Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Exactly what it says on the tin

Those who think they know me surmise that I'm a crotchety old misery-guts. Possibly with good reason. The blog isn't by the Grumpy Goat for nothing.

But, surprisingly, it's relatively easy to make me happy and to keep me that way. I'll let you into a little secret. Essentially, all I want is for things to happen as advertised. A digital camera that comes out of the box and takes digital photos is unlikely to disappoint me. Someone who promises to return my loaned DVD on Thursday and then does so is a source of some satisfaction.

To keep me in a state of delight, simply deliver a little more than was promised. Go the extra mile, or even an additional yard. I rang DEWA yesterday to report a minor water leak on the Authority side of the meter, and by the time I got back to the Crumbling Villa it had been attended to (although there's still a small leak...). Another example is when I discovered quite by accident that my pocket digital camera would record moving pictures with sound.

It is cheating, however, to offer an inferior service than what you advertise and then briefly to upgrade it to 'adequate'. This is what happened to Seabee with Itisalot recently, and it produced a blog praising Itisalot's customer service with such effulgent enthusiasm that it ended up on last week's Gulf News blogosphere page. I find the idiom 'damned with faint praise' springing to mind.

Good old Red Triangles Bank rang me a little while back, with a customer satisfaction survey. A series of questions took the form: "On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is worst and 10 is best, how do you rate...?" Bearing in mind the foregoing, if the service is pretty much as advertised, I give it five or six. Yet the interviewer recoils like a kicked puppy if I report that I am "fairly satisfied" and then don't give a score of nine.

The list of things that make me unhappy is far longer than I intend to type. A couple of selected examples includes software that crashes, photocopiers that jam, expecially when I'm in a hurry, vending machines that eat the money and don't dispense goods, and real estate developers who don't provide the facilities they promised. Also people who promise faithfully and then simply fail to turn up. Whether its recalcitrant inanimate objects or unreliable people, I feel very much like Basil Fawlty berating his Austin 1300 estate: "If you don't go, there's little point in having you."



alexander... said...

You got a laugh with that one.

HSBC calls me with their customer service surveys and I just tell the researcher that HSBC's service is so woefully, awfully inadequate and I am so deeply, furiously unhappy as a customer that they really don't want to talk to me about it as it will simply be a fundamentally demeaning and unpleasant experience for us both.

And then they go away...

Mme Cyn said...

Yeah, yeah... nad his Grumpiness was on the tin when I married him, so I can't complain!

LawfulGoodOfCowplain said...

In order to cheer you up I shall make two statements that will bring joy.

1. I'm 45 and you are not.
2. Next time you are in these parts I shall apply a pint or something acceptable to your suddenly not Grumpy person.

Grumpy Goat said...


It is relevant to note that the Goat will be at least 45 before any proper beer passes his lips.

May your recent birthday bring such joy as you believe you deserve.


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