I don’t know about you, but personally I’m not good at complaining, I don’t like complaining and I don’t do it very often –except for when I feel it’s really justified. This past weekend however gave me cause to readjust my thinking.
What happened this weekend? Well Stacey went off for her usual expensive haircut in preparation for our forthcoming holiday, it’s her little treat that she always looks forward to, often planning an entire day around the event. Saturday was no exception, she was pretty upbeat when leaving the house at some ridiculously early time but on her return it was a different story.
When arriving at Halesowen she realised she had no change for the car park so popped into the local charity shop asking to get some change, instead of offering change the helper refused, which is a shame as we usually make a donation when someone’s kind and helps us out. So Stacey offered to buy something and donate it back in order to get some change. This made her 10minutes late for her appointment. When getting to the hairdressers, the assistant informed her that because she was late she could only do half the job she was going to (half head of colouring –don’t ask me…). Even though we’re going on holiday and she wants to look her best, despite having reason to, Stacey didn’t complain and let her get on with it.
I’m not totally up on the procedure but apparently you have dye added and then you sit under a heater. Well bearing in mind she was late, after having the colour applied she had to wait 5-10mins for a heater to become available –this wasn’t because she missed the slot, they just didn’t have enough equipment. While Stacey was waiting the hairdresser went off for a smoke –why didn’t she use this time to complete the job she was meant to? I don’t know…
After she had finished having her hair done, she had her eyebrows done, on returning a few moments later, the hairdresser was sitting chatting to another hairdresser –this was at least 15mins after Stacey finished which made her think “being late clearly didn’t mess up their schedule too much –she’s spent the time chatting when she could have been finishing my hair” and I have to say so did I when I was told.
Then apparently when leaving she mentioned that she was going on holiday to which the hairdresser went white and said that she’d completely forgotten –even though when booking the appointment she made a big fuss about it all. I realise that she may have a lot of customers and it’s difficult to remember everyone, but this is customer service, this is why Stacey used to pay around £100 a time -the superior service.
We worked it out and with all the products she buys and the fact she goes at least every two months, as a customer Stacey is easy worth over £600pa. Not only that, in the past she has always raved about the service –something I doubt she’ll be doing. It’s a shame to see a company that has been built on a good reputation, excellent service and forward thinking getting so complacent.
Instead of complaining on the spot, Stacey came home annoyed at how she had been treated, disappointed with the service which usually makes her feel like a million dollars. Why didn’t she complain? What would have happened if she had? We’ll never know but we will be letting the owner know about the service received because as a Small Business owner, if a client felt like Stacey I would want to know.
Then yesterday I was going through the company accounts and noticed that Fasthosts (who we have a shared server account with) have started charging separately for a service that was billed together, namely their “Standard Hosting Plan”. Originally it included 3 advanced inboxes, Web Statistics and a Web Control Panel however without any warning this has been changed to 3 advanced inboxes, Web Statistics and access to an API allowing developers to program their own control panel. Access to the Web Control Panel is now billed separately. Ignoring the inconvenience and underhand tactics used, this surely can’t be legal –can it?
This isn’t the first time Fasthosts have done something like this and I’m sure it won’t be the last so I thought I should complain but I’ve not got very far…
For some time now I have always felt that if I only complain when it’s due it’ll have a greater effect but then it struck me, how is anyone to know that I don’t complain about everything to everyone? (The flaw in my justification some might argue!) Ok I feel good in myself knowing that I only complain when it’s justified but am I loosing out in the long run? Are we too tolerant as a society and are people who complain frequently getting further?
I guess this could have come under a heading of customer service but again that’s a rant for another day.