Tag Archives: customer service

I did a bad thing today

You know how they say the customer is always right? I forgot that this morning.

The customer from last week rang to express his discontent that we still hadn’t sent him the details he needed and that he didn’t see why he should pay to return the goods and that it was all our fault . . .

I apologised for whatever it was that we had got wrong this time, expressed my surprise that it wasn’t proceeding smoothly and ascertained what the problem was. It was the same as last week – he has cocked it up again and pressed the wrong buttons, bringing the whole refund process to a halt. This, it appears is all my fault.

At that point I snapped and said “No!”

I explained that I was sorry that he hadn’t received what he wanted and that he hadn’t had his refund but said I was unwilling to carry on being told it was my fault. I have sent him the things he ordered and I have sent him what he needed to obtain a refund. He, on the other hand, ordered the wrong things and has failed to press the right buttons to obtain the refund. It is costing us money to correct his mistake and enough is enough.

I have now sent him a stamped addressed envelope and look forward to seeing if he manages to work that without mishap.

Now I feel guilty, because I have told a customer he is wrong, but I just couldn’t take it any more. Even if it were my fault, there’s no need for the constant chorus of blame, but some people just like to blame somebody for their misfortune, and it’s never their fault, or the product of blind chance.

Customer Service and a Tale of Two Morons

I read a post yesterday, which referred to “customer service” as an oxymoron. Not at our shop – we always try to come achieve a satisfactory solution when there is a problem. With eBay being so skewed towards the customer it’s actually hard not to get to a satisfactory solution for the customer, even stupid or dishonest ones.

How about this for an example.

A customer ordered an item last week, then rang to complain that he had received an X when he had ordered a Z. I replied that I couldn’t understand what had happened, as he had definitely ordered an X according to our eBay screen. (No, we don’t sell capital letters, I’m just trying to protect the identity of an idiot). He added, “You always do this. I ordered  a P a Q and an X last time and you sent me three Xs. It’s all the fault of your system, it’s difficult to use and it’s not very clear.”

We agreed that we didn’t want him to have things he didn’t require, but that all the others were out of stock, so he would have to ring the next day to speak to the owner, who could make decisions on this that I couldn’t make.

Alarm bells were, to put it mildly, ringing.

I checked his last order. He had ordered Three Xs and that was what we had supplied.

So, according to me and eBay he had ordered four Xs and we had, quickly and accurately, supplied exactly that.

The problem is that he isn’t very good with technology, and he isn’t very good at listening. He has pressed the “buy” button four times and tried to order things that are no longer in stock (and are clearly marked as “out of stock”). He’s also clearly no good at listening, when I try to explain. And he doesn’t understand eBay – it’s a standard drop-down menu as used by everyone on eBay. It is not our system as he seems to think. Nobody else has ever had this problem.

Now, I’m happy to take things back, and we are going to help him out, but I do object to him claiming that it is our fault, and I do object to him costing us money when he is the one at fault.r fault, particularly when he could have told us there was a problem after the first lot.

What we are doing is paying for him to send them back and then giving him a refund. The cost to us will be about £7 in postage and £5 in time spent sorting the return out. Next time we sell the goods for £20, the eBay fees of £3 plus the £7 and the £5 all have to be taken from the £20. That leaves us £5 to pay for the stock, our premises and our wages. It is not, as we retail professionals say, a sustainable model.

So there you go, a tale of modern customer service. Not actually the story of an oxymoron, more the story of an actual moron.

Running on the Spot

I had an email from TESCO this morning.

Dear Mr Wilson
We are extremely sorry to let you know that due to store issues, we have unfortunately had to cancel your order that’s due today. You have not been charged for your order.

Kind Regards

Your Grocery Home Shopping Team

The mildest word that escaped my lips is “unacceptable”. Fortunately, I have plenty of food in, and with a little thought can last until next week. We’ve done that before when things have gone wrong. However, this time it’s the casual way they tell you that your social distancing  efforts are all in vain and that your menu planning has been a waste.

I have just rung the company to check that it isn’t some form of clever scam email, but it is true. They have an in-store Covid outbreak. Now, if they’d told me that, I would have sympathised. But just telling mw that they had cancelled the order and are offering no alternative is asking for a negative reaction.

We will have to buy bread, milk, cheese and eggs but probably have enough of everything else. We would normally have plenty of cheese and eggs but I have been cutting back to prevent waste.

Before that, I had my repeat blood test after failing last week’s test. In contrast to last week the phlebotomist was eager to start and I didn’t even have time to sit down in the waiting area before he called me through. Good news is that I bled profusely, so no clotting problems there. Of course, that might mean I have gone too far the other way.

I have also just rung the pharmacy and my methotrexate is in. It’s taken 23 days to work its way through the system and I’ve had to request it twice. This is, of course, from the people who brought us The Great Track & Trace Debacle and Lockdown III – This Time It’s Serious.

The pharmacy, to be fair, has been very efficient – its the on-line ordering that has gone haywire. In the old days you got a piece of paper in your hand. These days you wait for a text, and when it doesn’t come you realise you have no pills and it will be another week, if you are lucky. There’s a lot to be said for simple paper-based systems.

So far it’s been a day of chasing my own tale – lots of jobs done, including getting Julia to work, and writing this post is the only thing I’ve wanted to do. And even this i just a list non-vents in the life of a boring man.

I’ve also had a phone call from someone who claims to be validating Life Insurance Policies, but it felt more like a sales call so I made my excuses and left.

The surgery just rang – I failed my blood test again.  Altered dosage and another test next week again.

And now I’ve had one of those calls pretending to be from Amazon.

There is so much rubbish to deal with before you can actually do anything useful.

Close to the Edge…

I did some of my WP stuff on Julia’s netbook last night. For those of you too young to remember them netbooks were low in power and small in size. You could use them to access the internet and nobody has produced them since 2013. I’m pretty sure the average modern phone is more powerful than a netbook and think they have been replaced by tablets. The sad thing is that my computer seems to be even less powerful than the netbook – the netbook, for instance, can show the pictures on my blog posts, but the computer cannot. It occasionally showsd one, just to tempt me into thinking everything is working, but next time it is back to a blank space and frustration.

Yesterday after noon I accomplished about 15% of what I meant to do, which was annoying, so today I have set myself a target of 100%. In addition, I want to attend to the blog and check emails.

It has just taken me eight attempts to access the emails. Why? I don’t know.Probably just that technology hates me and is trying to drive me over the edge. It is getting close to success.

I’m trying to check on an email I sent a few weeks ago, and not succeeding. I’m just getting a rotating circle and and no action. I have logged out and am now preparing to struggle to get back in.

Still waiting…

I may do something else.

Still circling…

There must be something wrong at their end. I will close down in a moment and try to log in afresh.

Ah! Action!

It’s decided to tell me it can’t perform the action I requested. I requested it to open a file to check on a sent email. You’d think I’d asked for the secret of life judging by the time it’s taking and the secrecy surrounding it.

Believe it or not, since BT launched their “new and improved” email service it hasn’t been as good or reliable as it used to be. A suspicious man may try to link the two things.

I once had my car serviced. Next day I drove about sixty miles down the motorway and sixty miles back up (I have found this is generally a good way of getting home). On the way back.we stopped at a service area for toilets then drove the remaining 20 miles home. On the ring road we noticed a peculiar smell, and when we stopped at lights we found ourselves surrounded by a cloud of white smoke. The brakes were seized on and were smoking.

On Monday I went to the garage and explained what had happened.

“Ah yes,” said the man, “when people have trouble with cars just after servicing they often blame it on us.”

I wonder why…

I’m putting a picture on, but without enthusiasm. What’s the point when I can’t see it? It’s not even the picture I wanted, because the screen moved after I pressed the button. You will have to imagine me rolling my eyes and emitting a great “tut!”

Later addition – I just went back to try the email again. There’s a great red stripe on the page now, announcing they have a problem and are working on it. I’d guessed.

A Woman Full of Surprises

Sheringham

Even after knowing each other for 40 years Julia still has the capacity to surprise me.

She knitted a teddy bear yesterday. This was a surprise, as she has not knitted for years. Crochet embroidery and felting, yes, but no knitting. OK, it’s not a great surprise , but I#m building up to the big one.

Today she went out for some fresh air and came back with fish and chips. This was a surprise as I didn’t know the chip shop had reopened. Nor did I realise we were going to have something nice for tea, when I’d been expecting another meal of vegetables. It’s not the freedom I’m missing during lockdown, but the variety of food we used to eat. You have to queue outside and order from the open door.

Hake and Chips in Cromer

It’s our first take-away since the disastrous KFC. That’s nearly six weeks ago. In normal times I would probably have used KFC and Just Eat several times, so I’m happy to report they have lost some business over the mess. ASDA will be losing some too. In these days, when customer service means nothing, and people never get back to you about complaints, this seems to be the best you can do to.

When you used to have to write in with complaints they used to take things more seriously. Now that they do it all by email it’s easier but also easier to write an anodyne and meaningless reply.

I think I may write another complaint and see if anything happens.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of chips from happier times.

Sutton-on-Sea

ASDA Disaster!

As I said yesterday, I spent a lot of time amending my ASDA Click & Collect order. I added my payment details and ensured I had the conformation email. Everything was, as the Americans say, copacetic. Actually, from what I see on WordPress, they don’t say it. But they could do. It’s one word I wouldn’t mind them importing into English.

Things took a distinct turn for the worst when we arrived. At ASDA you park up then use their app to tell them you have arrived. A what? I don’t do apps. I did it the old-fashioned way, catching the eye of a staff member and asking for help.

As they brought the shopping across I felt a deep depression settle on me.

My order was  for over £60, including things for the stock cupboard and a few bits for neighbours. What was coming to us across the car park was a small box with just over a dozen items, including some that I’d cancelled the night before.

They had clearly not processed the new order. They had sent me an email to tell me that the order had been amended and I had, foolishly, not checked the rest of the email, which detailed the order. When I returned home and checked, the “amended order” was not, in fact, amended. It was just the old order repeated.

I won’t bore you with too much detail.

The man on the helpline (after I had spoken to three other people, including an idiot) told me it was obviously a “technical matter”, that there was no way for him to provide me with the food I had ordered and that “there’s nothing I can do,”

I will remember this in future.

In fact I will remember it in two weeks. I have another Click and Collect order with ASDA in two weeks, but I’ve also managed to get a TESCO delivery slot two days after that. It’s very tempting to cancel the ASDA order. I don’t like doing it, as I am a man of my word. On the other hand they let me down badly today and refused to make things right.

Fortunately I’ve managed to arrange things over the last month so that we have enough food to last us until the next delivery. It means we are out of mustard, short on marmalade, and low on cheese, but have plenty of toilet roll, pasta and longlife milk.

However, I’ve just been watching the news from Brazil. Their President makes Boris Johnson look like a statesman, and President Trump is an intellectual giant in comparison. In terms of counting our blessings, let’s just reflect that it could be a lot worse.

It was an an unpleasant, cold, grey day today, though it’s supposed to improve tomorrow.

And that concludes the miserable, moaning diary entry for today. I thought I’d use some rainbow photos as they are a symbol of the lockdown.

abstract abstract expressionism abstract painting acrylic paint

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

 

 

Not My Best Day

It’s been another flattish sort of day. I spoke to a nurse practitioner from Rheumatology again today. She was not the same one that I spoke to last week and didn’t have any notes relating to what had been discussed last week.

This was disappointing and inefficient, but it’s happened before. I’m trying my best to be nice to NHS staff during this time of stress. Actually, I try to be nice to NHS staff all the time, but they sometimes make it very difficult.

This proved to be the high point of the discussion, which went rapidly downhill. In the end all the points I’d agreed with the other nurse last week were reversed. She did not like me pointing this out.

She also contradicted the advice given by the doctor a few weeks ago – that I should stay indoors and avoid shops – by telling me I was ‘not special’ and could use public transport.

I’m going to carry on being nice to NHS staff, by not covering the whole conversation and not giving my views. She has, she said, come out of retirement to help out during the crisis. Though I am grateful to her for her efforts, I can’t help reflecting that she was trained in the days when the NHS was less concerned with the dignity of the patient, as it is now called.

An example is how they used to administer spinal anaesthetics. I went in about 16 years ago. They made me sit naked on a bed in a room full of staff while they stabbed me in the spine with needles. Last time I went in they allowed me to wear pants and a gown while they stabbed me in the spine through a gap in the back of the gown. Same stabbing, more dignity.

But they still used the same undignified method of inserting a camera into my bladder…

nurse holding syringe

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

 

 

 

The ebay Diaries – Day One

After spending far too much time on ebay recently I’ve decided to get some use out of this time by writing about it.

Today’s installment is about the evils of blurred photographs. As you may have seen in one of the previous posts, there are a number of bad things to buy on ebay. One of the top ten is “things with blurred photos”. There are quite a lot of them.

When I used ebay as part of my business I used a scanner. In fact I wore a scanner out through constant use. They weren’t perfect, but the images were, on average, a lot better than most of the ones you see these days. They were very good for flat things like banknotes and postcards and generally good for things like coins and badges

The poor qualty would not be a big deal apart from one thing – more and more sellers are saying they don’t give refunds and that the picture forms part of the description.

I’ve always tended to avoid people who don’t give refunds because I consider it poor customer service. If you can’t trust them to stand by their product can you trust them to pack things properly or post them promptly?

I’ve always had an unconditional refunds policy and over all that time I’ve only ever had two things retuned. People are generally trustworthy and don’t abuse your terms of service.

People who don’t trust their customers are, in my experience, less trustworthy than average. (I’ll pick my words carefully there, but it’s a principle I always adhere to.)

Fortunately, unless things have changed, there are ways to get a refund despite this, though I’ve never needed to use them yet.

With a blurred picture it isn’t possible to see faults, and with a no refund policy this could make for a really bad buying experience. Personally, I think you should always tell customers if there is a fault.

In going through ebay this morning I’ve already spotted several broken or repaired items which aren’t noted as such, and where it’s difficult to spot the problem. The main clue is that they are often on “Buy it Now” and the price is suspiciously reasonable.

Having said that I’ve just bought a very reasonably priced job lot on a “Buy it Now”, so fingers crossed…