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Month: March 2004

Lousy Customer Service

I’d just like to congratulate Internet Cameras Direct on some of the worst customer service I’ve experienced in a long time. To be fair, my Mum experienced it, not myself. The firm left her sitting at home waiting for a camera delivery for three days, while their phone representatives proved magnificently unhelpful.

Mum e-mailed them suggesting that they might make some compensation for her lost time. This was the response:

Unfortunately we cannot offer any compensation as the goods were dispatched from us on time.
Sorry for any inconvenience

Katie Hollingworth
Sales Supervisor

Now, this is clearly arrant nonsense. Our contract was with the web retailer for delivery of the camera, not their subcontractors. It doesn’t matter if they use a delivery firm, particularly beefy pigeons, trained burrowing voles, or drive the camera to the delivery point themselves, it’s the retailer’s responsibility.

This dismissive, rude treatment from Ms Hollingworth contrasts sharply with the apologies and assistance I had from Apple last year when they had problems with their delivery sub-contractors. Thus, I am forced to the major recourse left for a dissatisfied consumer: not buying from them again. Of course, that’s useless unless they know I’m not buying from them again. So:

Dear Ms. Hollingworth,

Thank you for your reply to my mother, copied below. Thank you for embarrassing me, who paid for 50% of the order under discussion, and who recommended the service to my mother.

Thank you for showing a total lack of concern for the days of my mother’s life
wasted by your inability to manage sub-contractors correctly. Thank you for being almost entirely incorrect in your reply below. You’ll find our contract for next day delivery was with yourselves, not your delivery sub-contractors, and thus it was you who failed to perform to that contract. It doesn’t matter if you use a legion of trained burrowing voles or a bunch of incompetent deliverymen in Norwich to get the cameras to us, as long as it arrives when promised. When it doesn’t, that’s your problem, not ours. Thank you so much for making it ours.

Most of all, though, thank you for making it perfectly clear that my intended order for a Fuji F700 (http://www.internetcamerasdirect.co.uk/Fuji-FinePix-F700-digital-camera-deals.htm)
and a Canon EOS30D (http://www.internetcamerasdirect.co.uk/canon-eos-300d-digital-camera-deals.htm) to replace my aging SLR system should go to a retailer with some interest in customer service, rather than yourselves.

For that, I am extremely grateful.

Adam Tinworth

Oh, and I copied in the managing director.

No smoke without…?

We know smoking is bad for us. We know there's a link between smoking and lung cancer. Hell, we know that other people's smoke makes our clothes reek after a night in the pub.

For the first two reasons, but almost certainly not the last, governments are perpetually tying to wean us (well, not me. I don't smoke) off the evil weed. Of course, they don't try too hard, becuase the huge tax revenues from cigarettes are at risk. Oh, and the hospitality industry squeals that their profits will take a nose-dive if bans on smoking in public places are introduced.

Well, that theory's being put to the test. Ireland has settled on a date to introduce a smoking ban in public places. So, one way or another we'll find out if the hospitality industry was right.

I don't have any particularly strong feelings one way or another about smoking in pubs, to be honest. I'm not keen on it in restaurants, but few allow it or have the sections well enough segregated that it's not a problem. I'm just interested to see both how the practicalities of such a ban can be enforced and if the main arguments against it stand up. One to watch.

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Debate Is Dead

You may remember me bemoaning the poor quality of political debate in this country. This is a nice illustration of just how bad it can get:

Maggie Thatcher is Dead!

Sure, the woman made some bad mistakes in her time, and went in some dubious directions, but so have pretty much all Prime Ministers, the current incumbent included. Indeed, I find Blair’s constant shift of Government towards a more authoritarian model far more worrying than any Labour or Tory government of the past century.

This is just puerile faeces-flinging at a time when we badly need a decent level of debate in this country.

[via Casino Avenue]

Token Post

No post tonight. I’m far too busy sorting through the images for the next GRID. Mmmm. Some of them are lovely.

No, you can’t see them. Not yet. Soon. But not yet.