Telling the truth about SME life today

What happened to common courtesy?

Have had cause to reflect on the effects of bad customer service twice in the last 24 hours.   Booked a taxi from our normal taxi firm (with whom we have had an account for some years) to take employee to fire marshal’s course. Despite continual calls from us, taxi appeared over 45 minutes late, ensuring that the employee missed chunk of course. When we mentioned that, as a regular customer, we were not very happy with this and would appreciate some allowance on the price, we were told where to go (we will, by the way – to another company). At home, I have been trying to buy some carpet supplied by a nationally known trading company. I ordered samples direct from the web site, which arrived beautifully promptly. Availability was no problem when I rang to check, so I placed an urgent order with a local retailer. Local retailer, having taken large deposit, informs me that carpet is out of stock until the new year. I point out this is contrary to what I have been told and ring the number they give me for this company, which is different from sample department. I start the conversation by asking what the difference between the two numbers is, so that I can identify who I am talking to. Initially, the girl on the other end denies all knowledge of the sample department telephone number being part of the same company. After some descriptions of company stationary, we establish it is, indeed, the same company and their sample department. I then explain that I have been told two different stories about stock levels and am unhappy about it. "Contact your retailer," she says. I say that, as a fellow member of the top-end of the interior design trade supplier group, I could technically be called trade, and mention there is no need for attitude. Attitude continues and I ask girl’s name. She refuses to give her name, tells me she is not interested as I am not trade, and puts the phone down on me. We are another trade-only company. Crucially, however, unlike the carpet company I would hope that my staff recognise the end user is also important and any enquiry, especially an unhappy one, is entitled to common courtesy. 



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