B&Q Coventry Scandal 2012

Corruption, Scandal and Unfair Dismissals

February 2012

On february 14th a female member of staff was left alone to manage the TradePoint area of the B&Q Warehouse, Binley, Coventry. She was left to try to pick orders, man tills, handle complaints and answer queries in an area that usually requires a minimum of 3 members of staff to run.

During this time there was some confusion with a PAIR of very regular customers which resulted in only half of their goods being paid for. Did these customers then run off and hide somewhere? No, they actually came back into the store and had a coffee elsewhere before finally leaving the store.

The STOCK manager, STORE manager and SECURITY

What was then made clear was that ALL of these people were aware of what had occured. They all watched using CCTV as the member of staff made a mistake, they all watched as the customers left the store and they all did nothing at all about it.

Did they call the police? No.

Instead, the stock manager approached the member of staff and asked her about it. This was the first time she realised her mistake. When she realised she then offered to call the VERY REGULAR customers who are on the B&Q TradePoint Members database and are well known to all staff. She was told not to call them by the STOCK manager. When she then tried to talk to him about it he would no longer speak to her, the General Manager also would not speak to her. After repeatedly trying to talk to the most senior managers in the store and them treating her like a criminal instead of letting her explain or even give her side of events, she told them she was leaving due to how she was being treated.

The following Day February 15th

Arriving on his shift, another member of staff was presented with the same customers returning to the store of their own accord. They explained the situation, explaining that they had originally intended to pay for half of the goods each so they had two separate transactions as the goods were for two separate jobs therefor needed to be invoiced separately. During the transaction a queue had formed and also a customer had come into the Trade area complaining and demanding a manager. The managers ignored the member of staffs call outs (clearly too busy watching her do them on the CCTV) as the customer became more and more agitated. The customers believing each other had paid for all the goods had suggested she deal with the agitated customer at which point they went to load up their van.
Upon explaining this to the member of staff, they then pointed out that they had returned the goods and had them on the back of their van and wanted to pay for them as they had been going through the costs and realized their mistake.
The member of staff then attempted to call his manager, who knowing full well of the situation from the previous night, still didn't answer his phone and had made no attempt to ensure his presence in the Trade area, even though the customers were known to visit the store on a daily basis. Following this, the member of staff then sought authorization from any supervisor or manager that was available. The transaction was authorized by a supervisor who had also been made completely aware of the situation, not only by management earlier that morning, but also by the member of staff as she entered her authorization code in to the till.

The outcome

This member of staff was then sacked for gross misconduct. The charge being claimed that he failed to follow correct procedure in protecting stock.
The strange thing about this... Management failed to act at all on the evening everything occurred despite witnessing it. They didn't call the police until AFTER the customers had returned and paid for the items.
They didn't inform the member of staff of how they expected him to deal with the situation should the customers return with the goods, instead they have tried to claim that the moment the customers left with those goods, they should have been treated as criminals who have committed theft. Therefor making the goods stolen items. 

Corruption

IF this is the case, that the moment those goods leave the store they are considered criminals and the goods considered stolen goods. Then why did CHRIS PLANT the store general manager, JONATHAN HEALD the store stock manager and also the security guards, not contact the police regarding the matter and report the theft to the police?
If the member of staff who allowed them to pay for the goods when they had returned without being prompted was guilty of not following procedure, then how could the supervisor who authorized this transaction not be considered guilty of the same thing? If the member of staff who allowed them to return the items was guilty of not protecting stock, then surely the general manager and stock manager are guilty of the same thing by not contacting the police the moment they believed theft to have occurred?
One final point to note is that when the police talked to the original member of staff who served the customers on the original occassion, they had not been informed that the customers had returned and paid for the goods. Instead the police had been led to believe by B&Q that they had stolen the goods and the member of staff had been part of it and had implied she was guilty of fraud.
B&Q also sent civil recovery after the original member of staff for the value of the SAME ITEMS that the customers returned to store and paid for! The police have looked at CCTV and made it clear they feel no crime has taken place. They have said they feel its clear a mistake was made and since the customer has returned of their own accord and paid the following day, that the matter is closed.

You decide!

I am not asking you to boycott the store or to protest. All I want you to see, is that next time you see or hear claims of B&Q / TradePoint being an investor in people, think twice. 

The sacked employee, had not only worked there for 6 years, but also has a baby due at the beginning of June 2012 and now when applying for new jobs, has a reference of GROSS MISCONDUCT given by this corrupt store! Leaving him struggling to get work.

Did you know?

  • In 2008 when the store was the victim of an armed robbery, they refused to accept any responsibility for the fact that the staff faced being held at gun point. Despite the fact that they had cut back on security and had none on at all that evening.
  • Did you know that the TERMS AND CONDITIONS of all of the orders placed at B&Q clearly state that you have the right to return them TO STORE, yet the showroom manager repeatedly lies and tells customers that you can't return items to store and you have to call up the supplier and have them collect them. This is a serious breech of their T&C's and yet despite him knowing this, he continues to do this.
  • Recently Tesco were heavily criticized for taking advantage of job seekers, yet B&Q have been taking advantage of them for several years now. They have took on many on the 3 month probation with no intention of hiring them before they even start! This is how they cover their busier summer seasons and then cut back staff as it gets quieter, instead of just being honest about temporary staff needed.
  • Data Protection - When you sign up for TradePoint, there is a tick box that states to tick if you do not want your details passed on to others. Yet even if you tick this, you will still have your details passed on to others, as their is no option on your sign up on the computer to prevent this happening. 

 

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