Wednesday 15 May 2024: Customer no-care?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Once upon a time, back in the day when I worked for a living, I was poached to serve on a S.E.C.R.E.T. committee: Satisfy Every Customer’s Requirement Every Time.

I didn’t really work in a customer-centric role, but someone had noted that I naturally put a lot of effort into making myself as helpful as possible, regardless of who’s asking. And someone was assembling other customer-caring employees into this new objective.

As I say, I wasn’t really in a customer-facing role, but I was BT trained on the telephone. I was trained to ‘smile down the phone’. These days I seem to be snarling down the phone. Why? Because these customer-centric organisations seem to forget that the only reason they’re in business is the customer. And yet customers are treated like the scourge of the earth.

I had a hospital appointment yesterday. I had to drive around the car park several times, but I still made it to my appointment more than 5 minutes early. They finally took me in 15 minutes late. Daughter took her nan to the doctor’s 2 weeks ago and was ‘given a bollocking’ for being 15 minutes late. She works for a living and she has a family, yet she was told off for arriving 15 minutes late.

The dermatologist gave me a prescription and said, in a friendly manner, that she’d sent it straight to the on-site pharmacy. I duly toddled along and got in a queue, to be told the prescription would take half an hour.

An hour later – yes, you read that correctly – one whole hour later, 4 people before me got up to chase their half-hour prescriptions, only to be told that theirs was ‘next’ to be checked. All 4 of them were ‘next’?

I too got up to chase my half-hour prescription just as she was calling out my name, and then she apologised because they didn’t have one of my 2 items in stock. I’d stood in a queue, waited over an hour for a half-hour prescription, only to be told that they only had one of them?

I asked why I hadn’t been told sooner, and she said they didn’t know until they reached my prescription. I asked why it wasn’t ready sooner, only to be fobbed off with an excuse that ‘only 1 pharmacist’ was on, when ‘there’s usually 2’. I asked why I was told I’d have to wait half an hour when in fact the wait was more than an hour, only to be fobbed off with an excuse that ‘only 1 pharmacist’ was on, when ‘there’s usually 2’.

I told her that wasn’t my fault, and yet I’d been waiting all this time AND racking up a car parking bill to boot. Were they going to pay for that? ‘No, we don’t do that,’ she said, and it wasn’t her fault either. Perhaps not, but did she have to lie to everyone?

Why did she tell 4 people before me that there would be a half-hour wait when there was clearly an hour? Because there was ‘only 1 pharmacist’ on, when ‘there’s usually 2’. Why were they all told they were next? No comment. Why was my prescription and the previous 2 that were handed out incomplete? Because they were out of stock but they’d call me when they were in stock.

‘So I can come all the way out here again and rack up another car parking bill?’ Not her problem. How about if they just gave us our prescription so we could take it the pharmacy of our choice? So also saving the pressure on the on-site pharmacy, especially when they’re so inadequately staffed. Not allowed.

When she phones me, if she phones me, to say the rest of the prescription is ready, I think I’m just going to say it’s not convenient because there’s only one of me on at the moment when there’s usually 2. I’m also filing a complaint.

So, all of that additional and completely unnecessary stress out of the way, after losing a whole half a day, I came home and had about 2 hours in which to do my work. Why can’t people just do what they’re paid for and let me get on with what I’m being paid for?

Anyway, the dentist gave me a quick after-care call to see if I was all right. I was, there was no pain, no discomfort, and I wouldn’t have known I’d had an extraction the day before if I hadn’t been there. I’d even forgotten I’d had it done and was wondering why they were calling me. If they can do it, why can’t everyone else?

The only things I had time for were today’s blog post and the editing job. But I could have spent a lot longer on the editing.

Today it’s the poet’s turn at the dentist, but as he’s only having a filling, and as his appointment is the crack of dawn, he’s taking himself. I’ll be catching up on all the work I should have done yesterday.

2 thoughts on “Wednesday 15 May 2024: Customer no-care?

  1. Definitely file a complaint. It’s the manager’s job to make sure there are enough people in to do the work. They’re constantly understaffing to “save money” so that it costs the customers even more, in lsot money and time. I’d also send an invoice for the car park fees and for the work time lost. And keep billing them with a 20% late fee every 30 days. I do that on a regular basis.

    1. I’ve logged a negative review on Google so far, along with a load of others. I’m so glad it isn’t just me!

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