It is often said that us folk dwelling here on this island struggle to complain about bad service. We look toward Americans, who have full on smiling customer service, who complain if they’re greeted with bad service, return food if it is wrong, or talk to a manager if they receive less that an A* experience, and sigh ‘why are we rubbish at complaining?’
When eating out, in most places the waiter will come over a few moments after the food arrives to ask how something is and if something is wrong most of us will just chew our way through it and do that half smile/half nod thing. Then we get outside and say, ‘pah I wish I’d eaten at home, that wasn’t what I expected’ and moan about it all the way home. Complaining about being sent the wrong food or it tasting wrong is really hard here in the UK because so few of us do it, it isn’t expected and isn’t handled well.
Recently Mr Thrifty and I went out with some friends to a burger place. We ordered onion rings and when we started to eat them we found they tasted of fish…seriously, it was like sucking on a kipper. So when the guy came back to ask if everything was okay, we told him what was up. He apologised and said he’d fetch the manager. I almost wish I hadn’t bothered. She came storming over and asked what was wrong, when we told her about our fishy onion rings she started on a tirade about how no fish was cooked on the premises and it must be our own tastes. She really laid into us and made us feel in the wrong for taking up her time with a complaint about £3 onion rings. Ummm…was there any point whatsoever in the waiter asking if everything was ok?
Eventually as we were about to leave she came over with £3 on a plate and huffed ‘I made the kitchen re fry them and they had used too much oil, you were right they did taste weird.’ No sorry, no nothing. On her heel she turned and that was the last we saw of her. This is not the way it should be. Not in a burger chain, not in a bar, not in a five star restaurant.
On Wednesday I was due to have two deliveries arrive. I’d paid for them to be sent as next day delivery however one of them won’t arrive until today because this particular dress company were ‘too busy to send’ it out on Tuesday. The second was from ASOS, I’d paid almost £6 to have something important delivered but their driver decided to say he had knocked on my door and I wasn’t in when in fact I’d been sat outside my front door working all day and not one single car, van or person had entered my driveway. Complaints to both companies have been taken as some little airy-fairy woman wanting her pwetty dwesses and not one sorry was so much as offered. Why should we accept service like that?
No more dear readers, no more. For every bad service experience I receive I will make complaints, I will ask for refunds, expenses and more. I will write letters by the score, phone head office, tweet, email and generally shout it from the roof tops. We should no longer let bad customer service wash over us. The price of staffing, deliveries etc. is paid for by us (yes some people aren’t paid a lot but that is a whole other issue entirely) and yet we accept being treated like total utter crap. Bad service is a waste of our money. If the service is going to be crap I’d rather spend my money elsewhere or not spend it at all.
If you’re paying for food, service, delivery or a product and you don’t receive the correct item or it doesn’t arrive in the correct manner – complain. If we all start doing it, it will become common place and we won’t feel our money is wasted.
P.S. I’m not sure I could take the ultra happy, cheerful service I’ve received in America for longer than a 2 week holiday but there are so many parts of their service I was impressed by.