Monday, April 25, 2011

Tell 'Em That You Mean It


I recently signed up with a young fellow
who came door to door in March, to have
the Saturday West delivered.  At the time he did not mention that
there would be a delivery fee, and it wasn't until I received my first bill that I realised
 there would be an additional fee.  It's no biggie and of course it makes sense that is a charge
 for the service, I just thought I would feed this back to you because there might be other people
who sign up and then find out later there is a delivery fee and who are not very happy.

I hope this doesn't make you think I am a nutter, I just think it's sometimes good to provide feedback.


Do you ever give feedback to complete strangers?  I don't mean getting on your soap box and having a rant or making a complaint, just letting someone know - very politely - when you think there is something they need to know?

A few years back I would never have written an email like the one above.  I would never have provided feedback and I certainly would never have made a complaint.  However, I think that having children and developing that fierce mother lion protectiveness, coupled with the insanity that is home renovations has not only helped me grow a pair, but also made me realise that some people just don't know when they are doing a crap job (or their staff is doing a crap job) or a mistake has been made.

And I am making it my mission to tell those people - very politely - when they are doing a crap job.

Ok, I realise the email is not the most well written prose that ever entered an inbox, but it hit home, because about five minutes after hitting send (and about 30 seconds with my finger hovering over the enter button, wondering whether I actually was a nutter) I received a reply.

Not only was the problem sorted (or at least a solution was suggested) but they also thanked me for the feedback.  Brilliant.  I love it when businesses are receptive to feedback.  I love it even more when I have the chutzpah to provide it in the first place.

Let me illustrate just how far I have come...

When I was pregnant with the Blonde Bombshell, the hubby and I went to a relatively well known restaurant on Cambridge Street in Wembley.  I ordered a pineapple juice and when it arrived I did the usual girly thing of poking the icecubes with my straw.  Lucky thing too, because one floated to the top with a small dead cockroach frozen inside.

If that happened to me today I would have stood up and left the restaurant immediately, after taking the juice to the front desk, demanding to see the manager and letting everyone know that small frozen cockroaches do not belong in pregnant women's pineapple juice (or anyone's pineapple juice for that matter).

But instead I quietly told the waiter who took it away after assuring me he would bring me another.  A few minutes later he returned with a fresh glass of juice with fresh icecubes.  I poked around and sure enough, another cube floated to the top, this time with a slightly larger cockroach frozen for posterity.

What did I do?  Did I jump up and down and threaten to call the Health Inspector?  Did I take it to show other patrons?  Did I take a photo as incontrovertible proof?  None of these things.  I just asked for another.  This time the fellow merely took the glass back to the kitchen, scooped out all the icecubes and topped up the pineapple juice. 

The meal itself was also rather shocking, but in hindsight, nothing was more shocking than our behaviour.  We sat there like idiots and not only did we accept that shoddy service but we paid for it. Knowing us, we probably even gave them a tip.

I have sworn I will never set foot in that restaurant ever again, but they don't know that.  They won't miss me or my custom.

Feeding back shows you care enough to help someone not repeat the same mistake.  Or, if you like what they have given you, helps them know they are on the right track.  That's why I love it when people comment on my blog, so if I am offering you the equivalent of small frozen cockroaches, I want to know about it! 

I guess providing feedback to businesses is the equivalent of telling a stranger that they have something between their teeth. Do you do it?  Or are you too embarrassed?


  1. if i receive bad service i'm very vocal about it, mainly because i'm so sick and tired of being on the end of a crappy customer service EVERYWHERE you go these days.

    but i also am vocal about good service.

    though i did pay $100 for a shocking haircut last week [post on my blog] and i'm just SO pissed off with the salon that did it that if i went back in and asked for my money back i'd end up ranting and raving, so it's easier to just walk away.


  2. I'm the same - I do it now. I complained to my otherwise excellent supermarket last week about their employees smoking in a part of the car park where I usually walk by with my little boy and bingo, they don't smoke there anymore! Same thing, probably the big boss had no idea it was happening.


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