DIARY: McLeod lets rip at Sir Paul Smith as his suit service turns to farce

It is always heartening to see the top executives practising what

they preach and fighting the consumers' corner. After all, when you've

spent your career living the high life, it's easy to forget that the

majority of us spend our lives banging our heads against a brick wall

when it comes to customer service.



Step forward cdp-travissully chairman Chris McLeod, the man who once

took to the sales floor of Courts, clad in nylon blue blazer and fixed

grin, to get to the heart of the retailer and find out about the

"consumer experience". So dedicated to the cause is McLeod that he also

spent a few days driving round London in a luminous Dynorod van.



So when McLeod spent a less than satisfactory time having a suit fitted

at Paul Smith, he wasn't shy about venting his spleen. The first time

the doorbell tinkled at Smith's Covent Garden store, McLeod chose a nice

black suit (natch), was measured up for a few alterations and paid the

bill. On the second visit, McLeod whipped it on, hoping for a quick

getaway, but the trousers were too short. Back for a third time, and the

legs were back to normal, but then he had to take the jacket back for

another nip and tuck.



"I was made to feel a right idiot," McLeod harrumphed. "If I'd taken

their advice, I'd still be going back for fittings." An act of

desperation saw him parcelling the suit up and posting it back to Smith

himself enclosing a note saying it would never be worn so he might has

well have it back.



A deathly hush followed. "Then I had a call, out of the blue, inviting

me to pick out a new suit. I nearly didn't go, thinking that a public

humiliation was on the cards," he confides.



But no, immaculate service, a new suit, and a credit note followed for

our plucky hero. And, in an even more impressive display, McLeod managed

to resist following up with a "Hi, I run an advertising agency"

letter.



"He got a nice flowery notelet, and I didn't mention advertising at

all," McLeod says proudly.



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