… even though they present ongoing “technical issues” with their subscription, QR codes not sent, QR codes can’t be added to Apple app or can’t be read in-store, a recent new excuse is that Pret supposedly is waiting for payment to come through while customers are waiting for DAYS for their QR codes etc. etc. Customer service is not available via email, phone, DM … and many customers are appalled at the poor customer service!
Here’s to the parallel universe executives as well as social media platforms live in!
On Linkedin where toxic positivity rules with a velvet fist, critical voices are quickly shut down. Executives, business people and office staff mingle to tell each other sweet little nothings, while Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are on fire with customer and staff complaints!
Hey, let’s keep living in these parallel universes and on the top level keep giving each other awards for doing absolutely nothing constructive except to stroke their own egos!
Quote from PA Consulting on Linkedin: “We’re proud to have supported Pret A Manger in accelerating the transformation of their digital customer experience. Congratulations to the team on a well-earned win at Computing’s Digital Technology Leaders Awards…”
So, if the reader would scroll down to only some of the MANY MANY customer complaints on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook on Pret A “Manager’s” appalling customer service, technical issues etc. and leave the Linkedin folks up in La La Land to keep scratching each others’ ego! These award things are a smoke-screen of what’s really going on behind the facade. Pret’s always been like this. Head office has awards lined up while we staff felt disgusted at their PR bullcrap.
And just a few of the many sweet-talk responses on how awesome Pret is etc. One has to wonder if people “up there” are really just delusional or having a laugh on the backs of customers and low-wage front-line shop staff!
“… a company that knows a lot about client satisfaction and customer experience.”
Above is the Linkedin version of Pret’s client satisfaction and customer experience. Below is the real world! I only post a few of the countless angry complaints, as this post is already long.
Even a BBC journalists fell for it. January 2021:
A customer who cancelled his subscription because of ongoing bad customer service.
A rare customer tenacity who stays with it like a dog to the bone!
Pret’s doing it again, this time a new lie emerges: “Payment hasn’t gone through yet”.
I will try to keep this as short as possible, only posting a handful of the MANY complaints regarding Pret’s coffee subscription.
If people put the following into Twitter search and click “latest” scrolling down and down and down:
” @pret qr “
Go down weeks and month where subscription customers have problems with the QR code. Pret delays sending the QR code and customers give Pret the benefit of the doubt, thinking it’s just them this happens to AND it’s just a technical glitch. Or customers do have the code but the device in the shop can’t read it for … yep, you guessed it, another technical issue.
And yet these glitches keep going on since the subscription started last year, and a company the size of Pret should NOT have THAT many technical issues!
Pret also installed donation payment devises which many customers in a rush mistake for payment devices. Customers then “pay” and are prompted to touch the payment device as the payment didn’t get through! Customers donate £5+ not realizing until prompted again. Interesting that the donation devices ALWAYS work! 😉
THREE devices for “payment” and customers make a quick mistake in the busy, hectic, noisy environment.
Customers then don’t get a response via email or phone when trying to get a refund! Also note the psychology here! I bet that MANY customers who accidentally donate to the Pret Foundation Trust probably don’t raise this to get a refund as they may feel they don’t appear charitable!
Pret should get seriously investigated not only for the shady practices with the subscription, but also where the money donated to the PFT actually really goes to! Pret is trying to get cash at every turn possible which some I will list at the bottom. It’s also interesting that this “payment issue” happens towards the middle to end of the week so Pret can use the weekend to say their social media team is off or low on staff and banks are closed during the weekend.
And as usual, after the “technical issue” is fixed, grass will quickly grow over it and customers are very forgiving while Pret made a quick buck again ripping customers off again and again and again …
So, today’s lie regarding the QR code delay is that the payment hasn’t gone through yet, even though some customers have been waiting for days. Many people give Pret the benefit of the doubt and PAY in-store for a coffee. Some are lucky and get a free coffee (not free as they already paid for it via the sub). But many others end up paying.
Only a few of today’s complaints and many more since months:
From the usual technical issues, Pret now switch to the “payment not gone through” version. I’m telling customers to do what a man did in 2009 when he invoiced Pret and other companies for waiting too long in queues. Pret played along, having a laugh as Pret at the time had soaring profit. When I first came across this in 2018 the Telegraph article was still open without having to sign up, but I either missed taking screenshots of the man’s invoice to Pret and Pret’s response letter and PAYMENT, or I can’t find it at the moment. But I remember the man meticulously listing the times he spent in each company and shops to the minute.
So, to all QR-code-delay victims, organize with other “fraud victims” and send Pret an invoice on how many days, hours and minutes you had to wait for your QR code AND how long you had to wait in the queue to get your drink!
You never know, maybe another news article comes out of it! The Telegraph article:
Link to article.
And here a small list of other issues where Pret tries to keep or get cash.
I use YouTube as well for several reasons, one is that my blog is completely blocked/censored on Facebook and Instagram after Pret or a die-hard Pret fan reported me. Even PRIVATE messages on FB are immediately blocked/deleted by FB when I put the url to my blog in a message! But I can post YT and Twitter and other links. Two, some people don’t like to read long blog posts, so I try to make it more accessible if people don’t want to read too much.
- No expensive iced drinks on the sub (and I suspect now Matcha Latte, Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate etc. under the “supplier issue” version). Via YouTube:
- And during the summer when people did manage to get an iced drink, often by PAYING mind you, Pret provided it in either 12oz or then newly ordered 14oz CHEAPER paper cups and not in the more expensive larger 16oz plastic cups with “dome” lids for cream.
If a customer is lucky to get the complimentary cream on top, the drink will be even smaller as the lid is flatter. Pret supposedly had “supplier issues” of the 16oz cups while not having supplier issues of the new 14oz paper cups. Do an estimate on how many thousands of customers get cheated out of 2-4oz. Like Tesco say: “every little helps”! When I worked at Pret we were ALWAYS instructed to say “supplier issues” or “missing delivery” when items weren’t there, even if the reason was different like a product recall etc.
The plastic cups are back now as Pret can’t keep this on forever, but it went on for many weeks. Just one of MANY complaints:
- Hard to cancel the subscription, and IF customers manage to cancel and receive confirmation email of the cancellation, Pret continues to withdraw £20 subscription fee even in months to come. I alway advise people to also cancel the direct debit with their bank as soon as they received the confirmation email of the cancellation. They can show the cancellation to their bank and request that all future payments get blocked/cancelled, otherwise customers turn into monthly donors to Pret.
Also Pret did a mess-up with the expiry dates, especially in the beginning of the sub. For example if a customer received the expiry date as 16. October 2021, it really actually expired TODAY and automatically renewed. The customer thought the date is tomorrow and that they have today to cancel their first month free trial/free month, while it already renewed and Pret again blamed some technical issue!
Customers are send into a loop trying to cancel and trying to get a refund, but no reply, phone is not picked up or the phone number isn’t recognized, of if customers get through to customer service, the phone call is suddenly disconnected, yada yada yada! Good ole rip-off!
This guy screenshot the loop-rollercoaster he’s been on:
More complaints via YouTube:
- Pret doesn’t only cheat customers out of their dough! Cutting wages, bonus, benefits, even wage theft leading some caring customers not only to boycott Pret, but many have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again! Pret is now a minimum-wage employer and have recently been named and shamed by the UK Government amongst 190 other companies for paying UNDER the minimum-wage! Via YouTube:
- Pret now censors directly, deleting former staff comments on Instagram and Facebook, and disabling the comment section under their “we’re hiring” posts. But I grabbed some screenshots before Pret shut it down. Plus Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern words to Pret: Last Minute?? Staff Disruptions
- Also, going back to the Pret Foundation Trust donations, CEO Pano Christou did his usual “charity” stunt by having announced he’d be running the half-marathon in Hackney to raise funds for the PFT and to “alleviate poverty”. But he tops it by wanting donations from his minimum-wage, poverty stricken front-line staff after he cut their wages, bonus, benefits etc. The very staff who carried Pret through the pandemic on the front-lines, risking their lives, while executives and HQ staff worked from home or socially distanced in air conditioned HQ.
Some staff got Covid and Pret did NOTHING as revealed to me by a former staff on Facebook. Shop staff are getting pooped on like the Government poops on NHS staff! Pano Christou has no shame whatsoever! And I QUESTION where the money goes to because Pret has other problems right now than raising donations for the poor! I just don’t buy it!
And asking his LOWEST paid staff for donations, AFTER cutting their wages and other things, is utterly disgusting and rotten to the core!
Detail here: Pret A Manger’s “Charity” Projects.
- Many Pret shops in city centers are closed down, or open later and close earlier than the advertised opening times. Pret gives the main reason as staff shortages. While this is one part of the reason as Pret has fired 3000 and many staff walked out as well, another reason may be that as Pret is opening 200 shops outside city centers, closing shops in cities helps Pret finance new shop openings. Why is that a rip-off for customers? Just two of countless complaints on Pret’s different social media platforms:
Instead of Pret listing the shops that are closed on their website or warn customers to check if their local Pret is open before signing up, Pret continues to sell the subscription that many people can’t use as their local shops are closed. Katchink!
And there are other “rip-offs”, some of which I posted here: Pret is INDEED trying anything to survive
To end this long post I couldn’t keep short again, a real Pret Mystery Shopper report with most of then 32 micromanaging questions staff are patronized with every week. Staff are forced to smile, chat, give eye contact, have spotless shops or the whole team don’t get the bonus. If ONE staff makes a mistake, the whole team get penalized by not getting bonus. If ONE kisses butt extra special like giving a free coffee, cookie or lunch, the Mystery Shopper “may” (or may not!) reward that one staff with the £100 cash reward, even when the whole shop lost the regular £1 per hour bonus. Happened here:
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Please also see the MEDIA page for more.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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