Awards International Chairman Don Hales returns for more biting observations on Customer Experience. In the Don’s sights this week are one of the UK’s handiest stores for home improvement, and a Greek restaurant that would have you smashing your plates…for all the wrong reasons. To nominate who YOU want to see as future Heroes & Villains, get in touch at




Unfortunately, in my line of work, I come across far more villain stories than heroes.

This just shows there is a great need for the work of CXM and our Award programmes, to help redress this balance.

Please help us by sending me your stories. I will reveal as much or as little about the subjects as you require…subject to laws of course, and anonymity issues. Keep them coming!


Our hero this week is Toolstation, which has won the Which? Customer Survey for Retailers two years running!

In 2016 they were joint top with John Lewis and in 2017, again joint-top with Richer Sounds.

Their Customer Satisfaction score was 80 percent compared to 5 percent recorded by Morrisons, who took last place of the 100 companies included in the poll (I have to say that my rare visits to supermarkets do not reflect this, as I find Morrisons quite efficient, but in this arena I am not an expert).

Toolstation’s record is impressive, but before posting this, I asked some friends – neighbours and golfers – and all those with relevant experience endorsed this result.

Apparently, they are quick and easy to deal with, as well as friendly, and their website is highly recommended.


Two for the price of one this week!

First, Car Park Manchester. They have been trading showing the ‘Park Mark’ accreditation, but this was stripped from them some time ago following several complaints of using unsecured premises.

A Mr and Mrs Holl used the firm at Manchester Airport (the company is in no way connected to the airport) whilst holidaying in Turkey. When they returned they waited in vain for four hours whilst the firm tried to find their vehicle.

Finally, Mr Holl called the police and eventually the car was found a mile away – filthy in a muddy and unsecured field along with many other cars. What a terrible end to a holiday this was.

Our second villain is Zorba’s Greek Taverna in Knightsbridge where, I am afraid to say, I ate some years ago.

This restaurant has been shut down on health grounds several times in recent years, but somehow was allowed to re-open.

Cockroaches, rats, and sewage flies were allegedly in abundance. This time it has been closed for good and the owner fined heavily.

It has been described by officials and customers as the dirtiest restaurant they have ever set foot in, and – surprise surprise – customer feedback frequently complained of miserable and poor service.

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