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Tuesday, December 14

Extremes of customer service

I have two service providers to deal with today. One of them is a cat boarding kennel - Manor Farm Cattery, whom I had to ring in order to rearrange cat accommodate over the Christmas break. Since we'd paid a deposit and had taken their valuable space over a busy season, I expected them to say something like "We'll keep the deposit and maybe hold you to a percentage of the agreed accommodations". At the very least I didn't expect them to be so amenable and helpful in moving the dates to another busy time of year.

They were simply great - a class act. Well worth using.

On the other side there's another service provider. This provider has failed me in an important way and hasn't been sorting out the issue. I happened to drop into their office on 1st December because I was nearby. Suddenly everything was a priority. The person told me that they would get progress for me by midday on the 3rd. "And I'm promising you" she said. I asked if her previous assurances of getting things sorted out were also a promise. She admitted they had been, but this time she really meant it.

By the following week, nothing had happened. No progress. No apology for doing anything. I sent an email explaining that it was obvious that the deadline had passed and I was looking for an update. No reply.

Over the weekend, I sent a further email explaining that I didn't expect to be ignored. No reply.

I have been quite measured in my approach to this situation. I don't want to blow my top at them because I feel I'd lose the moral high ground. I don't want someone to be doing what's necessary grudgingly, and I don't want to be unreasonable. However, in my private moments, I sit and wonder what it would take to get a reaction from this individual. How do I get her to start answering my mail?

I thought of a good one today. I thought about sending a big bunch of flowers. This would make everyone in the office coo and peer over her shoulder to ask who it was from and what they said. Then the card could say something like:

My Dearest Ineffective Person

Since you've ignored my emails I thought I would send you these flowers, which in time will die like the empty promises you've made to get your shit together. Roses are red, violets are blue, get on with the stuff you promised to do.

In the end, I just rang a couple of times. I will be speaking to this person or their manager. I will be reasonable. There's no need to flounce. I think the fact speak for themselves - the service has been very poor and there's no excuse for ignoring reasonable attempts at communication. I'm not an angry complainer, I just want my problem solved.

I'm glad my cats are looked after by the nice people.


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