Harvey Norman staff is up in arms after billionaire boss Gerry Harvey donned a disguise to expose poor service in his stores, now they want him to apologise after he described one employee as being “Terrible” and in need of retraining.
Working with the Seven Network program Today Tonight and a movie makeup artist, the Chairman of Australia’s largest consumer electronics visited stores disguised as an old man what he discovered shocked him.
Shortly after the program aired on Monday night both he and Today Tonight Show were “swamped” with letters and emails complaining of poor service at the big retailer. Staff members who were exposed by the stunt for either poor service of the giving away of discounts are demanding an apology.
|Gerry Harvey in disguise
Gerry Harvey, said that he had also got, several letter of support for both what he did and for past service. He also said that many of those letters highlighted a history of poor service in his stores.
In one store after engaging with a staff member Gerry Harvey said “That girl was terrible, she is not very good at her job”.
He added “We can give bad service at Harvey Norman. It happens”.
When it came to haggling a price Gerry Harvey claimed that some of his staff was good while others were “too quick to give away discounts”. In a tip to staff he said “Don’t give away a lot”.
During a recent mystery shopper visit to several Harvey Norman stores we discovered that store staff struggled to explain how products worked or the technology behind several of the products they were selling.
It appeared that all they wanted to do was close a deal. On one occasion we were told that we had to buy an LCD TV because it was “significantly superior to plasma”
When Gerry Harvey visited the consumer electronics section of one of his stores an employee when asked whether plasma was better than LED said “Plasma is still very good, it’s a case of which technology best suits you”.
Harvey said this was a good sales approach.
Shortly after the show went to air the complaints came rolling in to both Harvey Norman and Today Tonight.
Management at the Harvey Norman store, where one employee was described as terrible and in need of retraining, are now demanding an apology from their boss claiming that he should never have engaged in the stunt in the first place.
The girl who was described as terrible and in need of retraining was described as a “good sales person normally”.
ChannelNews has been told that senior management at Harvey Norman, who were not of the stunt are angry claiming that the publicity was bad for the retailer who has 160 stores and 20,000 employees.
However they are refusing to go on record with one executive claiming that “there will be fallout from this. While it has exposed some problems we overall run a good operation” .