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Thread: Do you complain?

  1. #1
    rebbonk
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    Default Do you complain?

    Before Christmas I filled in a questionnaire from the local supermarket. In the section "other comments" I cheekily wrote that I didn't think much of their own brand pie that I'd had the week before. I was quite surprised when they emailed me within a couple of hours, asked for more details, apologised, then effectively refunded the price of the pie.

    A couple of weeks later I had a soup mix that thickened so much that you could stand the spoon up in it. Again, I emailed a complaint and after a few days had a reply. They apologised and sent me a lot of vouchers for their product. - I used them, but not on that particular soup mix!

    Today, Mrs Rebbonk passed me a packet of crisps. To my horror, it wasn't sealed properly and crumbs came out everywhere. I have recorded my displeasure on the company website, I'll keep you abreast of what happens.

    I always think you can tell volumes about a company by seeing how they handle complaints. What are your experiences?

    BTW, I once got a replacement car out of Rover Group by complaining in the right manner. It took 6 months, but I got it! Daft thing was I knew what was wrong with the first one, but the grease monkey in the garage wouldn't listen to me!

  2. #2
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    Well done all round. i haven't had such luck. I made a complaint this weekend to a very large supermarket head office. I had bought a couple of steaks and one was so tough it would have been better used on the bottom of a shoe. I haven't heard one jot back from them. I won't rush to buy anymore from them now. In the past, I also made a complaint to another large supermarket company about a lemon torte they supplied with the Dine In for Two deal they all seem to be trying to do. It didn't have any instructions on the packet as to whether it needed cooking. Checking the pastry which seemed pale and uncooked, I took a chance and tried it in the oven for 15 minutes but it came out dry and tasteless. They didn't reply either.

  3. #3
    Administrator Lex's Avatar
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    I used to drink and occasionally eat in a pub just outside Stratford - The Ferry in Alveston. I had a couple of ok-ish meals, and the landlord seemed a bit grumpy on occasion, but I put it down to him having a bad day. Then, one day I went with a big group for Sunday lunch, where most of ordered beef. One of the group asked for some mustard, to which the waitress replied that they hadn't got any; she immediately went into a strop when she was asked 'Why not, you're serving beef'; at which point she stomped off, got the landlord who told us 'it's like home, you run out of things'
    The waitress and the landlord's wife were still moaning about this an hour later, and how dare we have the cheek to ask for a basic condiment and complain when they hadn't got any! When you go somewhere for a meal in a group of 10 people and spend the best part of 400 there, the least you'd expect is a bit of customer service.

  4. #4
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    MMmm- I'd be very surprised if he's still in business if that was his attitude. I don't suppose the rest of the meal went well after that?

  5. #5
    Administrator Lex's Avatar
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    It did put a dampner on things. We haven't been back since, and he got the bad publicity of us telling all our friends what a bad experience we had.

  6. #6
    rebbonk
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    They say that one disgruntled customer will tell 10 others... In my experience (and especially with the internet) that figure is wildly inaccurate.

    Many years ago I bought a TV from a major High Street name. I paid 25 to have it delivered. Cutting a long story very short, they failed to deliver as promised and told me lies. I emailed their customer complaints department and copied my mail to their CEO. I had lots of mails back saying how sorry they were etc. etc. and what could they do to make things better? I said I'd settle for my 25. (The TV was almost 1000!) Oh dear, once I'd mentioned the money things changed. It wasn't customer policy etc.... Resigning myself to getting nowhere I decided to wind them up a bit. I sent raft after raft of emails to them, all of which they replied to, all saying just how sorry they were, but that a refund of the delivery fee just "wasn't" company policy. I think in time alone I cost them far more than 25. But when I had tired of teasing them, I dropped my real bombshell: I taught customer care for a living (true!) and was now going to use them as a case study. They made all sorts of threats, but when I told them I'd kept all the correspondence and would be using it they stopped corresponding with me. Now, at one course per week, 20 people on the course, I wonder how far and wide that one went?

    Customers often take great pleasure in causing companies that have abused them trouble. I was working with a well known UK bank and the subject got round to dissatisfied customers. The CEO told me that they had very few. I asked how many accounts they had with about 1.00 in them that hadn't been used for 5 years or more? He admitted they'd got quite a lot. I suggested he might want to take a closer look at the account history before they were left dormant... The penny dropped, but he then asked "Why?" I asked him how much it cost the bank to keep the unused account open... The penny really did drop this time.

    Incidentally, that was the same CEO who removed clocks from the branches so customers couldn't see how long they'd been waiting. Complaints went down so he thought he'd cured the waiting time problem!

    Yes folks, they really do exist!

  7. #7
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    What a shower of shambolic companies or should I say CEOs there are and well done for getting your oar in Rebbonk. The one and only successful complaint I have made is to a well known, world wide ' several varieties ' tinned food company. I bought a tin of their Beef or Chicken (can't recall which) Big Soup and found not one piece of meat in it and the contents all liquid starch with no carrot etc either. They apologised profusely saying this must have been a problem on the production line and they'd be looking into it but offered me several free tins and some vouchers. By the way, there's still no response about the shoe leather steak. I don't think I should hang about waiting for one.

  8. #8
    rebbonk
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    Today, Mrs Rebbonk passed me a packet of crisps. To my horror, it wasn't sealed properly and crumbs came out everywhere. I have recorded my displeasure on the company website, I'll keep you abreast of what happens.
    Just had 4.00 in vouchers and an apology via the post

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Shizara's Avatar
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    Some years ago, when still living in NZ, I purchased a packet of frozen chicken pieces. In the same brand/range you could also buy a packet of frozen chicken wings, drumsticks or breasts. My purchase was the packet of mixed pieces and as such expect a reasonable selection. I opened the pack to find one drumstick and the rest were wings, which, as you will know, have very little meat on them. Unamused and now having to change what we were having for dinner I got on to my RISC OS and composed a letter of complaint making clear my disappointment and added that if I had wanted chicken wings I could have made that choice at the time.

    Within days I had a letter of apology and the usual response about the problem being within the production process etc and they enclosed vouchers to a much greater value than the original cost of the product.

    I was happy with the prompt way that they had responded to my complaint and the subsequent reimbursement.
    Cool

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