I visited Esso Canonmills today 07/05/13 at about [protected]. The purpose of my visit was to use their car wash facility and then possibly valet and air. When I entered the shop I decided to buy the Gold option @ £6.99. The man I dealt with was friendly and attentive, showing me the pin for my wash and explained the loyalty voucher. That was fine. I then continued to the actual car wash, entered my pin ok and the car wash started as expected. After the soap had been applied (and I therefore didn't have great vision) not much seemed to be happening. Giving it the benefit of the doubt I waited a few minutes, but still nothing, so i turned on my engine and cleared my windows. To my horror, I noticed the door had come down, I looked behind me to find the same with the back door, and so I was stuck inside a car wash. I would like to add that I was on my way back from the hospital where I had just had an invasive procedure and I was in a fair bit of pain, I was also preparing for a job interview. On top of this, today was particularly hot, and in an enclosed car stuck inside acar washh, not long after an operation this was hardly ideal. Anyway, I soon noticed that there was an emergency exit door so I braved being attacked by the car wash and escaped.
When I went into the shop to explain, as you can imagine, I was already feeling a bit stupid going in to say "I've just got stuck in the car wash". I approached the female assistant behind the counter and explained what had happened. She said nothing and offered no apology, instead grunted and looked at her colleague (who had originally served me) to deal with it. He very politely said he'd be with me in a second after he had finished with the customer he was already serving. I was then quite promptly ordered to step to the side as the female assistant had other customers to serve. Anyway, the helpful man came to my rescue. He asked the female assistant for something about a test wash, just looking for confirmation I think, to which she nodded in the most disinterested way. At this point it occurred to me that maybe she was a manager or supervisor, and that her rude behaviour was a lot more unacceptable so I took a note of her name Gosia. Unfortunately I never caught her helpful colleague's name but he was about 5"10, slim, skinhead/shaved head with glasses and was wearing a dark jumper over his shirt.
Myself and himself took a trip over the car wash and he managed to open the doors, he asked me to drive back round to the start and explained that he would put another pin in for me. Once I brought my car round it was apparent he was having difficulties with the machine. Despite his helpful and attentive manner I must say I was quite shocked when he angrily shouted "Oh for ###s sake" at the machine, but to be honest, I didn't blame him. He fiddled around with it a bit longer and then gave in, explaining to me the they had been having intermittent problems with the switchboard which was affecting it. Obviously this was not his fault and he offered me a reasonable compensation given the inconvenience this had caused me: a refund of the price of the wash I'd payed for, to personally throw buckets of water over my car to remove the soap and said he'd allow me to keep the loyalty point I'd gain so that if I bought another wash with them I would still get my 3rd free.
He offered to bring the water up but I was happy enough to reverse down the winding hill for him since he was clearly doing his best for me. He then washed to soap off my car (I'd like to add that I appreciated his attention to detail and customer when I noticed he had checked and waited for me to close my window before throwing water over the car). We then continued into the shop to deal with the refund. As we came in, I noticed this Gosia spoke at her male colleague in a foreign language - possibly polish - not that this makes any difference, it was the principal but I managed to catch as much as switchboard out of it. Again, he asked Gosia how he would process a refund on the car wash. She begrudgingly took this task on board and as if each of her fingers weighed a kilo each she tapped the screen looking nothing but fed up with me. I tried to let this slip thinking maybe she was just having a bad day (not that this would make it acceptable) but then the most arrogant and obnoxious part came; without uttering a word, giving any eye contact or even acknowledgement of my presence I noticed a very assertive hand gesturing to the card machine. I then quite calmly said, "Would you like me to insert my card", I was not given any answer bar that of her body language - which incase you hadn't gathered was cold, unapologetic and impersonal. At this point I just wanted to leave to put so my card in. She then turned to her colleague, who was looking on, and spoke to him in whatever foreign language it was again. As a fluent and native speaker of another language myself, I would never dare speak to someone else in it, in the presence of others who would not understand. It is just the height of rudeness. Then came the receipts ordeal. I was handed back only one and no loyalty card, despite being advised previously I would be allowed to keep it as part of my consolation. Normally, I would have just walked off and not bothered but because of the sheer audacity of Gosia I put my foot down and decided to ask for it. Finally, Gosia spoke to me! Only to give me an excuse, suggesting that she had to retain the loyalty card for managerial purposes. Her colleague did try to interject and explain but she quickly dismissed him which clearly made him feel humiliated. In hindsight I was quite right, because the word 'loyalty' card explains its purpose, not 'come and get stamp then hand back when our machinery breaks card' - surely it is a reward for choosing to use Esso?! At this point I had had enough. I told Gosia that I had found her very rude, explaining that she had hardly given me any eye contact, hardly uttered a word to me and not once apologised to me. I reassured them that the male had been very helpful and clearly done everything in his power to resolve the situation, apologising on multiple occasions and had even been willing to get wet to ensure I was not put out. At this point, Gosia turned away and took absolutely interest in the opportunity being offered to apologise. At this point I informed her that I would definitely be complaining to Esso about her to which she grunted and turned away, and to which I walked out the shop in utter dismay and had lost absolutely all interest in using the valet or air facilities.
I would like to reiterate that the purpose of this complaint it about Gosia apparent lack of any customer service skills. I am not annoyed about the machinery breaking as these things happen which is understandable. Furthermore, I wish to praise the Esso on employing the male I dealt with who was most diligent and I suggest they commend him on his outstanding service, especially given the rogue he works beside - I wouldn't go as far as to say I would remain anywhere near as positive and can do working beside Gosia. Only in the case of dire emergencies will I ever use Esso facilities again, incase I meet another Gosia.