That’s one charity shop I won’t be donating to, or visiting again in any hurry. They are forever advertising in their window for donations of this that and the other. It will be their loss and another charity shop’s gain.

A blouse, with all its new labels was in the section for my size. I attempted to get into it. As I was in a public area, I tried it on as gracefully as possible. It was very much a manufacturer’s wrong sizing, the item was a good size and a half smaller than the labels suggested it was.

I thought I would be helpful and let the staff know the garment appeared to be mis-labelled. The assistant took it as personal criticism and was quite aggressive…rude in fact. Best talk to the boss – who is a paid employee – I decided. She wasn’t much better, saying that it was a teens garment. Politely, I replied that if it was the size wouldn’t be any different. She waffled some more, till I said, ” Look, I do buy this make, and this label size usually fits me”. Her reply was that they, the charity shop, could only go by the labels.

Some customer care training is required, methinks.



  1. The organiser is employed by the charity, the assistants are volunteers. I went in on the day when the ones without nouse were doing their volunteer stint.

  2. As a committed charity shop shopper, I can get annoyed by the assistants. They are often so slow and unprofessional but I put it down to not being paid. Dunno about the organiser though.

  3. Just say it!

    When I cleared out a house in East London, I was so appalled by the attitudes and responses of volunteers doing front of house in a number of charity shops, I saved the special items (fewer in quantity)for a favourite charity shop near home, where the staff and the organiser know how to make their donors and their customers valued.

  4. The Charity shops do have a number of paid staff on the ground, that is, apart from those paid in their administrative offices.

    I believe that organisers who are meant to lead by example as well as manage teams of volunteers and the business of the shops, should be able to respond better than the experience I was faced with. Damn stupid! What would it take to say, “thank you and we’ll look at this”. and in the process, keep a donor and potential customer content.

  5. I think so, I wonder if anyone in the super structure of these organisations takes any time to consider customer care training as essential.

  6. Me too – why bother to do charity work if you don’t really have a people mentality, just want to put yourself on show. I know doing charity stints can be a useful outlet for people on their own who still have energy and time. It does ideally, require a bit more than that.

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