I don't get angry very often. Last time was a couple of years ago in France as a result of poor customer service. The rant was in French, I impressed even myself!
This time it was in Guiseley, West Yorkshire. In English – and once again about poor customer service.
Buying domestic appliances is always a grudge purchase. You can't wear them, eat them or go on holiday on them. So when the Bosch washer gave up the ghost mid-cycle, we were not best pleased. With only a manager and a computer programmer to call on, the old washer had no chance of survival, so was dispatched to the tip en route to Comet for a replacement ordered over the internet. So far so good.
It was when we got it home that the problems started. At 70kg they're not easy to manoeuvre, so it was a relief to get it in the kitchen and unpack it. But oh, dear, the casing was broken, looked like it had been dropped, or dropped on in the warehouse. Damn!
I contacted Comet on an O8-expensive number, the only one available and spoke to a very helpful operator who, thanks to the miracle of computers, knew where I had been and what I'd bought. He also knew what I'd bought previously. Clever!
Here was the deal, I had a load of wet washing and a useless machine in the kitchen. I wanted a replacement. Quickly. And I didn't want to faff. If they would deliver me another that day, everything would be fine.
Ah, they couldn't do that – Monday was the best they could manage. Not good enough, I said. I was the one being inconvenienced here.
I'd be prepared to take a 'gesture of goodwill', I said. Thinking of a modest discount or bag of Malteesers. At least an apology. Ah, he said, I'll put you on to the manager, Mark.
Mark was less than helpful. He thought the offer of a free delivery was very generous. I pointed out that the website offered as much and if I'd wanted that, I would have taken advantage of it. That wasn't an in-store deal, he said. Like that had anything to do with me.
Well then, I said, if I have to go to the inconvenience of hernia-risking lifting and carrying back to Guiseley through no fault of my own, what discount will you offer me?
I could have a discount on the broken machine he said.
I don't think so, I said.
Then what, I asked, getting more irritated with this complete lack of acknowledgement over who the customer was, will you do about it?
Nothing, he said.
So, I said. You are telling a loyal customer who has been inconvenienced that she will have to bring back faulty goods. HEAVY faulty goods without so much as an apology?
Yup. He said. Smugly, I thought.
If that is your stance, then I will never shop at Comet again, I told him
Fair enough, he said.
I hung up.
I took some pleasure in telling him rather loudly and in earshot of other other customers when I got to the store that neither I, nor my friends, nor my friends, nor my friends' friends, nor my relatives, nor my neighbours, nor my cat would ever shop at Comet again. Never.
And, added Noel pithily, we would have children, just so they wouldn't shop there either.
So, dear readers. Don't shop at a store which thumbs its nose at the customers who pay the wages. I won't.
Today's lovely thing
A friend who calls you just to see how you are.