THIS is an open letter to the senior management at Makro Wholesalers. I have taken this step of addressing you through the press after suffering abuse at the hands of one of your managers at the Mukuvisi Makro on November 3.
The manager, who only gave his name as Steve, acted in the most mean-spirited, vindictive and small-minded manner in dealing with me.
On the day, I went to Mukuvisi Makro to replenish our provisions as usual. Unbeknown to me was the fact that our organisation had one of its cheques written in favour of Makro dishonoured at the bank. Consequently, I was barred from using our company account/card for shopping purposes even though I meant to use cash.
I then opted to use my personal business card/account with Makro to shop on behalf of my organisation as we badly needed the goods as our stocks were running low.
While receiving change from the till operator having done my purchase, Big Brother Steve noticed that I had managed to do my shopping inspite of his efforts to stop me.
He proceeded to order that the sale be cancelled and that I be refunded my money. The reason … I had first tried to do business on a blacklisted account and so I could not do business with Makro at all using any other card/account.
Now, this looks ridiculous and patently unreasonable. If one of my cars is not insured, surely that does not mean that my other car should be barred from the roads on account of the “sin” of the other car?
It is my considered view that Steve acted like a small-minded mahobho (security guard) who simply wanted to abuse his authority to fix a hapless customer.
While a mahobho can be forgiven for such despicable action as his low self-esteem drives him to such ridiculous lengths to show his manhood and power, a manager should know better.
A manager worth his salt does not use one of the most ignoble of human passions — primitive revenge – in dealing with customers.
If managers stoop so low as to use their whims and caprices as opposed to established rules and procedures in dealing with customers, then companies will degenerate into lawless jungles where customers go at their own risk.
Companies should not turn a blind eye to, or nurture tin-pot dictators like the civil service, where officials are a law unto themselves and clients have to literally beg them for service.
It is a badge of shame for private sector employees to try to outdo civil servants in mean-spiritedness as far as customer service is concerned.
Customers deserve fair and polite treatment as a matter of right, particularly in the private sector where the high prices necessarily factor-in polite treatment of customers.
While we appreciate that Zimbabwe is to all intents and purposes a seller’s market, that is no reason to abuse customers with impunity.
Customers refrain from going to Mbare and some such seedy, or ngena-tina-pangana, or Museyamwa stores and prefer to do their business at reputable places like Makro because they want to avoid rude, mean-spirited and uncouth shop attendants.
If Makro has become another run-of-the-mill ngena-tina-pangana store where the customer is routinely abused, then God save the hapless customer.
Is the motto at Makro Mukuvisi now “Hamungapatengi kana musati matoti preeze kuna Steve”, to paraphrase Tanga WeKwaSando’s brilliant condemnation in music of small-minded security guards? The more is the pity.
Harassed Makro customer,
This letter was sent to Makro who said senior managers were investigating the issue. – Editor.