Thursday, 21 November 2013

Customer Service

Customer service is one of the things I can get really grumpy about. It's so easy to get it right and yet so many places you get poor advice, lack of initiative, and the complete inability to help you in a timely manner. I've been "fortunate" enough to be subject to various levels of customer service of late, so figured it was worth highlighting my experience.

The Body Shop:
I'm a sale whore, I freely admit that, and I love the items The Body Shop produces (the scent of Vineyard Peach, the aloe lip balm that is actually made out of fairy dust and cures chafing instantly..) and they have wonderful ethics. So when they held a 50% sale I was right there, because you just can't pass up that kind of awesomeness. And because sometimes I'm remarkably restrained I bought a lot of presents for people (okay mostly for Christmas even though this was September, I run Christmas like it was a military organisation.) and then they arrived like this:

Basically The Body Shop have removed cellophane from all of their products in order to become more environmentally friendly, and in concept I think this is great. Unfortunately when you buy a pre-packaged present and one of the items has opened and spilt all over the box and other items, it's a bit rubbish.

And then it takes a month to get it resolved because they only reply to an email every two weeks, even though the actual correspondence is generally quite reasonable. And they delete your review of the item when you mention how it arrived, even if the rest of your review was pretty pleasant considering how bummed out you were that the item you had ordered was out of stock and the present you had was no longer in presentable condition.

A massive shout out to their twitter feed, @TheBodyShopUK, however and Katrina in particular. Once I spoke to them a resolution was found much more quickly and with a greater amount of pleasantness.

Tits, knockers, nunga-nungas, boobs, fun bags, breasts. I have them and they're frustratingly gigantic. This is not a good thing. It means they're always in the way, seat belts are a pain (literally), they're so heavy that when I'm feeling ill I have to hold them off my chest when I'm lying down to stop me feeling nauseous, they will knock you (or somebody else) out if you jump or swing around quickly, and obviously you cannot get pretty lingerie. It's M&S horrible granny bras. That's just not nice. 


Frankly I was pissed off with them. To the extent I went to get measured, something I haven't done since I was 12 (yes not only did they grow, they grew early too. Sods.) Obviously I'd heard the many horror stories of being measured at M&S, so I decided to risk Bravissimo where I'd never shopped before due to the expense (and finding it in St David's Arcade, I still can't find my way around that place..) 


And they were lovely. I was fitted by a wonderful lady called Jenny, who could not have been more helpful. She looked at me and told me what I was already aware of - that my bra was gaping (the central part wasn't flush against my chest) and the cups were too small. After trying on many bras (never using a tape measure, bras generally fit completely differently depending on style) I went down one band size, and up three cup sizes to a 34J/JJ. I walked away with three bras.

And then, less than a month later - disaster! A wire had broken the fabric of the bra and was poking out. I immediately searched for my receipt, but unfortunately I'd cleared my purse out a few days before and no longer had it. So I was very nervous about heading in to talk to them about it. Luckily they could not have been nicer - there wasn't even a suggestion they wouldn't help, they immediately looked me up by email address and checked their stock list. They didn't have the replacement in store so they arranged free delivery. The new bra arrived a few days later. I was so delighted to have some exemplary customer service where I wasn't made to feel like I was in the wrong.

F.Hinds:
So some news. I'm getting married. Not for a while yet, I imagine, funds being what they are, but my lovely boyfriend has decided that he plans to propose and wanted to find out what ring I liked. (We're quite relaxed, there was no massive surprise proposal) So I attacked the internet with the force of a woman unleashed and eventually found a ring I loved. Adored. We then visited the local store to have my finger measured so that he ordered the correct size. I was told multiple times it was best to have it a bit tight so that it didn't slip off, during this fitting.

Finger red, despite wearing it for over half hour,
much bulging :(
He ordered it, it was delivered to the store and we went in to collect it. It didn't fit, not even close. I was quietly devastated. They offered me a free resize and again heavily pushed the fact I needed it tight - "If it was me I would definitely go for the smaller size." was said multiple times, amongst other similar influential assertions. They told me it had to be forced over the knuckle to ensure it wouldn't fall off, even though my fingers widen after the knuckle so something tight going over it would never fit any further down. I was told not to worry - when my fingers were cold there wouldn't be any bulging, even though I tried to point out that my hands were cold now (and are pretty much always cold due to my poor circulation.) Still, I ordered it against my better judgement. I'm a push over, nervous of authority and presume they must know best - they do this for a living and I know fuck all about wearing jewellery, especially important jewellery. This is something I regret.

So I waited, and finally had the call that it had arrived back in store. I went it to collect it by myself, as Gareth was working. It still didn't fit. I was shocked, and pretty close to breaking into floods in the shop. This was meant to be happy, why was it being so hard? I was then told that a resize would cost me £50. £50 on a ring you've already sized my finger for twice, and yet you agree with me that it doesn't fit?! I took it away, I didn't know what to do. When Gareth was home we had a chat and I cried a bit, and wrote a stroppy email to customer services. They got back to me and told me that I could have one more free resize. So I went in again, was resized again, the ring size went up again (so in total I was up two sizes from the initial sizing.) I'm still waiting to see if it will fit this time.

I agree a lot of this was my fault for being a bit of a doormat, but I found the pushy service very intimidating and it has really spoiled a very important occasion in my life.

Gareth, if you are curious, is clutching desperately to the awesomeness of being young and is having this as his engagement ring:

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