Companies Using "Because of COVID" As An Excuse For Poor Service

35B

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Oh dear, that will mean it will go completely down the toilet.

This is what happens when an organisation is run by bean counters in remote offices are not affected by the adverse consequences of the decisions that they make.

The people who have cut the staffing budget will probably get the credit (and possibly a bonus) for saving the company some money, but they won't have to deal with the flak from customers who are ****** off at all the congestion or having to queue for so long.
...until they lose their jobs because people stop buying from the store.
 
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Hadders

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12 staff? That's crazy. When I worked in Sainsburys we'd have 20 - 30 staff just on checkouts on a Saturday. Admittedly we didn't have self-service in those days, but there's no way you can run a supermarket with a team of 12.
There’s been huge cutbacks in all major supermarket manning levels in recent years, mainly to mitigate costs of increases to the minimum wage.

Firstly, management teams have become flatter, with layers being removed. You don’t see supervisors or department managers or even deputy managers these days. The structure is often a store manager then a team on half a dozen middle managers (exact number dependent on size and complexity of the store), and that’s it.

Secondly, general staffing levels have shrunk. Driven by the move to self checkout and scan and go technology. The main checkout bank in a large store is often as few as a 12 these days. Fewer counters which are labour intensive are also an area that has seen cut backs.

The only area in growth has been online although the shoppers normally work when the store is closed and the drivers are out on the road most of the time.
 

Dent

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...until they lose their jobs because people stop buying from the store.

I doubt it would be the head office accountants that would loose their jobs if trade declines, it would be low-paid shop workers who can least afford it.
 

Hadders

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I doubt it would be the head office accountants that would loose their jobs if trade declines, it would be low-paid shop workers who can least afford it.
Head office staff are often the first to go. I know large retailers where head office staffing levels have been reduced by 50% over the last five years.
 

Dent

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Head office staff are often the first to go. I know large retailers where head office staffing levels have been reduced by 50% over the last five years.

Junior head office staff possibly, but I doubt anyone senior enough to be deciding staff levels on a national scale would be the first to go.
 

35B

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Junior head office staff possibly, but I doubt anyone senior enough to be deciding staff levels on a national scale would be the first to go.
You'd be surprised. First, those big decisions are rarely by one person, but based on a lot of analysis and discussion - so get made by committee even if taken in the name of someone senior. Second, when the axe swings, it often swings at the top before then slicing down further as those senior managers' teams are no longer required following the departure of said manager. In a business like a supermarket, if most people are hourly paid and on low wages, those earning enough to pay higher rate tax stand out and need to demonstrate their value.
 

nedchester

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A number of government departments are still claiming that there are extensions to processing due to Covid / Social distancing. Departments include Passport offices, HMRC and Driving licence applications.

There’s no excuse whatsoever now.
 

DelayRepay

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Secondly, general staffing levels have shrunk. Driven by the move to self checkout and scan and go technology. The main checkout bank in a large store is often as few as a 12 these days. Fewer counters which are labour intensive are also an area that has seen cut backs.

Yes, times have changed. In the store I worked in we had 45 checkouts, plus two kiosks, plus a couple of tills in the electrical/clothing area and we had the petrol station. I worked one Saturday just before Christmas when every one of those tills was in use (plus a temporary till near the cafe selling cards and perfume!). It was a busy day - in fact we later found out it was the busiest day (in terms of takings) of any Sainsburys store ever. We wouldn't have coped well with only 12 tills!
 

Pete_uk

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We had a small pebble launched at one of our front door windows back on, um, good Friday. It got boarded up and I painted it blue to go with the door but the council is still 'chaseing up' the replacement.
 

DelayRepay

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We had a small pebble launched at one of our front door windows back on, um, good Friday. It got boarded up and I painted it blue to go with the door but the council is still 'chaseing up' the replacement.
I think I've mentioned before that there are loads of people around here complaining about a lack of maintenance/repair to council properties.

The back story is that the maintenance contractor decided it was unsafe to enter houses during lockdown, so would only attend to emergencies. And therefore decided to furlough most of their staff. They kept this on for far longer than was necessary so now have a huge backlog. And I assume they're also being impacted by the general labour/materials shortages.

A friend of mine has a leaking basin in his bathroom. When he reported this in May 2020, he understood why they didn't want to send someone into his house, and in the circumstances would have been nervous having a stranger in the house anyway. So he accepted their advice to use a bucket to catch the drips. Said bucket is still there 16 months later... He did have two appointments booked but both were cancelled due to the workman having to self isolate. Since then he's been told they can't book another appointment as it's not a high priority repair!
 

35B

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A number of government departments are still claiming that there are extensions to processing due to Covid / Social distancing. Departments include Passport offices, HMRC and Driving licence applications.

There’s no excuse whatsoever now.
Driving licences aren’t helped by DVLA and PCS being unable to agree on how work should be done, with PCS anti large scale return to office.
 

nedchester

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Driving licences aren’t helped by DVLA and PCS being unable to agree on how work should be done, with PCS anti large scale return to office.

Well I’m sure that they’ll be pleased when those in charge look for more automation to get the job done more effectively.

Same applies in other fields including the railways…….
 

DelayRepay

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Driving licences aren’t helped by DVLA and PCS being unable to agree on how work should be done, with PCS anti large scale return to office.
And this is where the unions are doing themselves no favours.

I've been working from home throughout. Earlier this year, the company planned to open up office space for people who wanted to go in. It was to be voluntary and really designed to help people who were feeling isolated at home, or didn't have a good work space. The proposal was that alternate desks would be out of use to maintain 2m distancing, masks would be worn, no face to face meetings would take place etc. In my view over the top, but as Covid safe as you can get.

The union objected and scuppered the plan despite the general view of staff that it was a good idea, with most people keen to take advantage even if only occasionally.
 

Bantamzen

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Driving licences aren’t helped by DVLA and PCS being unable to agree on how work should be done, with PCS anti large scale return to office.
PCS having been getting worse & worse over the years. Quite happy to sit back and watch zero pay rises for it's members, but mention going back to office and they puff out their chests. And this is coming from a former rep for the previous union CPSA.
 

bearhugger

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And Morrisons are being sold to a private equity firm... Covid is a convenient figleaf for a completely different corporate decision.

I was browsing on UK version of Amazon website for something this morning and noticed Morrisons has a tab on the Amazon home screen for me.
 

Bikeman78

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I think I've mentioned before that there are loads of people around here complaining about a lack of maintenance/repair to council properties.

The back story is that the maintenance contractor decided it was unsafe to enter houses during lockdown, so would only attend to emergencies. And therefore decided to furlough most of their staff. They kept this on for far longer than was necessary so now have a huge backlog. And I assume they're also being impacted by the general labour/materials shortages.
Yes it's funny how some companies claim they can't visit people's homes for an hour but the likes of Magnet can install a whole new kitchen which takes about two weeks. My smart meters didn't work for months and the website refused to let me submit meter readings. So they just guessed. Unsurprisingly they guessed I was using much more energy than I really was.
 

DelayRepay

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Yes it's funny how some companies claim they can't visit people's homes for an hour but the likes of Magnet can install a whole new kitchen which takes about two weeks. My smart meters didn't work for months and the website refused to let me submit meter readings. So they just guessed. Unsurprisingly they guessed I was using much more energy than I really was.

That's not a bad thing... you'll have been charged at the lower price.
 

Mag_seven

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Having originally changed their check in time from 14.00 to 16.00, Premier Inn have now brought it forward to 15.00 though still "due to Covid".
 

greyman42

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LNER are still banging on about Covid in their reply to customer complaints.
 

Solent&Wessex

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I had cause to ring my Pet Insurance company the other day. There was at least 1 very long about recorded message about 5 minutes long, before you even got to the various options, telling me that they were short-staffed due to effects of the covid 19 pandemic, they were extremely busy due to the covid 19 pandemic, that call times were taking a very very long time to answer due to the covid pandemic and that actually the best way to communicate would be via email due to the covid 19 pandemic. I finally got to the options and selected what I wanted. I then got another recording warning me that due to the effects of the covid pandemic they were really short staff and calls would take a very long time to answer, however I could get a far quicker response via email. It then asked if I really wanted to join the very long queue and was I certain about it? I selected the yes option, the phone rung once, and I was immediately connected to a very helpful person who dealt with my enquiry far faster than I could even type the email explaining the situation.
 

Pete_uk

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Some little darling decided to launch a little pebble at one of our front door windows on good Friday. Still waiting for the council to get the replacement...
 

221129

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CrossCountry are, publicly at least, using Covid as an excuse for slashing their services next week.

Of course the real reason these services are being slashed is because of the end of their rest day working agreement with ASLEF, as reported on this thread: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...11-inc-withdrawal-of-all-hst-services.225291/
In fairness they're not entirely wrong. Several of the training courses are way behind due to limits of people in the cab.
 

island

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But there are no legal limits of people in the cab. Only some Spanish practices.
 

trainophile

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Checked into a Wetherspoons hotel today to find no teaspoon on the hospitality tray in our room, just one flimsy little wooden stick. We are here for two nights.

Asked for one at the reception desk, to be told “we don’t do teaspoons any more, it was stopped because of Covid. I will bring you some more stirring sticks.”

Hard luck if we want a yoghurt after dinner, or a porridge pot for breakfast. Ridiculous excuse.
 

Yew

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Checked into a Wetherspoons hotel today to find no teaspoon on the hospitality tray in our room, just one flimsy little wooden stick. We are here for two nights.

Asked for one at the reception desk, to be told “we don’t do teaspoons any more, it was stopped because of Covid. I will bring you some more stirring sticks.”

Hard luck if we want a yoghurt after dinner, or a porridge pot for breakfast. Ridiculous excuse.
Get two and use them like chopsticks on the individual oats?
 

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