Everyone knows my attitude to my blog is pretty hit and miss at the moment. But this evening while shopping an incident happened that inspired me to crank up the ol' Blogger again.
We shop at Asda very regularly as we live within a stone's throw of it. In fact, we're very lucky because we live quite close to Tesco too, but I abhor shopping there. So Friday is pizza night and while myself and the lads are happy with a frozen offering, Paul is partial to a Create Your Own at Asda's Deli counter. As he's quite a fussy eater, he always gets the same:
10" Thin and Crispy
BaconBecause the choice of the CYO is four toppings, he also gets an extra portion of bacon and extra cheese. It's pricey, but for all the time he's been ordering it, he's always got a generously topped pizza, freshly made so we figured it was worth splashing out on.
Tonight though, it seems Asda had decided it was no longer feeling magnanimous. In fact, they have been cutting corners across the board. When Paul went to pick up his pizza, firstly we noticed that it didn't have the regular cardboard base. Instead, it was on a (Smartprice) paper plate.
(Tick - saving money every day)
It was the other side that infuriated me. The topping was very skimpy, leaving large swathes of pizza base naked! It was lightweight and floppy and NOTHING like we'd previously had.
(Tick - saving money every day)
On my insistence (yup, I can be pushy like that), Paul brought it back to the counter. As we waited to speak to the staff, we noticed that many of the other pizzas were as badly structured. Paul handed back the pizza and asked for it to be redone, stating that it was inferior. The girl said that she wouldn't be changing it and insisted that was the way they were told to do it. She asked if I (yup, I took over... complaining doesn't sit well with Paul) wanted to speak to a manager which I did. When I explained our complaint, that previously we'd be very happy with the CYO we received and this was below par, we were told that on Asda's instruction, they were to reduce the amount of topping they usually allowed. He apologised for the paper plate base which he said was "unacceptable" - surely not, given that's was he was instructing his staff to use?. My reply was "So we're paying the same amount of money for less product?". His politician-style reply was a roundabout way of saying yes. He didn't offer us a replacement, though he did say the staff member could have "spread the topping around a bit".
In the last couple of months, our local Asda has had many changes. They've installed even more self-service checkouts, including five larger ones with conveyer belts for shoppers with trolleys. Although they may not have laid off staff, I do know that they have cut down on their hours. (Tick - saving money every day). Despite the number of regular checkouts they have, they are very rarely all manned and if you don't want to serve yourself, you invariably have a hefty wait.
Last year, Asda had a 6% increase in profit, a whopping £857 MILLION in total! And in my opinion, they've done this by saving (themselves) money every day, in every little way possible, taking customers hard-earned cash and giving them less product and less service for it. And it's not just me that thinks that. Recently I seen a spate of complaints against Asda. Sounds like someone is getting too big for their boots.