The news that Dixons/Curry's are fairing badly in the economic downturn gave me a certain kind of guilty satisfaction, for I have sworn never to buy anything from them again. I don't like to see anyone lose their jobs but they get easily the top placing in my top five nasty retail places to avoid list.
1. Dixons/Currys. Hard to see the wood for all the trees when it comes to this dreadful store that's been on our High Streets for too long. Can it be the untrained staff who generally know less than you do about the stock? That's if they don't ignore you, like they do in Brixton's branch. Or could it be the high prices of said stock, which is often outdated. Or the way they try and flog you insurance for the thing when you've bought it, as if your consumer rights don't exist? Gah!
2. Woolworths. Controversial this, but I think this sad and shabby store is on the skids and the staff and customers both seem to sense it. Brixton's is a disgrace. The muzak is an assault on the customer, the staff don't really want to know and you can't wait to leave, never mind buy anything.
3. Ryanair. I can't top Bete De Jour on this, so won't try. But I won't use them if there's any kind of choice. They make me feel like a number, not a free man.
4. Starbucks. That people will mutely pay these prices for a cup of coffee and a sit-down lends weight to the idea that British consumers are moronic dumb cattle that pay anything for anything. I've heard they're not doing too well either.
5. Almost any British hotel. Overpriced, frequently sloppy in their sense of customer service and a calculated insult to foreigners. The usual experience is uncleared tables, food trays in corridors and a sense of being housed on a remand wing. I exempt the Hotel Du Vin and Malmaison chain from this though by God, you pay through the nose for the pleasant experience they generally offer.
I've got all the way through this and not mentioned KFC or McDonalds. Maybe this should be a top ten.