When a fairly young, groovy and ethical brand like Clipper Tea has an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org you kind of expect a reply to a polite email with a very polite gripe. So far at 1 3/4 days I haven’t even received an acknowledgement. I’d set up my “reach out to my customers” email address with an automated reply setting expectations for a human reply. If you are a small firm – why not give yourself up to 5 working days? Hardly unreasonable is it?
Before I wrote this I checked the email address, time of sending, any bounceback etc. There is nothing to indicate it hasn’t been received. I am trying not to leap to judgement but due to the website being up I am guessing there hasn’t been a catastrophic IT outage. I think the issue is a human one, which is sad. @clipperteas C-, could do better
In the interests of big/small balance I ought to note that Mercedes Benz Oxford also disappointed the other day. Made me wait 15 min to see a “specialist” after saying “someone will be right out” and not “it’ll be 15 min if you don’t mind holding on Sir”. I then end up explaining the difference between camber and toe-in to a real mouth-breather and am left wondering about said individual’s area of specialism. It sure as hell wasn’t wheel alignment on an E-class, that much I know for sure. Not making me want to rush there for a service anytime soon. I was then called by an “expert” who then perpetuated the whole thing by giving duff information. I know because I had the car on an inspection pit today w. a man that services coaches and builds race cars as a hobby. We looked and looked and looked for 20 min. No adjustment bolts for setting the rear wheel camber on an E-Class Estate. No shims either and according to The Internet there is no way to adjust the rear camber on a W211 except by buying aftermarket kits. @mercedesbenz_ir – D, be straight w. customers.
Addendum: after a v nice lunch with #MusingsFromTheSofa the point was made to me that I was failing to make a point about MB Oxford. I agree that I meandered around and that, at best, the point was inferred. I apologise. The point was to contrast that even the big guys like Mercedes were not necessarily better than the little guys like Clipper Tea. In both instances I expect to be not only satisfied but hopefully delighted. Both obviously lack a Social Media Strategy or I expect to have been contacted in some form by now….
Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no politico. My general view on politicians is best expressed by the quote; “The desire to become a politician should automatically disqualify that person from ever being one” which is variously attributed to several people including even Billy Connolly. I wish there was a box on the ballot that says “None Of The Above”. As @Sophie_Gee wryly observed though, “what if that is the majority option?”. Hmm, let me think on that. I may be a while.
Nonetheless, the Tea Party which seems to be the deeply right-wing and religiously biased (flawed?) equivalent of the Monster Raving Loony Party has failed, through the failure of everybody’s favourite Mormon bishop to become El Presidente, to even get a sniff at proper power and the mere sight of “The Football“. Obama is indeed the Least Worst Option so we can all breathe a bit easier for the next 3.5 years.
I have just read a rant on Facebook where a customer of BestBuy in Calgary felt very hard done by because the staff in-store were rubbish and despite nothing else to do they ignored them whilst standing around doing nowt. They waited 5-9 minutes apparently. Not only does such a statement imply that the complainant is pretty bad at judging the passing of time it also says to me that they had nothing better to do than wait and work themselves up whilst plotting their punitive retaliation (embarrass them using social media). there is nothing to suggest they even attempted to escalate the issue at a store level.
Whilst this is just rubbish service I don’t think you have earned the right to complain if you did nothing. There will be a manager on duty and I’ll bet that summoning them – the mere act of – will be a bit of a rocket to the lazy assistants. As a manager I’d dearly like to know if my customers are not receiving a level of service that delights them. As a manager I can’t improve it for you or other customers if you wait, bottle up your unhappiness and then snipe at us using Facebook (despite the dire threats to splash the entire world of social media with this example of egregious treatment they posted it on the US BestBuy page and not the Canadian one. BestBuy politely pointed this out. I only saw it because a contact reposted it.).
Staff make mistakes, staff are sometimes lazy, offensive, bring personal issues to work etc etc. All to be avoided but the fact is they do happen. There is a difference between a one-off and repetitive crap behaviour. Maybe the manager needs replacing? Who knows if you don’t bring it up.
By all means expect and demand high levels of service but don’t shy away from bringing it up with first-line management if you don’t get it. Being a customer in the real world isn’t a completely one-way track. Do your bit before you take to the airwaves to shout about your unhappiness. Try being part of the solution and not just part of the problem. No change will come if you shirk your responsibilities as a customer.
Organised religion. The mix of church and state in the UK that is enshrined in law. The plain pig-headed refusal to acknowledge facts, or more precisely the cherry picking of facts.
Newsflash – you can’t pick the facts you want to support your argument and then choose to ignore the ones that torpedo views based on faith. Really. Just really. It’s what 6 year olds do. Grow-up.
The old maxim applies here: “Never argue with an idiot because they’ll just drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Have you ever tried to have an argument (not a row, an intellectual argument) with a religious believer? Yes but, Yes but, yes but ad infinitum. I am not patient enough and have to bite my hand to avoid being offensive. It doesn’t always work.
It’s the election of the leader of the free world tomorrow. One would like to think that religion won’t have any part in it. Ho ho. Some hope. The winner gets to be in charge of serious weaponry and I’d like to think that they will take decisions based on proven facts and not an alleged god whispering in their ear as they pray for guidance.
Pray for me as I am obviously one of those deluded lost souls that places my faith in science over mythical Sky Pilots. Silly I know, but there you go.
…because I am sitting in front of an open fire. Doh.
It is between 2 and 4 degrees outside and wet as well. The kind of damp and chill you to the core sort of cold without even needing a wind. It might be the leaner post-hospital me of 11st of nothing that just feels the cold more easily.
Desperate measures – well 1.5:1 may be required; Whisky Mac (a.k.a. Winter Warmer) 1.5 parts blended (read cheap) whisky to 1 part green ginger wine. Bring it on.
bottle top (Photo credit: jovike)
Day 3 and yet more of my deeply interesting life. Well, that which I am prepared to share which, face it, it’s on the web’n’all, I ain’t telling you where I have put the bodies. Reminds me of the saying of a friend’s husband, “one more ain’t gonna take me to hell any faster”.
Life gets better. I don’t know why I took so long to acquire my v own copy of Blackhawk Down. Not important as it arrived yesterday from Amazon for the princely sum of £3.49 w free delivery for a “Bonus 2-Disc Special Edition” or similar marketing nonsense. I figure that at the price it is a commodity item taking up shelf space in the vast Amazon warehouse and just needs to be shifted. I remember being taught that patience is a virtue. It also helps to be massively forgetful at times and at that price the excuses can no longer be made.
So…number three done with. More tomorrow if I remember. Now where did I put the quicklime…?
Day 2 and I feel like a kid being made to write the “what I did on my holidays” post half-term standard fodder.
Today I applied to Sophos for a v interesting looking role as the Sales Enablement Program Manager – Learning & Development. Looks v interesting, plays v well to my strengths and is relatively local. I don’t mind business travel but at this stage in life am not looking to relocate as that is for peeps without kids at a non-boarding school.
The interesting thing to see is whether I am even spoken to, as my CV is coming to the UK HR Dept via a friend of a friend in Vancouver. I have never ever ever received a reply to an application via Linkedin as my CV isn’t a nice boilerplate example of I did this and then this and then this where the respective “thises” have been a steady progression along an A-B-C-D sort of obvious line. I like to think I have had an interesting and informative life but we’ll see what Sophos think.
So it’s a cheap an easy title? I am sitting in bed when I remembered that I was talked into once a day blogging in November by Musings From the Sofa. This is for NaBloPoMo – stupid sounding name imho. Blovember, much better.
Day 1 and there is project slippage. Hi ho. We’ll see what gives in a week. Nothing of note today apart from staying in touch with friends and recovering from yesterday. I bought a pair of orange and blue trainers for £25.The orange is so bright I can find them in the dark as they seem to emit their own energy. Most odd. They didn’t have a Chernobyl glow in daylight.
Yesterday was pretty cool. I stepped into something I hadn’t done for 10 years and it came back more naturally then I had hoped. My old boss from 14y year ago is the CEO of a firm with one of those – picked from the air, sounds kinda tecchie and most importantly the domain name is available – names. Flexiant. I really enjoyed it as it was especially challenging as it was a seasoned and experienced audience. If you don’t get credibility in the first 5 minutes the next 10 hours are hellish. I did, they weren’t.
Off to bed. More tomorrow.
Estate Agents used to strut around when selling houses as they couldn’t shift them fast enough. You snooze, you lose was the general feeling. These days in the UK the property sales market is v. v. weak yet the Lettings market is incredibly robust. Rents are high reflecting high demand and limited supply much as you learnt in Economics 101. As the estate Agents are no longer wallowing around in fat sale commissions and are relying on income from their lettings side they have decided that they obviously can’t keep sticking it to the Landlords who have the power to choose who represents them but instead they will screw the person with no options. To whit: the renter.
I am renting a property right now and not only do I pay a deposit – very understandable – but I pay a mixture of other non-refundable fees that are the Estate Agents cost of doing business. They have worked out that they can not only pass these costs on for things like reference checks but hell, why not skim a bit on the side and round it up a little? They farm out reference checks to a third party on-line but it is apparently £60 per check. £60, give me a break. After all, they want the house, we’re the agents, demand is high, it’ll rent regardless…drop your trousers sir. The “screw you” attitude gets better. I pay a deposit over the phone with my Debit Card and they even want to pass on the 30 pence (50 cents) handling charge on a £320.00 transaction. Talk about being nickeled and dimed to death.
The complete absurdity of the total lack of business acumen (not my job ‘guv, rules are rules) displayed by the chap in the office that obviously isn’t his? When I ask about my receipt the clown offers to post it. At least a £1 operation. I declined and tried to make the point that I wasn’t going to be petty and he could staple it to the inevitable hard copy of the rental agreement. Deaf ears, he just didn’t see.
When I go to the supermarket I don’t stand at the till and pay a further cleaning charge, staff pension supplement, stacking fee etc etc. What you see is what you pay. All those things are the cost of doing business. estate Agents are always mystified as to why they are considered in such a poor light. I wonder why no-one wants to sit by them at a dinner party? I wonder.
PS: Kiss me first in the title stems from the crude but apt saying; I like to be kissed when I am screwed.
A day of two halves on the customer service front. Firstly, I was killing time in Zappi’s Bike Cafe which makes the most excellent coffee in Oxford. It is inside Bike Zone and I meandered into the bike store part with both time to kill and the rarest of animals – cash in my pocket. There isn’t a riper time to relieve me of cash for bike ephemera that when I am a bit bored and am holding the folding. So…I am standing in the middle of a small shop floor. There are the usual spanner jockeys behind the counter but walking around in front of me is someone who is clearly the boss, he knows it and doesn’t deal with trivia like customers standing there in front of him. He was stepping around me fer gawdsake… I was feeling rather silly actually as I was obviously getting in the way of him making scathing remarks to the spanner jockeys about their pathetic efforts to fill the shelves with stock.
On the other hand I was blown away by a call I received from the Sales Director of Avon Tyres. I had rung Avon to query why my new winter tyres, despite being stickered as Avon Ice Touring ST, were all saying Cooper Weathermaster on the sides. Odd. We agreed that as Cooper owns the Avon brand that although the labelling was wrong the items were essentially the same. Despite being offered the opportunity to have them changed I declined saying it was a lot of hassle and that why didn’t he just organise a voucher or something. Kevin replied that I was to call him when I was changing back to summer tyres and he’d organise the Avon’s of my choice to be delivered to Merit Tyre in Witney at 50% off. Wow! Who can say fairer than that. That simple gesture has just secured me as an Avon customer for good.