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A bit more than a year ago I visited the Manchester store of House of Fraser. As soon as I entered the store, 5 security guards started following me around. Each time I stopped to look at something, one of them walked past me and stopped in front of me to stare at me in a pretty aggressive way. This went on for about half an hour until I made my purchase and went to the cash till. Needless to say that I complained to the House of Fraser store manager. He passed my complaint onto AFC Group (AFC Group) who provide the House of Fraser security guards. It took AFC Group about a month to get back to me (they never asked me to confirm the exact time and location of the incident!) to tell me that I had made up the entire incident. I wonder whether other people have had similar experiences. AFC Group also provides security guards to Boots and Wooworth's.

 

Marc

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House of Fraser are responsible for the actions of their security guards. They must make enquiries & not try passing the buck by getting you to chase their agents.

 

I currently have simular problem with a security guard who follows my wife & 20 year old daughter around our local Morrisons (passed & bypassed them 4 times at the milk shelf alone).

 

Even another member of the stores staff remarked on how he was looking at & following my family & suggested he should be reported which (as this is not the 1st time this guy has done this) I intend to do today.

 

Oh & of course it didn't happen don't you know. Only when these people are caught dead to rights will they admit to anything.

 

If you have time have a couple of friends enter the store with you at a discreet distance to act as witnesses to their behaviour then write to the store telling them that as they failed to act on your original complaint & their security company as much called you a liar you have re-entered the store & now have witnesses to their security guards conduct.

 

Do NOT accept them saying YOU must contact their security company. Keep stressing in all correspondence the words THEIR security company Also put everything in writing do not talk on the phone. Don't give them a contact tel no.

 

I'll let you know how I get on & look forward to hearing how you do too

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I asked for the tapes about a month later (my mistake) and this is the reply I received from AFC Group:

 

 

 

2 November 2005

 

Dear X

 

Further to your letter dated the 31st October 05, regarding your complaint against our guards whilst visiting Kendals Manchester on the 1st October 05.

 

I confirm that the manager responsible for the Manchester area has investigated your complaint and can find no evidence to substantiate your allegations against our guards.

 

Our guards patrol the store on a regular basis as part of their duties and we are sorry that you have felt harassed by their presence, as it is never our intention to cause upset or embarrassment to members of the public.

 

I can also confirm that there are no recorded images of that day's events, as the tapes are reused and will have been erased by now in accordance with current procedures.

 

Assuring you of my best attention at all times.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Beverley Stephenson

Customer Relations Manager

 

 

Copy: Contract & Client Liaison Manager"

 

 

 

This is all a bit cheeky as I reported the incident on the day itself! AFC Group claimed that there was a full investigation of the incident, but they never asked for the exact time or location in the store where the incident occurred. The Manchester House of Fraser store has 7 storeys! I also reported the incident to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA, http://www.bsia.co.uk/). They did not want to investigate further: all they did is to ask AFC Group whether they had investigated the incident. A bit of an old boys network.

 

Marc

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at morrisons its another company i have forgotten their name but their the ones who wear american police hats. i think it is swat .

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, Folks,

My current role is Secuirty in Retail from what I have learned in retail security is No matter where you go when you enter any store your beein watched CCTV, Doesn't go against if ur a regular customer or not! Its to do with public saftey aswell as staff saftey. I do it myself follow people round the store I work in, Also depends how you look? Thats another thing? Shoplifters aren't always visle to the security not that am sayin you are one sorry! Just stateing the obv plus it takes less than 5 seconds to conseal something!

 

Ok, House of fraser 5 Security officers is a bit much That does take the ****. At the most 2 but all house of Fraser stores have excellent CCTV systems.

 

ANY QUESTIONS FEEL FREE TO ASK

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I am an ex-loss prevention manager at house of fraser oxford street.

 

It seems OTT for 5 of their guards to have followed you about and it seems weird that they would do so as they could more easly do it through their very excellant CCTV system. If you need the name and contact details of House of frasers head of loss prevention please PM me. You will get nowhere by talking to the guarding company.

 

However I doubt that you have any case against HOF due to the fact that they haven't actually done anything except patrol the store and looked hard at you.

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  • 5 months later...

If it should happen again, why not turn to the person and confront them and ask them why they are following you, and mention that what they are doing is tantamount to harassement.

Or on the other hand, turn the tables on them and start following them around.

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LOL - This has happened to me on numerious occassions, I must have one of those faces.... :D

 

How ever I have confronted the guard(s) and asked if theres a problem, funny the answer is always "NO" so I ask them to stop following me, and instead request me to leave the store if any doubt of trust is present, other wise I'll report them for harassment and intimidation.

 

Some give you "that look" the others are suddenly embarassed by the confrontation and more so my secret weapon :D and will walk off with the head between the tail.

 

I still find it funny.

Thanks

- Hobbie

 

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Under no circumstances should you speak with a Debt Collections Agency via telephone, request that all future correspondence is done in writing, a letter template for this can be located here.

 

Any views expressed are solely that of my own, any advice or information offered is provided in genuine good faith, and should be checked prior to acting upon.

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Hello,

 

Yes, please let me have the name of the head of loss prevention at House of Fraser.

 

Thank you,

 

Marc

I have pm'd you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

No matter where I go in the city, i am nearly always followed by security guards and store detectives. I have never shoplifted, nor hung around with shoplifters, nor even done anything remotely like it, and have done a fair bit of security work myself.

 

It is because I look suspicious. I wear black clothing and dark glasses everywhere, and am 6'5".

 

It used to really annoy me, but now I find it quite fun, esp when I catch them staring at me, I just stand there and stare back. The best one ever was when I was in boots(with a basket of stuff) 2 uniformed store detectives, and 1 plain clothes detective were following me around(its easy to spot a plain clothes if you know what to look for). As I was shopping, i caught a glimpse of someone stealing a few rows over(height doth have its advantages) i watched them for a few mins, while security watched me. After he left the store I walked up to the plain clothes detective and told him that while him and his 2 buddies had been busy watching me, I was watching the guy now leaving, who had a bag full of stolen gear.

 

He was speechless, and legged it out of the store(when his 2 mates saw that, 1 followed him) i then went to the till and asked to speak to the manager. Told him what had happened, said i was very unhappy, and no longer wanted to buy any of the stuff in the basket. He apologised profusley, offered me 25% off, and said he would have a word.

 

The 2 guards then came back in empty handed and just glared at me while the manager told them off :)

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I know I have a mental health issue that I'm hopinf to eventually get help for, at the moment and I get very anxious when leaving the house. I notice I get followed a lot and then get more anxious, so whilst I am trying to pretend alls normal I must look and behave odd at times, my kids say I do it. As a result I do get followed and dont go out much now due to that and another illness.

Point is there are those of us who panic when followed and some of those gaurds make a point of letting you know they are following you. I had a nasty experiene in TK max last xmas when this man kept approaching me and asking what was the price for the item I was holding, weird or what. Turned out he was a gaurd and followed me to till and door and even had me watched in changing area. I now dont go to tkmax.

 

I understand why they have to follow people as recently in hmv I saw this man put an load of games and then dvds into a bag. I thought I was being followed because this man was near us and the sprint of him dashing out the door would have qualified him for the olympics.

 

But I wish TK Max would ease off the average anxious joe blogs. Their clothes were all over the floor when Ive been so anyone sprinting away would have probably broken their neck on that occassion.

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  • 1 year later...

Almost 4 years (yes, four years!) after the incident, I finally got an apology from the Company Secretary of House of Fraser. It is now official: they agree that "[they] have failed [me] as a customer". Still, the idiot thought it would be appropriate to add a sentence to his letter stating that he could not understand that I was still upset about the incident almost 4 years after it had occurred. Some people do value their good reputation very highly and get very upset about any attacks on it.

 

So, the lesson is: if you do not mind taking the risk of ending up being treated like utter sh*t by House of Fraser (i.e. AFC Group, www.afcgroup.co.uk) security guards, then carry on visiting House of Fraser. I certainly will never ever spend a penny in any House of Fraser store!

 

By the way, I love AFC Group's mission statement:

 

"To work collaboratively with our clients and design, construct and implement integrated total solutions **to increase sales and earnings**, safeguard and grow market share and enhance safety and security."

 

In my case, AFC Group has done the opposite of increasing sales for House of Fraser! I also love the term "total solutions". Know whom does that remind me of?

 

Marc

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  • 4 years later...
can anyone tell me who the head of loss prevention for house of frazer actually is and how to write email or contact them...

 

Stuart Bicknell

Senior Loss Prevention Manager at House of Fraser.

 

Not sure how to contact him, found this on LinkedIn.

 
 

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