No-service service

You know, I’ve had it up to here with the level of service in this country! Everyone complains about it, but nothing gets done to improve it. To be quite honest I’m not even sure what one can do to improve the situation, but to put it bluntly, I’m now GATvol!

I express my written disappointment to the parties in question and still receive the equivalent of a bored look in my direction.

Let me illustrate two recent cases:

First was a questionnaire emailed to me by my new ABSA relationship manager. This, in itself was surprising to me as I am a private bank customer, but up to now have been largely ignored by “my bank, my friend”. But okay, this was someone new who had taken over my account and I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. The questionnaire’s main purpose was to confirm whether all my details were correct; if not, to update them. Right at the end was a space for extra comments. Well, giving someone the benefit of the doubt was one thing; keeping quiet in the face of an open invitation – quite another. So I filled in my comments – that, to be quite honest, I was not satisfied with my ABSA experience.

One would think that any self-respecting person/entity with the intent on keeping it’s customers happy/continuing to live off their money would not hesitate to grab the phone and enquire as to why their supposedly valued customer was unhappy and how they could rectify the situation.

Unfortunately one would be incorrect in this train of thought. The only reaction I received was an email thanking me for my honesty.

On to the next blood-boiling incident:

I finally decided to tackle the dreadfully annoying task of updating my details (for my ‘new’ surname) with all relevant parties (Truworths, Foschini etc.). It’s not that I didn’t want to make it official, but by the time I received my new ID (a big shout-out to Home Affairs – SIX MONTHS after I applied for it), the initial euphoria over being a Hendricks had passed and the updating of details was now just another thing on my to-do list. Which I wasn’t particularly looking forward to, due to the high schlep-factor.

Anywho, so I set off to town – on the first attempt I could only change my details at the bank as the “load was shed” (translation for the non-south africans – the power went off) directly after that change was made. On the second attempt I had just finished up at Truworths, when, again, the load was shed. By this time I was quite annoyed with the whole situation and definitely NOT in the mood to sacrifice another Saturday morning sleep-in for this, so we headed off to Somerset Mall (where, hopefully we would find light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak).

Arriving there I had to stand in an extra-long queue (it being Saturday at the mall after all). I was armed with any and all documentation they could possibly ask of me (old ID, new ID, marriage certificate, you name it, I had it). Explaining to the lady what I needed, she asked for my new ID. I expected her to hand me some sort of form to fill in to change my details, but no, this was obviously a revolutionary operation and so no form was deemed necessary. Instead she handed me a till-slip and instructed me to write my new details on the back of said slip. Right. Handing it back to her, I enquired whether that was all, to which she replied “Yes”.

Walking out of Foschini, I had the sinking suspicion that my details would NOT in fact be changed on their system. Needless to say, I was right. Upon receiving my statement (addressed to Miss M Combrinck) I almost lost it. A scathing email was sent off to Foshini by yours truly, explaining my severe disappointment in the fact that clearly they had not managed to update my surname on their system.

Today I received their reply, kicking off with "Dear Miss M Combrinck".

The irony was just too much...


greendemon said...

I also get pissed off by poor quality of customer service... over here it's a bit better but only by default. The norm is closer to efficiency than inefficiency because ... well.. it always has been. And I think the North European tendency to stress about quality, to be punctual, etc. is a natural result of living in an environment which can easily wipe out people and even communities if they don't plan ahead.

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