The Cork Board

Is this the state of British Customer Service?

customer-service Ted Goff

I worry about the future of British Customer Service. Our recent experience, one would hope, is unusual, but if we are not to complain and huff-and-puff how will things get any better ?

All the following have happened during the last 6 weeks.

No.1  Two identical curtain poles bought from Laura Ashley

One was correct and one wasn’t. I contacted Customer Service to be told they would collect the incorrect one the following day and then replace with the correct pole. Nothing happened. I visited the local store 5 days later and luckily managed an exchange. Customer Service Points ; 5/10 (only rescued by the very helpful lady in the store).

No. 2  Standard Lamp bought from John  Lewis

Didn’t work.  Electrical items have to be tested by law before they can be sold, don’t they ?

Swapped after a return trip to the store. Customer Service Points; 5/10 (could be better if they’d offered to pay my petrol ! )

No. 3 Clothing Items bought online from M&S, paid extra for next day delivery –

No delivery. On chasing with customer service line told that they had been sent to the wrong despatch depot by mistake. Would not be delivered on time. Delivery charge refunded – still awaiting delivery. Customer Service Points; 4/10 (because the girl on the customer service line was helpful but apologetic).

No. 4  Kitchen Mixer Tap bought online from Pioneer Bathrooms

Okay, we bought the wrong one by mistake. Contacted Pioneer for return and told that to return would cost £25 (the carrier charge, I guess). Oh well, okay. “Carrier will be in touch in the 24 hours to arrange collection at your convenience, sir.”  Silence. Customer Service Points; 5/10 (I can’t hang around waiting for a carrier to call but the product was delivered on time, if over-packaged).

I have named the companies involved specifically because I’m getting to the point where if we don’t complain, and who wants to be a serial complainer, we’re just going to have put up with this crap.


(Mr. Glasbergen has a good line in customer service cartoons.)

So, line up with me folks, if we get crap service – complain like hell.

Likewise, if we get great service – trumpet it………… I’m still waiting.

Update: Pioneer Bathrooms have now come through and sorted it.

4 thoughts on “Is this the state of British Customer Service?”

  1. On the other hand, I complained about a faulty espresso machine (v exp) and they delivered the new one without taking the old one back.

    Same with linguaphone tapes. I offered the wrong ones to the courier and he said he wasn’t authorised to take them back.

    Oh well, their loss not mine, but we all pay in the end for incompetence.

  2. My sympathies for all the mishaps Al. It’s funny that you post something along these lines around the same time that I have been experiencing crappy service, albeit differently. Went to the supermarket yesterday and bought a bunch of groceries, only to get home and realize a packet of frozen chicken mince was missing. Went back to get it and it turns out my bag was sent off with another customer. Cashier remembered that i had paid for it and since I am pretty much a familiar face at that store, I was given a replacement. That’s fine. But what amazed me was the way their attitude changed. On my previous visit I was greeted and smiled at, whereas when I went back there was a definite unfriendly vibe, since I had pointed out a mistake and someone would be paying for it. Left an unpleasant taste in my mouth and makes me not want to go back there.

    Capitalism I tell you, companies hire people to provide ‘customer service’ but really the bottomline is to sell. I’m glad you wrote about your experiences and specified the companies!

    1. I can sympathize with your experience too. It seems as though an element of trust has been destroyed, doesn’t it?
      Also, I decided to name the companies because I have got to the stage where things must improve or we are doomed to accept crap service, ad infinitum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s