Range Rover

I had a spot of trouble with my Freelander. The clutch pedal went all the way to the floor and stayed there.

So I phoned a friend, in this case Land Rover Assistance. Within an hour they sent a bloke round in a Discovery who confirmed that he couldn’t fix the fault and then arranged for a recovery truck. Now, we both knew that the recovery truck was needed right from the start but that would have been “off-piste” so we had to do it their way. These things seem to take so long…

Anyway, before the recovery truck arrived Land Rover Assistance had delivered a replacement vehicle for me. In true Land Rover tradition they didn’t fob me off with a tiny euro hatch. Instead they delivered a ’13 plate Range Rover Sport.

I spoke to the service guy at the Land Rover garage today, it looks like I will have to drive the RRS for the whole weekend.

Gutted. 😉


Air Strike

Those bloody french ATC-ers. You may have seen my ranting tweets yesterday. I was pretty pissed off because my younger daughter and her friend were stuck at Barcelona airport because of the French ATC strike.

To add insult to injury the a/c they were moved to (in order to secure their escape) experienced engine trouble. So, instead of arriving at LHR around 17.30 Tuesday, they finally landed this morning at 01.50.

I think it’s time that Europe’s air traffic controllers had their JDs changed to make strike action illegal, as is the case in the USA.

Rant over. For now.

The fine art of delivering…

I am annoyed. Disappointed. We paid extra for something to be delivered on a nominated day (today) and it hasn’t arrived. Having sent off an email to their CS, I’m writing this. Call it therapy, if you like, it makes me feel better.

In the last week or so, we have ordered stuff from two very big on-line retailers. Tesco and M&S. As a contrast, I also ordered 8 quid’s worth of caching supplies from Base of Tree. (baseoftree.com).

Of the three orders, one failed to turn up on the appointed day, the second you already know has yet to arrive despite us paying for a nominated date. The third arrived surprisingly early through the post. Guess which one that was.

Yep, the 8 quid order from baseoftree.com. Compare that to the pathetic service from two of the biggest names in UK retail, who have obviously yet to learn a key lesson: if you want to improve or at least keep your reputation then you have to employ reliable, conscientious courier firms and don’t just award your contract to the cheapest bidder.

Another customer care story

Some time ago I had a leased car from VW. The car was OK but their admin?…

The car went back (at the end of its lease) at the end of July ’12. After that I was expecting an excess mileage invoice. This never materialised.

Then, about a month ago, I received a letter from VW saying my “account was in arrears”. So I rang them. They said that I hadn’t paid the excess mileage invoice. Of course I hadn’t, they never sent me one, or at least I never received it. They said they had, back in November ’12. I asked for a duplicate.

Unfortunately, when the duplicate arrived I didn’t agree with their figures so I sent them a detailed calculation. I was pleasantly surprised when they sent me a credit note for the disputed amount, even though it took several weeks to arrive. Anyway, now that they had agreed the figures with me, I paid them. End of story?

No. Not quite. Today I received a letter from their solicitor asking why I hadn’t paid. I rang the solicitor and told them it had been paid. It seems that VW were uncharacteristically quick to pass it to their solicitor before I had even received the credit note.

So, VW, what a shower you lot are. It took you 7 months to ask for and receive payment, a delay which was all your own making. After my telephone conversation with the solicitor, I tried ringing you to let you know what I thought but after spending too long in your call centre queue I gave up. I think it is safe to say I will never voluntarily pass any business your way ever again.


Parcel Farce

Yesterday, Parcelforce (or Parcelfarce as I have decided to call them) tried to deliver my Pi while I was out.

The driver left a card advising me that he’d left my parcel at my local post office. Apparently they do this a lot these days. Well, I went to collect it but the chap at the post office told me the parcel hadn’t been left with him. Apparently Parcelfarce do this a lot as well. So, as a bit of an afterthought, I checked the tracking status. It just said “Delivery attempted”. Helpful.

This morning I checked the tracker again. Status = “Loaded on vehicle for delivery” What?! OK, I thought. We’ll just have to make sure someone is at home all day, which we did.

Fast forward to about 16.00 hrs. No sign of Parcelfarce. I’d been busy doing other stuff up until now, plus several other things had been delivered by other couriers so I hadn’t really wasted the day by being in. Anyway, I decided to check the tracker. Status = “Delivery attempted”, timed at 15.08. Whoa. Not true. No “we tried” card through letterbox. So they hadn’t even tried playing Knock down Ginger. According to the interwebs, apparently they do that a lot.

So now I’m not happy at all. I rang the depot (on a number which is neither free nor local rate – Grrr!) The nice lady I spoke to checked her systems and reported that the parcel had been delivered to my local post office. Definitely this time. Someone had signed for it. My angry status was still “Incandescent” at this stage and I wanted an explanation. Nice Lady informed me that she could check the vehicle’s GPS tracker, which she did, and then told me that the GPS track showed that the driver stayed on the main road and didn’t even drive into my road. I’m guessing he skipped some of his deliveries (possibly thinking I wouldn’t be at home again today) and drove straight to the post office to save himself some time. I’m guessing he does that a lot.

This evening I wrote a letter of complaint to Parcelforce’s CEO, which made me feel better. I wonder if many dissatisfied customers do that (a lot)?


Took my iMac in for repair today

Took my iMac in for repair today, as arranged.

Compared to my last visit, today’s was a totally different experience. When I booked in, the Genius told me he had been doing some research into the problem. Turned out this was a known issue after all, the repair was covered by one of Apple’s Quality Programmes and so it wasn’t going to cost me a penny.

As I said to the Store Leader before I left, “I hate to say “I told you so”, but I told you so”. At least he had the grace to admit that his staff made a mistake first time around. I’ll email Tim Cook and let him know.


Another result

After my conversation with Apple yesterday, the postman delivered a cheque from Silverstone. So although they were

a. Slow and

b. poor communicators,

they did keep the promise they made on the British GP weekend.


Question is, do I book tickets for next year or look at a European GP? Anyone know what the weather will be like in Northamptonshire next July?

Customer care, part the 2nd

So,Tim Cook does read his emails. Or rather he has a team of people reading them. 😉

Yesterday I had a telephone call from the  Team Leader at the Apple Store in question. It was good to be able to explain my dissatisfaction and I believe he truly understood my position. I’m off there again in the morning to get my iMac repaired.

The demise of customer care at the Apple Store?

Here’s an extract from the email I just sent to Tim Cook. I am pretty sure he will never read it but hopefully someone at Apple will.

In all my previous interactions (over many years) with Apple Retail and Support staff I have never left an Apple Store feeling less valued as a customer. When John Browett took over Apple’s retail operation, everyone in the UK groaned, and hoped fervently that Apple’s stores would not end up like the soulless, unfriendly and unhelpful outlets that characterised Mr. Browett’s previous employment. It seems our worst fears are becoming a reality and Apple’s much praised customer care is starting to fade away.

Ho Hum.