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In the bookies - General Discussion - Stop and Step

In the bookies


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When I place my bets in the bookies I never get a good morning or a goodbye or kiss my arse. When I'm collecting winnings I hand over my winning slip only to get presented with my cash, they never say your returns are X amount and hand it to you. Even worse is when I'm lucky enough to have two winning tickets, instead of saying how much each bet paid and counting out the total they just hand you the total amount without so much as a word. 

If I'm paid out less than what I had anticipated and I question the total, only then will they say that there was a rule 4 or non runner or whatever reason. They should explain this when paying you out. The other week when Goodwood was on all the racing form and runners were up on the walls except for Goodwood, when I asked inquisitive why they hadn't put the runners up I was told they didn't like my attitude, the reason I asked in a inquisitive manner was that I assumed the meeting had been abandoned. 

All in all most betting shops I visit are very very poorly run. In Ladbroke in Sutton there was a awful smell for weeks which they tried to cover up with air fresheners, when I asked the guy "when were they going to sort these drains out? " he said that it wasn't the drains but a dead rat behind the partition and that it wasn't his job to clean it out. The toilets live up to their nicknames of shit houses and when I am desperate to have to use them there is never any toilet paper. At lest I have my losing tickets to wipe my arse with.  The volume on the monitors in all the shops is so low that its barely audible. 

Also, I don't know what it's like elsewhere but here in Sutton we have Ladbrokes, Betfred, William Hill and Corals in the High street and ALL THE Staff bar one person in Coral are Asian or ethnic with not much command of the English language, I don't understand why this is. 

Does anyone else feel that bookies are not the social places they used to be. 

 

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4 minutes ago, cazza6565 said:

Having prev worked in one for 10 years I will wait for others to respond before I throw in my tuppence worth. 

I'll be interested to hear your opinions. I left England for Spain in 1989, I was a very regular customer and the bookies in those days were social places, they weren't plush but they were normally a friendly place to be. FOBTs, Tvs etc were introduced in the 20 or so years that I was away, before I left you had a boardman to write up the prices and the results and just a commentary over the old audio tannoy system. 

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I'll start by saying that all of the bookies I play in, the staff in the vast majority are really nice. The Ladbrokes closest to me had a right old windbag in there, but I think she's left now. In the cities and bigger towns, the staff may come across less friendly but they do get a lot of shit from customers so that probably explains it. 

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I just feel that most bookie staff don't understand the basic fundamentals of working in a bookies. Saying that though, I'm in a unique position of knowing the bookie environment before I moved abroad and then walking through the door of a bookie for the first time in over 20 years. Carpets, Tvs, early odds on a screen, lavatories, fruit machines and coffee machines etc. Also its not just bookies, for example go into your local general store with a couple of customers before you, it wouldn't hurt the cashier just to say a polite good morning and I'll be with you in a moment? A while back I went into a newsagent to buy something, I had a £20 note in my hand with which to pay, before I could, ask for what I wanted the shopkeeper snatched the note from my hand and then asked me what I wanted.??? I'm a builder and work with the general public all the time. When I go to price a job I make sure I'm dressed smart casual, clean shaven and on time. When the customer tells me what they want I explain what I will do, how I will do it and why I will do it that particular way. I give them a labour and material price separate and always show the bills for the materials. I try to be pleasant and always polite. I make sure the job is always clean and tidy at the end of every day's work. I treat my customers the way I would like to be treated. I don't feel I get that treatment in most establishments these days, especially bookies. As for staff being treated badly, I have seen this myself and its disgusting, but I'll tell you this, the only people that I've seen being abusive, rude and threatening to bookies staff are thos playing the machines. 

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You must getting a bum deal. They are usually clean, including bogs, friendly staff who have always assisted me when I've lost my winning slip. Had great help in hills when there was a discrepancy on my written bet and casg paid (intended 20 quid e/w but ended up getting paid for 40 win). Rarely do horses so never have to worry about dead heats etc.

Far too many of them have enough knowledge about sport nowadays. Ask for a price of something, let's say Worcester to beat Exeter in the Gallagher Premiership, and they have no idea what sport it is. I suppose now they expect more technical bets to be done online and stores are for drunken footy accas, old fellas on the horses, a d machines

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I started as a cashier, then deputy manager, then shop manager now this involved only pennies difference in pay grade, 14 hour shifts, often single manning. and my shop had no CCTV. My shop had spotless toilets as I didn't allow the junkies to use them. I agree with DAVEM at the lack of knowledge of some staff however I think you should familiarise yourself with the system as it is very basic. @Mentholdan I agree with you about several of your comments as I would always tell a customer the return per slip as we had to write returns on each slip anyway. The lack of wall space for papers was annoying for me as I didn't have a big shop. I think that the bookies don't want your lucky 15 punters or your £1 accy footie  punters in the shops as  they prefer your FOBT punters as they normally lose more cash. 

I have been spat on because I asked a guy to wait for a FOBT payout luckily it was in a different shop and had a bandit screen. In my shop I got punched by a pensioner who I may add wasn't even a bloody punter. One night a guy tried to pick up a stool to throw at the FOBT he obviously didnt realise the weight of the chair so he just then looked like an arse in front of his mates. Nowadays the job is full of young folk who want to sit on their phones all night rather than do the job they are paid to do. I used to Iove it at first till lt became too soul destroying.  8am till 10.15pm shifts for just above minimum wage, thanks but no thanks.

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I won't go into a bookies if it's a shithole. Ironically Ladcrokes shops used to generally be horrible (with awful slots) until they joined up with Coral's. I generally go into Coral's nowadays but travel to one about 8 miles away rather than my local, as the staff are pleasant and the shop is clean and the regular punters are mostly ok.

Betfred and William Hills (if I can find one) in my area are mostly horrible. I think the quality of the shop Manager makes a big difference. The worst one I ever went in was a William Hill near London Bridge BR station. It was filthy and stunk of urine, staff behind bandit screens and honesty it felt like the end of the world. I remember thinking am I this sad that I want to be in here (my train had been cancelled/delayed).

When evening racing started in the 90's, after work I often popped into my local Jo Jennings, there was a good knowledgeable crowd in there betting on horses/dogs and we all had opaque plastic McDonalds 1/2 litre beakers and used to top up with beer in the pub next door. It was a great atmosphere, although I suspect the bookie knew what was going on and was on tender hooks and dreading us all getting caught, which luckily we weren't. 

FOBT's changed everything and ruined high street bookmakers. Last year I got threatened by a disabled person because "I was playing the machine with the volume too loud", I was videoing a big bonus win on my mobile. There is a thread about it on here where I was asking for advice.

Edited by Stormy
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I think the downturn of these establishments is when it no longer becomes a trade. Bookies 30 years ago, you had to think on your feet, work out the odds and also payouts. Nowadays it’s all scan a ticket and do what it says. Not long ago, I told my old man the odds for each selection in my fivefold - he stopped, thought for about 2-3 seconds, and told me the overall odds. I doubt any of the younger staff in a bookies could do that.

Same goes with pubs, someone may correct me but I believe people have to have qualifications to work behind a bar in ROI - whereas here you get the uninterested teens who are just earning a few quid whilst they’re at uni.

Many years ago, Ms Haze used to work nights in the BP/M&S cafe on minimum wage + unsociable hours benefit. All those nice pastries and cakes which they say are freshly prepared on the premises are all delivered by Booker. No culinary expertise involved except unwrapping the delivery and putting the factory pre made dough straight on the oven. They used to have real people who could actually bake in these places - although my better half does bake a mean cake given half a chance 😉 

I suppose it’s a case of ‘you get what you pay for’, however I don’t think anyone paid for a rat behind the wall and you could argue that the staff aren’t paid enough to deal with it! 

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Lets sum it up...

Its not about bookies it about society in general, people have just forgotten how to communicate with others and one of the many casulties of this is good old customer service. 

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I couldn't agree more about customer service, or rather the lack of it. So what do you do, do you speak up and tell these staff that they're not doing their job properly or do you just accept the situation and walk away with your tail between your legs and just accept that's the way it is nowadays? It's their job, it's what they're trained and expected to do. Only yesterday I was standing at the counter waiting behind a customer who was having a good old chinwag with one of the staff about nothing in general, the cashier could see I was waiting but still carried on gassing with his pal for a couple of minutes. In the end I  just turned around and headed for the door. Only then did the cashier call out saying can I help you mate. I turned around and, said you just have, you've helped me make my mind up to take my business elsewhere. My ex wife has a top job with Barclays bank, she doesn't know her times tables and couldn't tell you what's the square root of 81. I was once telling her that I was digging out a foundation and had to hire skip to take away all the earth, her reply was "can't you just burn it"? 

This was the woman who was earning more than double I was making. 

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1 minute ago, Mentholdan said:

I couldn't agree more about customer service, or rather the lack of it. So what do you do, do you speak up and tell these staff that they're not doing their job properly or do you just accept the situation and walk away with your tail between your legs and just accept that's the way it is nowadays? It's their job, it's what they're trained and expected to do. Only yesterday I was standing at the counter waiting behind a customer who was having a good old chinwag with one of the staff about nothing in general, the cashier could see I was waiting but still carried on gassing with his pal for a couple of minutes. In the end I  just turned around and headed for the door. Only then did the cashier call out saying can I help you mate. I turned around and, said you just have, you've helped me make my mind up to take my business elsewhere. My ex wife has a top job with Barclays bank, she doesn't know her times tables and couldn't tell you what's the square root of 81. I was once telling her that I was digging out a foundation and had to hire skip to take away all the earth, her reply was "can't you just burn it"? 

This was the woman who was earning more than double I was making. 

And just to add a little footnote, a very close friend of mine "who doesn't visit this forum thank god" his wife is a very pleasant woman, she's a really nice person but to put it bluntly, she's as thick as brick, nice, but thick. Her job? She's a magistrate. 

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I could not agree more, in the bookies I had staff that would rather than tell customers they don't know the answer would reply with " don't ask me i'm only the deputy"or cashier depending on which member of staff they asked. Not on my watch and I'm no saying I am brain of Britain but if I didn't know I would ring either another shop or someone who might know. Like most of you guys we are all old enough to be brought up to respect elders , and as my late mother would say civility costs nothing. but Jesus god young ones today actually fry my brain and they have this who cares attitude. I get that wages are crap but that's just the way of it in that industry. 

Edited by cazza6565
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