shoppers more used to "clothing for the masses" type retailers, [are] almost frightened by our range."

The diatribe can be seen in full here. But perhaps most astonishing of all, despite the furore generated by the company's behaviour, GASP claims business has never been better.


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