I have recently experienced two examples of poor service but have had very different responses to each, as you will see. The first was with a company called Flotec Environmental. To spare you the whole story, we were billed a sum which was so eye-watering that we sought further justification – twice. When none was forthcoming, the boss admitted the error and re-invoiced less that half the original amount. This could only be explained either by deliberate over-billing in the hope of getting away with it; or incompetence. Either way, I want nothing further to do with them. Had I been less assertive, as many might have been, they would have “stolen” several hundred pounds from me and we might have continued to deal with them to our detriment.
The second instance was a restaurant. I particularly wanted to take some visiting friends to it, but our planned lunch fell on Fathers’ Day. I checked with the manager to receive assurance that normal service was planned, so I booked and invited my friends. Later, when our plans were in place and with only a few days notice, the restaurant rang to say that they had decided to offer only a special and much more expensive Fathers’ Day menu. Again, I opted to assert our point of view as customers. Again initially this was rebuffed but eventually the owner rang to say that we would be offered the special meal at the normal price, so keeping our booking. Here, although we had been annoyed, they did the right thing. But unlike Flotec, we would not have unwittingly have lost a lot of money; and we were given the information on which to cancel had we chosen.
Lessons are there for both sides. The supplier always has the option to rectify a mistake; and should do so rather than leaving the customer unhappy. Equally the customer has the right to challenge what is being proffered – and should. If at first you do not succeed…..