View Full Version : Good Service/Bad Service

21st Dec 2006, 00:18
Thinking this over lately, I had to go back really far (30 yrs)to remember the last experience of Bad Service I encountered.

Not even retail. Company to Company.

Our idiot transportation dept moved parts from Boeing in SEA to YVR via PWA. They paid airfreight prices for trucked freight.

So, I go over to their freight warehouse to pickup a couple of AOG shipments. I spend 15 minutes at the desk waiting for anyone to come and serve me. I had spent some time in a late night customs clearance for these shipments. After 15 mins I start yelling. Is anyone the hell out there? I'm waiting here. Someone get out here to the desk. Finally some idiot shows up and says something about being busy. I said, I don't give a damn, I want these parts now, I've already been waiting for you for 15 mins. The banter back is along the lines of "tough luck - you'll get them when I'm ready. I go ballistic and start telling him what kind of useless asshole he actually is while pounding on the desk. This actually wakes up a supervisor inside who comes out all goggle-eyed and tells idiot to get the shipments. The things you do to keep an airline flying.

Since then, my gentle self has always led with friendly, polite banter and I can't think of one possible instance of bad service be it retail, restaurant, flight attendants, check-in staff, whatever, domestic or foreign, no matter how badly they are paid.

The PWA freight boy didn't last long.

21st Dec 2006, 01:12
Bad service, try the UK post office.

My car broke down at home, breakers yard sent the part required by ParcelForce24 on a Monday lunch time.
ParcelForce24 is guaranteed next day delivery(so they claim).
Good, as car was required for work.
So had the Tuesday off work and waited and waited and........waited, needless to say it never arrived....or the Wednesday, finally arriving Thursday lunch time!

And they wonder why the Royal Mail is going bust.

If it had been sent UPS or DHL, would have arrived next day.

21st Dec 2006, 06:30
And if you want good service, take an aeroplane to Finland on a 'Santa' flight .... runways constantly cleared, de-icing on time, friendly & efficient handling agents, very competent ATC etc etc.

Thanks be that the Scandinavians own the snow and not some other countries I could think of.

Oh, sorry! aviation-related on JB .. tsk tsk

I'll get me coat

Ace Rimmer
21st Dec 2006, 07:52
Service Story:

So as keen golfer I decide it's time for some new sticks. So Saturday I go along to what is generally regarded as one of the best pro shops round our way, they have all kinds of cunning testing devices that will measure ball launch angles, spin rates, carry and run as well as video where they can overlay and compare swing paths etc etc all the bells and whistles really.

Anyway sticks selelcted and sized up (basically it turns out nothing is standard all custom). They tell me that they will place the order with Mr Titleist on Monday (the thing is I'd like the sticks for when I go to Sunny Spain at oh sheg it's early on the 23rd) and the usual turn round for custom clubs is 7 to 10 days. Anyways on Monday I phone Mr Titleist and he says "Look we'll do the best we can but if I'm honest it's a 50/50 propostion check back with us Wednesday"

Yesterday, I call Mr Titleist and he says "hang on I'll check these were the 735CMs with (loads of club spec stuff) right?". I go on hold for a few minutes and by and by he comes back on the line "Right" he says we've had a go andthey will be on their way this afternoon so they should be at the shop either late tomorrow or certainly by Friday Morning" I thank him for all their efforts his reply "No problem it's what we do...plus a lot of the tour support posers are here this week it gave them something to do!"

Oh and the price for all this extra stuff? Nadda, zip, nothing....exactly the same price as an 'off the peg' set of the clubs in this particular pro shop...


21st Dec 2006, 09:30
Good Service. We recently stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott at LGA. My vanity case full of toiletries hadn't travelled so I needed to find a walgreen or the like. Ask at the front desk for the a taxi to the nearest one, they ask us to hold on a moment. They arrange for the airport shuttle bus to take us and bring us back again, free of course.:ok:

21st Dec 2006, 10:19
Same, same Mr A but with Pings rather than Titleist! The pro shop advised 7 - 10 working days; in fact they turned up in five days and, while I tested them with a complementary bucket of balls, they regripped my 3 and 5 woods to the same spec as the irons. Sweet! :D
[Sadly, the weather and a recalcitrant knee have prevented me using them in anger yet!] :{

21st Dec 2006, 10:47
A good example.
A couple of years ago spent Christmas in OZ with all the family and stayed at the Pacific City Apartments in Melbourne.When changing the bed linen grandsons Teddy was accidentally picked up and sent to the laundry. Great consternation but the hotel and laundry company treated it as a major crisis, it was returned the next day. It seemed everyone working in the place new about it and everytime they saw grandson they went out of their way to make sure he knew that it would be found and everyone was looking for it.The laundry company put two people on a dedicated job to search every item until it was found.

Ace Rimmer
21st Dec 2006, 11:08
Just got a call from the pro shop... they're in... so four days order to delivery then...:ok:

21st Dec 2006, 11:53
Great Service from two sources.

Got out on to a loch in Scotland a few weeks ago. As my mate was rowing me out I got my rod out of its bag - top section broken a few inches from the end. Rod custom made for me from a Hardy blank, 20 years ago, no identification on it.

Tuesday visited rod shop, verbally advised not repairable. Rang insurance company - "Yes, it is covered, can you fax us a quotation". Wednesday, rang shop, asked for faxed quotation for an equivalent new rod, received it and faxed it to insurance company. Friday, phone message from insurance company "Cheque in the post". Saturday cheque arrived.

As you can imagine I will be renewing my insurance with Cornhill when it expires and buying my fishing tackle from Walkers of Trowell for the foreseeable future.


21st Dec 2006, 12:17
Two, really. First is the Parker pen, a gift from about thirty years ago. For a while it was not working so well, and it found its way into that front drawer in the desk that is, in terms of Roman Catholic theology a purgatory or way station, not to Paradise but to Hell, cleaned out from time to time by Frau Davaar when I am not alert. I came across it and thought I'd see if anyone could fix it at all. Took it to a Parker-dealing shop. This may take weeks, Sir. Okay. Left it.

A week later, telephone call. Bad news. Pen so old they no longer make parts. Please come and collect. Okay. Arrive at shop. Pen duly returned, plus new pen. This is a replacement, Sir, not exactly the same as the original because we don't make them any more. Okay. Nice pen, though. How much? Oh it is on the warranty, Sir.

Second is the aviation link. American Airlines. In the 1970s I used often to cross the Atlantic, and I found that life was easier Heath Row to Boston than Heath Row to Kennedy. Arrived at Boston en route to early meeting next morning in Montreal. Last connexion that day had left. First flight out next day was too late for my purposes. Hmmmm. AA consulted the chicken entrails and auguries. Well now, you could go right now to New York, stay the night, and get a real early flight tomorrow for Montreal. Great! Can you arrange a hotel in NY? Sure. Not so easy. Conventions and all that. After many calls, AA located a hotel near Kennedy that still had a room. Problem was, renovations, no dining room. Not a problem at all; arriving late, leaving early; don't need dinner, don't want breakfast. Good. Reservation made and confirmed.

Off to the gate. Board flight. PA system: Passenger Davaar please identify self to Hostess. Did so. After my departure, AA had continued search for hotel; found one near Kennedy that did have room and dining room; made reservation there for Davaar; cancelled original booking at hotel with no dining room; called AA Flight Operations; radio to Captain; Captain to Purser; PA to Davaar with details of new reservation.

Fantastic! Had already noted name of lady agent at AA counter. Wrote President, AA.

21st Dec 2006, 15:24
Bad service
Tiffany - as in the jewelers, not the late 80's pop singer. In the process of looking for an engagement ring, I visited Tiffany in Toronto. I explained what I wanted and how much I was willing to pay.
"Of course sir, how about this ring"
"Errr, no, I only want to spend $x, how about you reducing the price?"
"No sir, we don't discount any Tiffany jewelry"
"OK, show me some more"
"Of course sir, how about this ring"
"Errr, no, I only want to spend $x?"
Repeat. Repeat. Leave after requesting that the customer service staff get back to me with prices.
Fast forward a few weeks - weeks! - when an email arrives, all quoting rings at $x+. Hit reply, stating I only want to spend $x.
I'm not going to bother typing out what happened next, as if you've been following closely, you'll probably have picked up the trend.
Fast forward a few weeks. We've found a ring in Australia that matches all your criteria, including the price. Oh joy! The next day, an email arrives - we no longer have it as it's been sold.
Fast forward three weeks, an email arrives.
I hit reply - too late, I've found something else.

A work colleague has also experienced less than diamond class service from Tiffany too - a pair of diamond earring for his wife for Xmas were supposedly purchased a few weeks ago. It took a phone call from him yesterday to unearth the fact that the order had got screwed up and hadn't been processed. Needless to say, he went somewhere else.

21st Dec 2006, 15:54
Twelve years ago in October 1994 I had purchased my first TBird, so a trip to the far west a few weeks later was a chance to buy spares, filters, manuals etc.

The manual recommended was not kept in stock so I ordered and paid for same to be sent over the UK.

It never arrived, and after some chasing I decided to let the matter drop - for $25 it really wasn't worth it.

Fast forward to January 2001 and a very dirty battered old carton arrives, otherwise unannounced, in my letter box. It had a very new shiny sticker on it, with my name and address.

Being nosey I peeled off the sticker to see where this carton had been on its travels before I even opened it.

Beneath lay an identical address slip, but as old and battered as the box - also with my name and address.

Thoroughly intrigued I opened the package and there was the manual that I had ordered six plus years ago in sunny California.

I contacted the shipper - Emery - on their freephone line and found myself talking to San Francisco.

We had a chat about how fortunate it was that the package had been dropped off with no collection signature, at an address where not only did I still reside, but where I was still alive, and still had the car! - still do - its in the shed down the yard as I write.

To give them their due they were concerned, because - as they put it - it could have been a $25,000 package that had been lying around for six years and then delivered anonymously.

A rep duly arrived with flowers and bottles of wine, and a clipboard with which to follow up my side of the story.

They eventually contacted me to advise that everything they airfreight is bar coded and machine sorted in a huge warehouse somewhere in the states. There is no human presence in this process and packages are moved from conveyor to conveyor by a system of rams and slides.

They suspected that the package had dropped onto something else in a manner that meant that the next ram push threw my package onto the floor, and that the only time it would ever be seen was the next time maintenance took place - six years later - when it simply resumed its journey as if nothing had happened.

I don't know if Emery have instituted a "walk through" policy in the sorting facility - but the weakness had certainly made itself known

21st Dec 2006, 15:57
Good service - Hilton hotel in Cannes, was lucky enough to spend a few days there last summer and everyone involved, from front desk staff to chambermaids to bar and wait staff were all extremely helpful and very pleasant, over and above the call of duty, even though we were staying using hotel points thus not really paying. (Almost take back all those comment about bl**dy frogs...!). Highly recommended.

Bad service - I won't fly KLM anymore: unhelpful, dismissive and downright rude. I am sure many people have different impressions, maybe I was just unlucky.

RollingThunder, if you have to go back 30years to remember bad service then you are indeed lucky, although I think if you have been stewing over it for that long you may have other issues... :bored:


21st Dec 2006, 16:10
No, but I remember it as the only time I have felt the need to tell someone they have a hell of a mouth on them and ask them exactly what kind of s*** they were using for brains. These things stick out in memory. I was close to punching his lights out with no qualms whatsoever.

Tricky Woo
21st Dec 2006, 16:24
Ups and downs over the years, but one fears one's inate comfort with confrontational situations has often led me into pointing out examples of crappy service a little more often than they needed to be.

Have a new policy of letting it go... and lo and behold I'm a happier chappy with the goodish service levels that really are the background norm these days. i.e. pint half full, and all that.

One last point: customer service ain't about stopping the fcuk ups happening. It's about how yer handle the inevitable fcuk ups. The universe is a complex place with lots of variables... yer can never stop the laws of probability in the long term. Be polite, over-compensate, and even (if you've prodded the ground beneath yer feet and are absolutely sure it's appropriate) a sensitive joke to lighten the situation still further. That's what I try to provide during times of hardship, and that's how I allow others wot have fcuked up to handle me.


21st Dec 2006, 16:26
goshdarnit - I stayed at the Hilton in Cannes - the Noga if I recall (or Nougat as I preferred) - a number of years ago. It rained all weekend so other than sitting in the bar we had to, errr, sit in the bar. Now, after far too many vodkas that night, my memory is a little blurred, but from my recollection, the piano player in the the bar knew about 5 Elton John songs and nothing else. The 24 hour room service turned out to be less than 24 hours too, so we were faced with a 50euro tub of Pringles or plate of ham sandwiches. I think we went for the sandwiches. My lasting impression of the hotel was one of a formica heaven, with different colours on different floors. The helicopter ride from Nice airport was good though - my one and only time in a chopper.

21st Dec 2006, 16:46
the decor could undoubtedly do with an upgrade (it was probably chic in the 50's), and I know how expensive things were, but the weather I had was great so spent most of the time playing with GDI the younger in the rooftop pool (and drooling over the yachts we could see in the harbour) and didn't spend any time listening to a piano player. Did teach the bartender how too make a particular favored cocktail, which went down very well...maybe I was just soused the whole time?!

21st Dec 2006, 21:52
Hilton at O'Hare (The one actually on the airport) is excellent too. Checked into it after a stressful days travelling, minus bags and toiletries (yep, same trip as a above). Could they get us overnight kits? Did we need help sourcing new clothes? Cot for the baby, no problem, delivered within ten minutes and the bellhop didn't even wait for the tip I was about to give him.

Smooth efficiency was just the ticket after the shambles that was my airlines handling agents mishandling of my lost bag situation and therefore causing us to miss our onward flight and UA refusing to return our checked luggage.

Would highly recommend the Hilton O'Hare.:ok:

21st Dec 2006, 22:32
CWL2YOW does them a favour... the pianist only knew three songs. One was "Daniel", "Yellow Brick Road" and the one burned on my memory the most securely - "'Ey, Jud", which was him playing the Beatles. The Beatles lost...

21st Dec 2006, 22:54
Now you are talking one of my favourite topics.
It seems to me that over the last 2 -3 years here in Oz the service in shops has got really bad. I've had two incidents in the last couple of weeks that really made my blood boil.
First one - Went to the hardware warehouse which was advertising sun loungers at a reasonable price. Walk in and there are 3 different brands there, with nary a price between them. After hunting around for a price, eventually ended up picking one up and wandering over to the service desk "Can you tell me the price of this please?" - Response, "sorry sir you will have to take it through a checkout to get the price". Methinks - you've got to be bloody kidding. Put the thing down and rip of price tag and wander over to the counter. Eventually get to till and they scan the tag - "These are $699" - What screams I - for a single sun lounger???? Look at the screen and it says 7 piece outdoor furniture set. Turn tag over and show checkout person picture of sun lounger - this cannot be $699!. Sorry sir - that is what the tag says. At this point I crumpled up the tag, and stormed out ranting and raving about piss poor service.
Second one - Wander into electronic games shop to purchase a xbox game as a Crissy pressy. Get what I want and join queue. One person serving in shop who is busy helping another customer make a selection. While we are waiting two kids wander up to the other side of the counter and when the shop person comes back she immediately starts serving the kids. Politely (for me) I say "Excuse me, but this gentleman was waiting first" pointing to the chap in front of me. She just ignores and continues serving kids. At this point, game in my hand went sailing across the shop and I walked out making loud noises about $100 sales going out the window.
These are typical examples of service in our part of the world.:suspect:

21st Dec 2006, 23:27
Among the thousands, one comes to mind. Pete (aka Cusco) and I were travelling the USA on vacation, flying a tatty clapped-out old Arrow III. (It was so clapped out it came with a giant roll of sticky tape to tape down the oil filler flap after topping up the oil before each flight. The latch was long departed).

We decided Van Nuys should be on our itinerary. ATC duly taxied us to the FBO, were we parked under a shiny, immaculate exec jet. We were then ushered into the building as if we were visiting royalty, offered refreshments (complimentary, of course) and hotel rooms arranged for us. The rooms, she explains to the hotel, have to be with a view of the airfield. Nothing is too much trouble.

The next morning, our aircraft has been tied down (wind was forecast). The charge? Nothing, sir. Have a nice trip. Now, if we'd been in that shiny exec jet and uplifted a few tonnes of Avtur, I'd have understood it. We uplifted about 20 gallons of cheap (very cheap) 100LL.

Full marks to Van Nuys and the lady on the desk that day.

Dea Certe
21st Dec 2006, 23:41
The was a Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood that had absolutely great food at a reasonable price. The wait staff was the worst ever. Always. It was those small but annoying things, like forgetting to bring drink orders or condiments. Sometimes one would sit there ten minutes without the servers taking any notice. The place was always empty, which was a shame since the food was so good.

We were surprised it stayed open as long as it did and decided it must be a front for a branch of the Tong. Or maybe a Chinese money-laundring ring.


22nd Dec 2006, 07:37
Honda Siel, India.

Car broke down. Guy comes over all the way, checks out part. Fuel pump clogged with dirt, shorted out. Right, Rs. 15,000 is the price of a new pump (close to GBP 200). Takes out his cellphone, makes a call.

"Right, the part is on its way. It will cost you 850 bucks (GBP 10). Service charge only, we're replacing it for free."

Huh? Er.... Thanks!