Friday, 3 October 2014

To Moan or Not to Moan

I am a complainer. I don't  think of  myself as a whinger, my DOH may disagree with that, but  I do believe in complaining. There are so many businesses, services  and products  out  there that  get  things  wrong  and go out of business because  no one complains. Complaining saves jobs! How  many times  have  you been to a new cafe and experienced cold coffee, the  wrong order or poor service  and instead of speaking  up, we don't want  to make a fuss, we just go elsewhere. This happens over and over and before  they know  it  the business is struggling  to stay afloat but  no one  has ever said  anything negative.

I complain about  dirty loos,lack of information and signage, goods sold that are unfit for purpose  and most commonly plain old bad service. I have  to say  that most companies appreciate  my comments and often I have had my complaint resolved and also received a voucher or some other compensation. This for  me is a bonus, and  not the reason I complain (honest).

There are some unscrupulous companies who will take advantage of people  who do not know  their rights. DD1 bought a play-suit from online fashion retailer BOO HOO, when it came it was totally misshapen  and wouldn't have fitted anyone  with 4 limbs and a head, she  returned  it  to them- at her own expense and was informed  she  was liable for a "restocking fee" which was around 25% of  the value. Well, Lily had spent her own money on  this piece of garbage and I went  into protective mummy mode. I emailed  their complaints department. the response I got was unsatisfactory, so on  the advice of  my excellent niece  Carina I took my complaint  to Facebook. interestingly  they acted immediately and refunded Lily's money in full. Unfortunately  for them I felt  they were a bit unapologetic and their clothing is not of sufficient quality so we won't choose  to shop with  them again.

This  is me, all serene  and lovely giving positive feedback- and never ever using bad words or abuse . :-)

I ordered a "click and collect" item from toy behemoth Smyths Toys this week . All went smoothly until I went  into  the store to collect the item. The email I had  from Smyths  clearly stated that if  the price of  my item had changed since I ordered it  they would automatically charge  the lower price. Imagine  my delight  when I noticed  the doll on  the shelf was £7 less than  it had been online.

I gave an assistant my code and he went  off to get my doll. As he approached me I noticed  he was removing  the price sticker  from  the box. I asked him how much I was going  to be charged, he stated  the higher price. When I explained  what my email had  said , he told  me that as I had bought  the item online I was to pay  the online  price. I showed him my email. Then he said  that those items had been priced wrongly and  that I still had to pay the higher price. I tried to debate  this with him , but he was hostile and uninterested. So I explained  to him I was unhappy with  this and would be in touch with  the click and collect service directly. 

I walked back across the store to take a photo of  the dolls with  the cheaper  price tickets on  them, he followed me and started peeling all the labels off as I was trying  to get a photo.

Those are his  fingers in  the top left!! 

When I got  home I emailed Smyths straight away and explained what had happened. they emailed within 24 hours  and I had a call from  the very apologetic and pleasant manager of  the store last night. She was not  happy  with her staff member, and is sending out  a gift voucher to me.

Now, what's  not  to like about  that scenario? I am happy  that I have been taken seriously, that I am right  and  that  the company recognises it is at fault and is taking steps to fix things.

Now in-case  you think  that I am just a perpetual moaner, I do also take time  to contact companies  with positive feedback when it is warranted. I have emailed Transport monopoly holders Translink this week with effusive and glowing praise for one  of  the conductors on the Dublin-Belfast train last Saturday. Needless to say I haven't heard from them- I feel a Facebook challenge coming !

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