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Marks & Spencer Customer Sales Assistant Reviews

Updated 3 November 2017
35 reviews

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Customer Sales Assistant

3.7
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Approve of CEO
Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Steve Rowe
Steve Rowe
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • I'm training at a M&S location right now where we all are doing the same work but I am being paid (in 72 reviews)

  • work life balance challenging at times (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Manchester City Centre, England
    Current Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Manchester City Centre, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    All the staff are lovely and welcoming! Felt like part of the team as soon as i joined. It is organised and well structured - never kept behind your shift. The staff section has great facilities and the catering is very cheap (21p for chips!).

    Cons

    repetitive work, catering not so good if you're vegan. I contribute a lot to the number of CSAT surveys my team gets and last term we got enough to get the £50 bonus, however i didn't receive this as temps don't get it. Stay on the starting wage for a while even though work as hard as others.

    Advice to Management

    only keep the starting wage for a month, let temps have incentives such as the £50 bonus.


  2. "Customer Service Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in London, England
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in London, England
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer (More than a year)

    Pros

    Managers always ready to help
    Excellent team to work with
    Good discounts and other benefits

    Cons

    On job training is necessary as well as regular team briefings


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Too Many Temporary Contracts"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Gretna, Scotland
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Gretna, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Easy to get a job with M&S as long as you pass through their online interview process. Interview slots are provided on a first-come-first-serve basis which is very fair.

    You get a discount card for yourself and vouchers for friends/family which is handy.

    Cons

    M&S has a good rep as a company, but from what I have seen they treat their employees very unfairly as they prefer to keep them on rolling temp contracts so that they are able to be used at M&S's leisure. This makes it difficult to book any time off whatsoever, as you are unable to book holidays in advance on a temporary contract and also do not even know if you will have a job after the contract period has finished.

    I had a 3-month, rolling, temporary contract which was very frustrating as I was unable to book any holidays in advance and had to work every single weekend. I was not the only one at my store in this situation either - most of the people I worked with were on temp contracts and there were very few permanent staff members outside of management. One coworker had been on a temp contract for >2 years with promise of a permanent contract coming up (I met up with the same person recently and they still have not been given a permanent job with M&S).

    I asked for 1 weekend off 5 months in advance and was told this would be fine (with the date noted down in a diary). 2 weeks beforehand I was told my holiday had not been noted anywhere and that I would have to take it unpaid. This was also brought up during my leaving interview, as they considered it 'unacceptable' that I had taken one weekend unpaid, even though I had given them plenty of notice and been OKed by management. They also gave no warning that my contract was not going to be extended - on my last shift I was simply called into an office for my leaving interview and that was that.

    Overall, I did not mind working for M&S as the job itself was not difficult, but they really need to get their priorities sorted out with how they treat their employees.

    Advice to Management

    Stop taking on so many temps and provide more permanent contracts for your employees! You are losing a lot of good staff because you are not making any effort to keep them!


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  5. "A good all round experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Customer Sales Assistant in Romford, England
    Former Contractor - Customer Sales Assistant in Romford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good learning experience, friendly and helpful staff

    Cons

    For me personally theree weren't any cons as I wasn't there long but some generic ones are you kind of get told what to do once and then are expected to know from then on, e.g. where all the products go in the food section

    Advice to Management

    Be more engaging with employees especially those who are a lot younger.


  6. "Customer Sales Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Sales Assistant
    Current Employee - Customer Sales Assistant
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    20% staff discount. Good place to say you have worked as Marks has good reputation for customer service

    Cons

    Not as much training as I would have expected. Junior management lacking in management skills

    Advice to Management

    Less standing around observing when shop busy - get more involved


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Customer sales assistant- Womenswear"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Longbridge, England
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Longbridge, England
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good teamwork
    fast paced environment
    helpful/friendly staff

    Cons

    Can be boring if your doing late shifts.
    Work timetabled changed without being consulted
    Pay mess ups


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Customer Assisstant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Llanelli, Wales
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Llanelli, Wales
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Friendly, supportive colleagues that are happy to help
    - Enjoyable environment to work in
    - Overall very pleasant customers
    - Informative and comprehensive training

    Cons

    - Unreliable and outdated IT system
    - Difficult to check shifts, book time off, see paycheck etc because of IT system

    Advice to Management

    Prioritise creating a more efficient, user friendly IT system for your staffs to help reduce accidental absence, employee frustration and unneeded stress


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Okay - inexperienced management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Camberley, England
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Camberley, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fair pay
    Good training
    Work your way up
    Frequent reviews with management for personal development also frequent reviews for the company (however I don't think staffs views are ever really taken into consideration)

    Cons

    Inexperienced commercial management (the ones in suits) who treat staff like school children
    Monthly sales / discounts reveal how desperate for cash the company is - customers are also aware of this so never buy things full price
    The business is unsure as to who there target consumer is

    Advice to Management

    Commercial management act like school teachers and have little respect for the staff they manage


  10. "Brilliant, fun company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Cardiff, Wales
    Former Employee - Customer Sales Assistant in Cardiff, Wales
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent workplace, a lot of support, great facilities such as on site canteen, excellent salary, great induction day to get settled

    Cons

    Long hours which can get boring, not very flexible and had to come in on a day when I was ill

    Advice to Management

    Make hours more flexible, train for tills


  11. "Saddened"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Customer Sales Assistant
    Former Contractor - Customer Sales Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    20% staff discount (once you eventually receive!!! ) and interacting with new people (customers) daily.

    Cons

    Blatant , obvious and belittling hierarchy of staff. Too many cooks spoil the broth! You're told to do things by a section co and then do the complete oppsoite from the other section co...making it appear to each section Co that you're incompetent or defiant! It's horrid. You can't do anything through your own experience or knowledge to make any positive changes to anything. I learnt very quickly and with a saddened heart that I was just a lemming , there to do what I'm told by 10 different section co's with no voice or decision making allowed.
     The section co's are all older (putting it nicely) and I'm 34! They have been there for donkeys years , some since their teens therefore feel it's THEIR store, alot of whom have their sons & daughters working there, in section coordinator assistant or coordinator roles ALREADY , on full term contracts with perfect hours! There's NO progression prospects for us lemmings on temp fixed term contracts ( even with years and years of retail experience including in another m&s store)
    Yet they all tell the Temps the exact story of how it MAY progress to permanent positioning...even the poor xmas Temps that are only contracted for 2 weeks!) We are expected to work the days that the perm staff don't have to, unless they want to (and the ones that do work these bank holiday , Sundays, xmas eve and boxing days ) they get extra pay but us mere lemmings get nothing.

    There is constant storytelling and gossiping between the women often ..in my store a certain M&s bank advisor whom could freely work between all sections would relay info and negative info between everyone making my final weeks (before I quit) a paranoid environment to work in. Some members of staff would know how to get the best deals using their staff discount and save or reserve items when we were strictly told not to and they are very quick to snitch on anyone who isn't their 'friend' for doing the same.
    Your NEVER given any positive feedback from your manager or section co....no matter how many times your name is mentioned on the customer feedback questionnaires ( myn was mentioned alot in my 6 weeks) and I never received a voucher , tin of biscuits or an eye blink etc... unlike everyone else who did..the received a gift voucher incentive ! I was made to feel like I was of no importance or needed...even though (as I've worked in m&s before )would help endlessly with new temps, teaching them what they were never taught In induction. This would often result in long queues as they didn't know what to do and I would often juggle 2 tills at once to help.

    The final straw was I was expected to work the entire xmas week (when perm staff were not , unless they got time and a half pay)...I asked if I could swap the 23rd for another day (happy to work xmas eve and boxing day ) just to give me one day to prepare Christmas for my 2 children and would be happy to work all though new years eve and new years day etc... I just needed 1 day to keep Christmas alive for my kids as I'd had no time to prepare as I was working 34 hours a week , a mum primarily of a 12 and 6 year old and would not be paid before the 23rd so couldn't do it anytime before... I was told a big NO. ( maybe I should have done what others would do and call in sick on that day instead of being honest and respectful)

    With no understanding i was told that we all have children....( this was true however all their children were grown adults mostly working at the same store- no others had children younger than 18!) I was heartbroken and it came down to me deciding between my children or the job...all for 1 day. It broke my heart and my positive experience of working for m&s previously... I would have been happy to stay as I am great with customers and love helping each one and obviously working is wonderful when your a mum...but there was no flexibility or empathy.

    What saddens me most is that I don't think I will be able to work for m&s again as I had to quit and apparently (was threatened) that if I do quit I cannot work for them again ?
    It's a shame as I know that it was just THAT particular store that my negative experience is based on as my previous store wasn't this way.
    The positive side is I gained further experience and knowledge and have affirmation from all my customers that I'm a wonderful customer advisor.
    Such a shame as I was proud to say I worked for m&s.

    Advice to Management

    I think the above covers enough for today !
    Stop keeping on advisors that do NO work just because they've been there for 15 years.

    Some older advisors cannot give fashion advice or knowledge about clothing and they don't care either !
     Some were given special treatment and not expected to do ANY manual work due to bad arms or legs etc ! Which meant often triple manual work ,carrying and lifting for us temps. If they can't do the expected work why are they employed full time and permanently and paid time And a half and given special treatment of only being on the till for their entire 8 hour shift meaning less till time for others..?? Aren't we all equal??? Rules can be bent for some but 1 day of flexibility for a good customer advisor is a no?

    I want to believe in working for M&S again and feel proud one day again...but today I'm sad and disappointed.