View Full Version : Customer service rants

blue up
22nd Sep 2011, 22:17
I'm sure we all enjoy a good rant every now and then. We nearly lost out on our dream house after the surveyor identified a nasty plant infestation in the garden. All the detail in here is true.
Here is my letter to his customer care centre. I felt so much better after sending them this.......

To: [email protected]
Subject: FW: Survey complaint. ZF xxxxx
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 15:12:05 +0100

Dear Sirs.

Short version (I'm off to work).

When the survey was carried out we received notice that, QUOTE " A valuation cannot be provided because Japaneese Knotweed was noted within the curtilage of the property" ... "and consequently the property is not considered acceptable security for mortgage purposes" [Page 5]
Further, "As mentioned the property is not mortgageable as Japanese Knotweed has been identified, therefore we have provided a nil valuation" [Page 21]
That all seems straight forward and unequivocal.

On the video recording of the meeting today (Oh yes, I filmed it all) the same surveyor who has positively identified Knotweed (see above) states "Yeah, we've been looking at it and it is 100% not Knotweed, so, y'know, that's a good thing", a complete reversal from his opinion a fortnight earlier. This begs the question, how can a qualified surveyor be 100% certain that he has identified Knotweed and later 100% certain that he has not found it unless he was not 100% qualified to make that call. The effect of his misidentification of Fennel (a stringy plant with a bulb, no leaves and a strong smell of Aniseed) as Knotweed (Large bright green leaves, bright red stems, no smell) in the herb garden meant that the vendors of the property had to fly over from South Africa to attend to this 'infestation' before the property could be sold. Aside from the large cost of 2 return tickets to Cape Town there is the issue of them not being able to release funds to pay for their new home on the Cape coast due to this potential 3 year delay in the sale (the time required to clear an infestation to a level acceptable to Barclays, according to your man). We ourselves were informed that the surveyor required the written proof of 'Fennel' from not a mere horticulturist but a minimum of a horticulturist with qualifications (letters after his name) and the cheapest one we could locate was just shy of 300, a figure we would have had to pay to confirm that we had a tasty condiment in our garden rather that a pernicious invasive weed. I've included a photograph of Knotweed that I collected from a site 30 miles away (1:46 per litre round here) and a photograph of the exact clump of fennel that your chap identified as being worthy of the denial of our plans to buy a new home.

I work as an Airline Pilot, in an industry where we are required to make difficult and dangerous decisions on the spot and are expected to apply the untmost dedication and skill to ensure 99.9999% accuracy whenever possible. I appreciate that performing a survey is not a life-and-death task but there is no reason why the surveyor could not have taken a photo of the offending sprig and either checked it at home (My 5 year old son knows how to work GOOGLE) or sent a copy to us. I would have expected this to fall within the level of service expected in the 21st century. Had this been done, then the vendors could have told the surveyor that he was looking at the same sprig of Fennel they planted for cooking with.

As he was departing I happened to ask him about the front boundary wall, an issue he hadn't mentioned and seemed unaware of. There are 4 x 6-foot long cracks in a large boundary wall where a tree has extended roots under the wall and caused damage. So, it seems clear he missed it and wouldn't have had it within his report. Where would that have left me in the event that the wall fell or the neighbour had made a claim in connection with the damage? Where would it have left Esurv?

What I'm struggling to understand is how Esurv can justify a 615 charge for all of this?

I await, with anticipation, the opinion of your customer care department as to whether the performance so far reflects the level that Esurv regards as their mark of professionalism.

Yours faithfully

Mr Xxxxxxxx

<Fennel--- No shit, Sherlock.jpg>
<Knotweed,a weed.jpg>

22nd Sep 2011, 22:43
On the other hand, in 2007 I took great pleasurei in sending the following letter, here edited only slightly:

Barrister & Solicitor
Ottawa, ON, ZZZ ZZZ

Tel 613
Fax 613
e-mail:< >

1 March 2007

The Chief of Operations
****** Airlines Inc
Toronto ****** Airport
Toronto, ON, *******

Dear Sir:
Your flight ** ***, February **, 2007

I was a passenger on the above-noted flight.

The weather on arrival at Toronto was low cloud with steady snow and some gusting. There were three of us flying the aircraft: (a) the captain, and (b) the first officer both up-front; and (c) I in the passenger cabin, seat 12c.

The landing was visual, just, but the approach was mainly IMC or, as we used to say, IFR. Between us we three did a great job. I am prepared to put my own contribution aside, and to commend your own people on a beautiful approach, no rev-hunting, no up and down on the glide path, just sure and steady, with touch down at the better end of the runway, itself always a good thing.

If I thought you were recruiting middle-aged lawyers into aircrew Id get my application in eright away.

Failing that, I send my congratulations on a comfortable, safe, and prompt trip.

Yours truly,