We are now living with an entire generation of disinterested shop assistants, rude waiters, indifferent company receptionists and medical staff who frankly don't give a damn whether you ever cross their doorway again.
Personally, I mourn for the loss of customer service. I long to be always right in just one aspect of my life. There actually used to be a saying that "the customer is always right." Hard to believe isn't it?
Bad customer service doesn't always mean that you end up with a customer shouting and ranting - for me it can leave me feeling incredibly sad and tired. What bad service suppliers fail to understand is that most customers just want what they are promised, whether it's a product or a service.
I went to optometrists in the village to buy some new glasses. The girl was friendly - but simply didn't listen. I found a pair I loved, but I was concerned that the frames were too small. I asked her what she thought, but even though another customer was being served by another member of staff and his carer, she was jumping out of the seat to help them. I waited for her to serve someone else and then asked if the frames would be big enough, she said yes. When I came to pick them up another member of staff said they were to small.
At this point, when I found out that the pair did not fit I should have been strong and asked for my money back - I didn't and months of hassle started.
Customer service mistake 1 - it is easy to make off the cuff remarks about it only being such a price when they aren't paying. And to be honest even if I was loaded, I don't think it would matter. I truly think the price of the item is irrelevant.
There were no other pairs of glasses that fit me in the store, plus I liked the original pair. I was told a new selection of glasses would be sent into the store.
Customer service mistake 2 - acting as if they are doing you a favour instead of apologing. I went to try on new glasses. They had obviously not bothered to look at the pair I liked. I was told how much trouble they had gone to. I no one like someone trying to make you feel guilty.
I should have put my foot down then. I hate someone trying to manipulate me. If I'd been dealt with properly in the first instance we wouldn't be in this situation.
Customer service mistake 3 - trust. Once lost it is difficult to gain back. I didn't believe or have faith in that they would be honest in helping me to get the correct product.
Customer service mistake 4 - calling customers behind their back. Sitting in front of a shop listening to them call me 'that woman' when I had maintained my temper at all times and spoken to staff politely very difficult. In fact it took a lot of will power to even return to the shop. I'm ashamed to say once upon a time I would have never returned and wrote off the deposit.
What really hurt me was when I got home I realised they had knowly sold me a pair of glasses with a chipped lens. You could see where the lens had been forced into a new frame.
It was hard but I phoned back immediately, explained the problem - but the manager never even bothered to phone back. I was so tempted to leave it, but I returned the glasses this morning and asked for a refund.
An offish member of staff did a little I can't see the clip act, then gave the refund. However, I managed to stand in silence. After months I got a sniffy apology and told it wasn't their fault. They have already proven themselves to be the sort of shop were they complain and grumble behind customers back.
Three months ago my husband and I made a deal - no more writing off poor customer service. We both hate these situations. I'm glad I stood up for myself and although I feel drained. In the long run I think it's better for your self esteem to actually demand to get the goods you pay for. Letting things like this go doesn't led to an easy life. It may have taken me a long time, no one likes to voluntary go into a shop and deal with people with an attitude. But battle won.
The biggest win for me is that although sad and tired, I still tried to carry on with Janathon with a long walk with the dog. Unfortunately, it ended with a short battle getting the dog out of a bramble bush.