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  • Steff Booth

Service? What service?

Is it me, or have retailers, service providers and the like made getting in touch with them far more difficult?

Even with the addition of new technology channels like webchat and social media, it seems to be getting trickier to get in touch with providers when something doesn't quite go according to plan.

Over the Christmas / New Year period, I had seven outstanding issues with various companies:

1) Company J - unable to provide broadband services before Christmas despite assuring me on sign-up that this was not a problem

2) Company V - a company who wanted us to return their equipment at the end of our contract with them but only sent one bag big enough for half of it

3) Company R - had charged me for 3x postage labels without actually providing them because of an 'internal error'

4) Company H - a courier firm who had delivered a Christmas gift I ordered to the wrong address but stated that their investigation had not located it so directed me to the supplier to get reimbursed

5) Company H2 - the supplier of the above gift who had made no attempt to answer my enquiry until I went down the social media route to complain

6) Company C - placed and order with them, cancelled the order, the order was delivered anyway and I then spent three weeks trying to get them to collect the order and refund as originally requested

7) Company J - (again) sent us a second router for no apparent reason and then requested that we sent it back

All the above issues started from November 2020 onwards and to date, numbers 2, 3 and 6 are still to be resolved. The amount of time I have spent trying to get in touch with these companies, sometimes being unable to find a telephone number or email address and have literally gone round in circles on their website as their online Virtual Assistant is only capable of answering questions that they have standard answers to.

On my first day back at work after the festive period, one of my clients tasked me with getting in touch with two retailers whose return policies were poorly communicated or ridiculous in their request - the latter expected their customers to wait in a lengthy queue at a post office with a QR code before they were able to get a return label. In the middle of a pandemic! Really? After eventually getting to speak with them, they were unable to provide me with the address for returns as their system was unable to deal with returns which hadn't been sent via their QR code - how daft is that?

At a time when retailers and other service providers are struggling to survive the current situation, I would have hoped that service would have been high priority but alas, it appears not.

If you don't have the time, inclination or energy to chase up responses from the suppliers you deal with, get yourself a Virtual Assistant - they may just save your sanity!



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