We were going to the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, so I used the B&Q website to look for B&Q stores both "near" there & and en route home. The online stock checker showed only two stores having the product "in stock". The two stores were in opposite directions, and going to either of them would add about 45 mins to our journey home.
We thought about just turning up at one of the shops to see if they had it, but (a) we needed 20 pieces and (b)what if they didn't? We'd spend hours driving round Birmingham on spec.
So, as we were leaving the Good Food Show I phoned the first store (Halesowen). B&Q is one of those shops which automatically answers the call within so many rings, then you wait and wait and wait, all the time being charged for the call, until a real person picks up the phone. The Operator then tried to put me through to Gardening, but after about four minutes no one had picked up, so she asked me to call back later.
The second store was Wednesdbury. This was a very long call. They were quick to pick up, but they couldn't find my product when the lady went to look for it on the shelves. Didn't want the barcode, said they didn't do that product. She put me through to Building, and I went through it again. The chap did take the barcode, and confirmed they stocked it... and he went to look for it. Eventually he came back and said they had it in stock, lots of it, but it needed to be got down by Fork Lift truck, and they aren't allowed to do that during opening hours. He could have it for me for the next day. At this point, I wanted to cry.
If we hadn't already built the first two panels, I wouldn't have bothered, we would have used something else. No one other than B&Q had this sort of product in this sort of size. I explained to the guy that we were only in the area today, and had come a long way. Then, brilliantly, he said he would sort it out, and we could come and collect it in 45 mins.
And he did! We didn't get to meet him, he didn't give me his name (when I asked, he said just to go to the Building department), and I can't thank him enough. I wish more people had his customer service attitude. I doubt he'll ever read this, but if he does, he knows who he is...Thank you.