Monday, April 10, 2006

Issue 361 - Sampling Sloppy Service

I hope everything is ok where you are.

Today I want to talk about service - customer service in particular.
One of the theories I use for self improvement, goal achievement and wealth creation concerns integrity.
It's important to do the best you can at all you do, and act towards others as you would yourself.
This builds your own self esteem, it builds the esteem others hold for you, and it keeps telling your subconscious that you do the right thing, and that includes the right thing for you, which helps push you in the right direction when choices need to be made.
Today I want to talk about recent examples of customer service, the good, the bad , and the ugly...

Firstly, the good.
Yesterday, in preparation for my new project which I'll be launching on the 24th April, I bought a pair of scales to weigh myself.
It was only when I went to collect the order at the shop that I realised I had ordered 2 by mistake.
I told the girl behind the counter, who instead of rolling her eyes and tutting, smiled (rather sweetly it must be said), and chirpily told me that she would just refund my card there and then.
A couple of minutes later, and I was happily walking away with just the 1 set of scales.
This was a mistake that was 100% mine, but the shop dealt with it quickly and with no fuss at all.
Thank you Argos, for a good display of customer service.

Secondly the bad.
Recently I had to order a new passport.
It took me ages to get the picture taken, because if my face was looking ok, my hair needed dying, and if my hair was ok, my face was suffering.
Eventually I decided that not many people look at my passport photo anyway, so just got it done. and the passport agency turned my new one around in less than a week.
That's impressive, but unfortunately it's also when the problems started.
The passport agency used to send out passports via the Royal Mail, but when they decided that the number going missing in the post was too high, they chose to use a 'specialist' delivery company.
The company wrote to me, saying that I needed to arrange a delivery date, but they could only guarantee a delivery time of between 8am and 6pm.
That's not a good start, since the depot is only 20 miles away.

Anyway I arranged the date, and stayed in waiting.
I couldnt go out, I didnt even want to take a shower in case I missed the delivery.
Trips to the toilet were brief, with longer visits postponed, if you follow.
After 10 hours of waiting, I rang up, only to be told I had got the day wrong (which I hadn't).
I was keeping calm, but if you can imagine my mood to be a pan of boiling water, there were plenty of bubbles rising beneath the still surface.
I insisted that I was correct, and wanted my passport by 9am the following morning.
I was told I would have to pay for that.
(bigger bubbles, water rippling)
After 20 minutes I had spoken to 2 managers, and eventually was told it *had* been the right day, but had ended up back at the office, and they couldn't guarantee a 9am delivery.
(lid coming off pan now, in go the potatoes, splish splash, one for luck, plop)
It took another 10 minutes of 'persuading' before they agreed that 'as a courtesy' they would deliver by 9.

This occasion had been a mistake made by the company, who initially denied the mistake, and then expected me to pay to correct it!
Not good, and as a result of the postponements I mentioned earlier, I think I may have pulled a muscle downstairs somewhere.

Thirdly, the ugly.
Regular readers will know that I use the online dating sites.
I've had a few dates, but have yet to meet any future ex-wife.
I got a email from the site telling me that someone had contacted me.
I couldn't read or reply to this until I had taken a subscription, so duly paid for a month, only to find that the girl contacting me was Tatyana from Moscow.
Not that I have anything against Tatyanas from Moscow, it's just that I can spot 1 or 2 hurdles to overcome right off the bat.
After a couple of weeks, I cancelled my subscription, and the site told me that my recurring billing had been stopped.

You may be ahead of me on this one...

Over the weekend I found that my card has been charged again, and despite me havng a cancellation number, the dating site tells me they have no record of it.
Hmm, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book to get extra money from customers.
It's a disgrace, and they don't seem to be bothered about it.
The company is so if you are considering using them, I'd reconsider.
If you're wondering how that relates to 'ugly' well you need to see some of the women on the site!

Ok, that's it for today, remember to act wth integrity towards yourself and others.
I'll see you next week when I will be pre-launching my new project.

Have a good week,
'Til Next Time,
Health and Happiness,

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