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Customer Service in Golf retailers

  • 08-08-2011 1:48pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ colmjh


    Anyone had poor customer service in golf shops recently?

    Buying golf stuff used to be a pleasure but recently I've had a couple of bad experiences... The one in American Golf in Cork topped the lot... when picking up a 3 wood for a friend, (as he really liked mine).

    I'd bought quite a bit of gear there in the past year.
    As is customary with any golf equipment I've ever bought, you're usually offered some little bit of a discount, or they'll throw something in, a sleeve of balls or what not. It's not so much about the monetary value but more of a goodwill gesture.

    However, when buying this club and no discount being forthcoming I asked if they could throw in a few balls. The two guys behind the counter sniggered condecendingly and one of them proceeded to offer me a black eye. Not exactly a goodwill gesture.

    I have since then gone elsewhere and bought a titleist 910 D2 driver, a new pair of FJ contour 2011 shoes, two dozen TM Penta balls, and two dozen Bridgestone E6 balls. Quite a bit of lost custom for AG!

    Not alone that, but I got fitted for the new driver at a local golf club where I didn't really expect any discount, but I was offered €50 euro off the ticket price without even asking for a discount. I have to say they'll be getting my custom in future.

    I wrote a letter of complaint to both the AG store manager, and the AG head office in Warrington, and six weeks later I've not got an acknowledgement of either, and the flyers which I requested they stop sending me are still coming through the letterbox every second week.

    Looking deeper into their buisness policies on their careers website, one the of employee profiles show's where their priorities really lie and customer service or satisfaction doesn't really seem to be one. They care less about seeing the the customer gets the right equipment, preferring to shift what they call "Margin Makers"...
    "What is your biggest success at americangolf?
    I was proud of my appointment to the Watford Store: a store with challenges in stock control and sales, which I was given the responsibility for improving.
    When I arrived at Biggleswade, the store was not selling the required level of Margin Makers.
    Together with the Store Manager, we recruited key salespeople and spent time driving the sales of these products.
    Subsequently we were top store in Margin Makers for several weeks."

    I would like to note that there is one decent guy in the AG store in Cork,
    but I've found the rest of them arrogant, condecending and disrespectful. It's one shop I won't be going back to.

    You'd imagine that their business has dropped in the current economic climate and that they'd be doing their best to mind their customers.

    Anyone had good/bad experiences with other Golf retailers?


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Comments



  • colmjh wrote: »
    Not alone that, but I got fitted for the new driver at a local golf club where I didn't really expect any discount, but I was offered €50 euro off the ticket price without even asking for a discount. I have to say they'll be getting my custom in future.

    Do you mind me asking where you were fitted for the driver? Sounds like a good experience there.




  • I've never bought gear in AG Cork, but i've bought a nice bit of clothing from them... On one such visit i stacked up a few polo's, pants and a few shorts. Got 2 dozen Srixon Soft Feel balls, a blast of tee's, the usual fodder really and it came to €200. I asked for a bit of a discount and the guy who was putting it thru said, i'll just see about that saying it shouldn't be a problem. When one of the other staff members said, no way, you're getting the stuff at a steal anyway. Now, some of the clothes were sale prices at around half price, but you'd expect to get another tenner or something off. In fairness to the lad working the till, he gave me the nod and popped one of the Srixons in without running it through the till. Thats probably the nice guy you've dealth with.

    Online with McGuirks can be a bit hairy aswell. Spotted the Titleist 909H Hybrid for €99 new, bought it and waiting around a week for it to come. No sign, so rang them up. We've been looking for it, but we can't source them for our suppliers... could i interest you in a secondhand one? Erm.... no thanks. My issue is, why did i have to contact them to find this out a week later. On the flip side of this, i rang halpennys and they sold me the 909H for the €99 and i had it the next day.

    Another Halpenny's story, and one i've told here before. McGuirks were selling the R9 9.5 Senior flex shaft for €129 or €119 before christmas. Great deal, but i wanted the the 10.5 stiff, they didn't have one in stock however. I rang Halpennys and they matched it, to the spec i wanted. I think the list price of the R9 driver was still mental at the time ~ €250 so well happy with that.

    Normally i just but my clubs and such from the lad i get lessons from, always cheaper than the shops. He sold me the TM burners 2.0 for €200 cheaper than any other online retailer. So i tend to stick with him.




  • foxyboxer wrote: »
    Do you mind me asking where you were fitted for the driver? Sounds like a good experience there.

    I got fitted in Fota. Fantastic fitting facilities in the acamey there,
    and no dearer than going anywhere else.
    Not alone that, but I feel the fitting was of the highest standard... the new driver is doing wonders for me... hoping to get cut a few shots soon :)




  • i have no connection with Golfstyle in Liosbaun ind. Est. in Galway but i cannot praise them enough for the customer attention / service. I'm waiting to update my thread on my broken driver which they are replacing with a brand new one. They even offered to give me a loan of one while i wait to get mine from Callaway. Have bought several clubs off them and always got a great deal. Very friendly service too. Take the time to go through clubs with you.




  • hades wrote: »
    I've never bought gear in AG Cork, but i've bought a nice bit of clothing from them... On one such visit i stacked up a few polo's, pants and a few shorts. Got 2 dozen Srixon Soft Feel balls, a blast of tee's, the usual fodder really and it came to €200. I asked for a bit of a discount and the guy who was putting it thru said, i'll just see about that saying it shouldn't be a problem. When one of the other staff members said, no way, you're getting the stuff at a steal anyway. Now, some of the clothes were sale prices at around half price, but you'd expect to get another tenner or something off. In fairness to the lad working the till, he gave me the nod and popped one of the Srixons in without running it through the till. Thats probably the nice guy you've dealth with.

    Online with McGuirks can be a bit hairy aswell. Spotted the Titleist 909H Hybrid for €99 new, bought it and waiting around a week for it to come. No sign, so rang them up. We've been looking for it, but we can't source them for our suppliers... could i interest you in a secondhand one? Erm.... no thanks. My issue is, why did i have to contact them to find this out a week later. On the flip side of this, i rang halpennys and they sold me the 909H for the €99 and i had it the next day.

    Another Halpenny's story, and one i've told here before. McGuirks were selling the R9 9.5 Senior flex shaft for €129 or €119 before christmas. Great deal, but i wanted the the 10.5 stiff, they didn't have one in stock however. I rang Halpennys and they matched it, to the spec i wanted. I think the list price of the R9 driver was still mental at the time ~ €250 so well happy with that.

    Normally i just but my clubs and such from the lad i get lessons from, always cheaper than the shops. He sold me the TM burners 2.0 for €200 cheaper than any other online retailer. So i tend to stick with him.

    I've heard nothing but good reports about Halpennys alright. I guess it's unlikely but I'd really like to see them open a store in Cork and shake up the market down here a bit.


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  • AG in cork is pretty bad alright, been in there a couple of times lately and the staff, bar 1 fella seem uninterested and do there best to ignore patrons. I was in there to buy shoes and there was 3 other people looking at the shoes and we were just ignored, had to go up to the counter to get a shoe in my size.




  • In defence of AG, I have to say I find them very good in the Tallaght store. They're always very helpful and eager to please, without following you around the shop at the same time...




  • Bought a Ping Anser 2 putter in the AG in Belfast last week, had checked it out online and read reviews so I knew what I wanted when I went in.

    The service was ok with a helpful sales assistant.

    The only issue I had was that on the AG website the putter was advertised at £62.99 but instore it was £79. I asked if they could do it for the price on the website, he said yes and checked and said that it was the Anser which was £62.99 and the Anser 2 was £79 online as well. I accepted this as I did not print off the page and bring it in but checked when I got home and it was indeed £62.99.

    Will be buying a new wedge (Vokey 60 degree) in a couple of weeks but will be going elsewhere as I have already seen it advertised cheaper.




  • Was charged twice for driver off Halpennys website two weeks ago. Hit f5 when page was not loading.

    Rang them of Bank Hol Saturday and a guy took my details and said he would sort it Tue heard nothing from them on Tues so was thinking usual will have to go chasing here now to get this sorted. Was refunded to the card on Wednesday. Thats spot on IMO ;)




  • Anatom wrote: »
    In defence of AG, I have to say I find them very good in the Tallaght store. They're always very helpful and eager to please, without following you around the shop at the same time...


    I have to agree, I've always found the AG store in Tallaght very good and the staff very helpful. Always a better experience then McGuirks


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  • charlieIRL wrote: »
    i have no connection with Golfstyle in Liosbaun ind. Est. in Galway but i cannot praise them enough for the customer attention / service. I'm waiting to update my thread on my broken driver which they are replacing with a brand new one. They even offered to give me a loan of one while i wait to get mine from Callaway. Have bought several clubs off them and always got a great deal. Very friendly service too. Take the time to go through clubs with you.

    I have to agree. An excellent shop which I stumbled upon by pure chance about 3 months ago. Very friendly staff and AG could learn a lot from them going by the story the OP told.




  • As much as the Retail giants try they can not match the help and advice of a good local Pro Shop in my experience. The Pro Shop wants your business and is more interested in you and your game rather than just your money.




  • colmjh
    are you seriously telling us that an employee offeres you a "black eye" as discount? somehow i dont think so!




  • atruered wrote: »
    colmjh
    are you seriously telling us that an employee offeres you a "black eye" as discount? somehow i dont think so!

    Why would I make that up?
    Though it took me greatly by surprise at the time too so I can see why you might find it hard to believe....
    I have since written a letter of complaint about it and forwarded it to the manager of the Cork store, and also to the AG head office in Warrington detailing exactly how I was treated in the shop and asking that they stop sending me promotional flyers in the post and cancel my loyalty card membership.
    Over two months later and I've not received acknowledgment of either which to me only further proves american golfs lack of interest in valuing their customers.
    I will shop anywhere but AG from now on.

    Do you happen to work for them atruered?




  • I've had crap customer service in AG Cork too.




  • Don't know about AG in Cork but if that guy did say that to you thats shocking customer service and your dead right to complain and bring it to others attention. I've bought a few items off the guys in the Dundrum store and I found them to be very helpful and reasonably good on the discount side. So I suppose don't let one bad apple turn you off the whole company.




  • Have to say I find good old McGuirks great, have had dealings with them in Howth, Leopardstown, Kinsealy and online recently and have found them great.




  • +1 on McGuirks, dealt with them recently about a pair of shoes that were leaking. In and out of there in 5mins with my new pair.

    As for AG in Cork i wouldnt cross the road to go in there again after some recent treatment i got in there. Went in recently to get €500 worth of prizes for my club and asked for some help in picking out a few things. The guy behind the counter didnt even bother walking down the floor with me, he just leaned on the counter and pointed out things to me.
    Headed to Nevada Bobs in Ballincollig with my cash and was treated with respect. (even got a small gift from nevada's for myself).




  • ... And it continues....
    Despite letters to the Cork store and to the head office in Warrington,
    and a phonecall to the sales office requesting that the delete my account and stop sending junk mail through my letterbox, which I thought they had honored at least, because I have given up all hope of any sort of an apology, again today I received another brochure in the post.

    atruered.. if you do in fact work for AG as I suspect given that your only two posts on boards (on seperate threads) are to praise/defend AG, could you possibly help me out here and get me removed from the mailing list... or at least lket me know who I should contact to have that done, cause I've tried all the usual channels.




  • dubber wrote: »
    Have to say I find good old McGuirks great, have had dealings with them in Howth, Leopardstown, Kinsealy and online recently and have found them great.

    I couldnt disagree with you more. I can only speak for Leopardstown, but every single (more than 5) experiences I have had in there have been brutal. The usual is to be ignored, when it appears that the many staff are more interested in chatting to each other than helping, to being told that I should know what type of offset I should want on a rescue club because the employee himself knows what he likes. Once again, last week I was in there perusing, trying to get help re getting fitted for a pair of shoes, plenty of staff, all disinterested. 5 minutes after arriving & being ignored throughout, I left.


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  • must say i was in AG cork twice in the last week & both guys that served me were very good in both the deal i got & the knowlege that they had no problem sharing.

    ask for eugene or derek if in doubt.

    ps: no affiliation whatsoever with store.

    nevada bobs in ballincollig: ask for Mark Jordan also as he's very helpful.




  • Mcguirks leopardstown can be on and off. Most of the time there you are just ignored.

    Nevada bobs in dun drum shopping centre are great. Bought a pair of footjoy shoes there two weeks ago cheaper than mcguirks and the guy there was very helpful and seemed to really know what he was talking about.




  • In the process of buying a Bushnell Pro 1600 Tournament Edition laser from www.golfgps.org.uk. Purchased it on Sept 1st and told it would take 14 days before it would be sent to me and to expect a further 4 days for shipping. I emailed them on 16th Sept stating that I hadn't received a shipping confirmation (which they had promised within 14 days). I was then told that the 14 days were working days and it would be posted to me next week (week commencing 19th Sept). Phoned them today as I still haven't heard anything from them and was told they will be getting them in on Wednesday 28th Sept which will be 27 days after I paid for it and then I'll have to wait for the shipping.

    Match that for sh!t service !!




  • Final update:

    Phoned again today and they told me they had the Tour V2 in their hand and were ready to post it. I had to tell him that I had changed the order to the Pro 1600 edition on 1st September. He apologised and offered a refund which I accepted in a heartbeat.

    Got a 20% off text message from Tipp-boy from the Halpenny Golf thread and bought it in South William street for €359 less €71.80 discount making it €287.20 (cheaper than the golfgps.org.uk !!




  • I've only ever bought some balls, tees, gloves and jumpers from American Golf in Cork but i thought they were ok. If i was browsing there i always had someone come over and ask if i was ok and wanted to try anything out. Never got offered a discount though. I wouldnt say they are especially friendly but at the same time i never had any problems with them.

    Nevada Bobs in Ballincollig are very friendly though. The old guy in there is very chatty and always throws something in for free or offers a discount. Great guys to deal with, only problem is they sometimes dont have the same sort of club selection as AG.




  • I have always found it weird that certain industries are assumed to always involve discounts. For the most part it's high value items where the margins may be small but a token discount is manageable. Golf shops is another one of them, but people still want a 5er off a box of balls.. The margins on new clubs can be very small, yet most people would complain if they aren't offered something off or something free instead.

    I'd hate to own a store because I wouldn't handle constantly having to refuse people very well. Maybe that guy got a bit pi**ed off at yet another perosn asking for a discount as though that one sale would make or break their year? Even the balls and clubs and shoes you talk about are a tiny fraction of their turnover. Can you see how it might possibly be construed as somewhat arrogant to expect a discount for no particular reason?

    If you find a better deal somewhere else, then by all means I think people should go to a store and say I can get this for x amount in y place - can you do any better? Which is exactly what I do. But simply wanting to get a discount because you think it's normal and something you are entitled to, doesn't make it so.

    I'm very confident the black eye remark if it did happen was tongue in cheek and said with a laugh or smile, yet the OP is reacting like it was said with a fist in his face and through gritted teeth.

    (edit) It was a bloody cheeky response that's ture. But you pushed your luck and got a slap in return. Live with it I say. Sales staff are not required by law to be nice to everyone and every customer, including those who have decided they are more deserving than others.




  • shopped in AG last week , nice guy , helpful think its Ronan . Discount given without me asking. well impressed !




  • I just stumbled across this and found it very interesting reading. I have dealt with AG cork on countless occasions and found the staff very helpful.
    I would like to say well done to Mizuno Man on possibly the only intelligent comment on here. How could any level of business survive if every sale was expected with discount or "something thrown in"???




  • Zambi83 wrote: »
    I just stumbled across this and found it very interesting reading. I have dealt with AG cork on countless occasions and found the staff very helpful.
    I would like to say well done to Mizuno Man on possibly the only intelligent comment on here. How could any level of business survive if every sale was expected with discount or "something thrown in"???

    It's exactly the same in the motor industry.
    The wiggle room is built in to the price.
    Ive never heard to anyone paying the list price for any car. Standard stuff really no mystery how a business could survive. It's how a business could survive if it didn't give discounts on every sale is what I'd wonder.


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  • Zambi83 wrote: »
    I just stumbled across this and found it very interesting reading. I have dealt with AG cork on countless occasions and found the staff very helpful.
    I would like to say well done to Mizuno Man on possibly the only intelligent comment on here. How could any level of business survive if every sale was expected with discount or "something thrown in"???


    Zambi83, it was not expected but it is certainly customary when buying anything of value (€100+) in any golf shop as anyone will tell you.
    The fact that they have a basket of lakeballs sitting on the counter which as we know can be bought for next to nothing it would not have been an unreasonable request.

    It was after all a polite request, which could in turn have been politely declined if margins were that tight. Though the manner of the response was way beyond acceptable, and was not said with a laugh or a smile as Mizuno man has suggested.

    My point in posting originally was to see if others had similar experiences,
    and it seems 50/50 so far.
    I did hasten to point out that there is one guy in there that I've dealt with a good number of times, and he's been a pleasure to deal with, discount or not. It's two other guys in particular that left me a little turned off the place.

    It is after all fundamental to successfully running a business that you leave your customers pleased with the service they've been given.


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