Sainsbury’s has apologised to a customer after a checkout worker refused to serve her until she had ended her mobile phone conversation.
Jo Clarke was told that she had to end her conversation before her shopping was processed.
In a statement to the BBC, Sainsbury’s said that “it isn't our policy to not serve customers who are using a mobile”. They have tried to address the issue by offering Ms Clarke a £10 voucher.
Using YouGov’s social media analysis tool, SoMA, we can see that this story has had a significant impact on Sainsbury’s brand on Twitter.
So far today, 13.1% of the Twitter population has been exposed to a mention of the supermarket chain, compared to 8.2% yesterday.
Leaving no ambiguity as to what is behind today’s increase in activity, top words mentioned alongside Sainsbury’s include ‘phone’, ‘rude’, ‘mobile’, ‘customer’, and ‘serve’.
By looking at the verbatim comments, however, it is interesting to see that many disagree with Sainsbury’s apology and support the stance taken by the checkout worker.
- ‘Oh @sainsburys - the customer isn't ALWAYS right! Definitely not in this case! http://t.co/e6Nl4M0qKB #badmanners (via @MrAdamBeresford)’
- ‘Absurd that @sainsburys felt the need to apologise to rude Jo Clarke for refusing to serve her whilst she was on her phone. Ignorant woman!’
- ‘Don't apologise, @sainsburys. It's shockingly rude to chat away on the phone while someone is serving you. http://t.co/DI7qqdSNeH’
- ‘I think @sainsburys should seriously consider withdrawing that rude woman's apology’
It seems that in this instance, the public don’t think that the customer is always right.