links - I hope they have not moved
Associated blog site
Customer Service, also known as Customer Care, refers to the support provided by a
supplier to those who buy its products or services. Customers enjoy
legal protection. Those customers, who are not buying in
the course of a business, are classed as consumers and have additional
rights, especially when they buy goods and services through the internet,
mail order or telephone.
the number and variety of goods and services we purchase, occasional defects
are likely to occur. The Feb 2007 draft Wiki page on Customer Service
points out that
Customers tend to be
more forgiving of organizations who acknowledge
and apologize for their mistakes rather than denying them. Taking
responsibility for mistakes and correcting them is considered an important
aspect of good customer service.
companies have a Customer Service section to resolve these problems in an
amicable and fair way. There are others who leave us feeling
exasperated and only seem to respond (if at all) when third parties become
involved. They know that because of the anxiety, stress and cost
involved in engaging third parties, never mind the courts, many customers
will eventually shut up and put up with a poor buy/service. It is not
just the fly-by-night characters, who are unconcerned about customer
loyalty. Even some market leaders seem to take an arrogant take-it or
leave-it attitude, talk down to their customers and/or set unnecessary
hurdles to put off those seeking redress.
What are the aims of this site?
Disgruntled consumers often react by taking
their custom elsewhere. However, this
is not always possible nor is it desirable.
Sometimes, problems arise because of an
intransigent employee rather than company
policy and consumers often find that they
need to go to extraordinary lengths and run
up a huge phone bill to get redress.
We have had some success in resolving a
number of stressful disagreements.
This website does not provide advice - it is
merely intended to pass on our observations
and experiences (which may not represent the
experience of others) to a wider audience
than just our families and friends and to
provide case studies for those undertaking
research on Customer Services.
will this site cover?
This site will seek to:
practices which appear to penalise customers. One example is the long
queues for Customer Services on non-geographic telephone numbers.
companies who have given outstanding after-sales service, sometimes well
beyond expectations. They set a high standard for others. I will
start with these.
where customer care has been deficient; for example, where the company
refuses to accept that the product does not function as one would expect
from the stated specifications and, particularly, when it does not reply to letters addressed to
its Customer Services section.
complex problems involving multiple
providers, such as
with loss of satellite signal with Freesat.
Post some of my riddles, such as, why
my telephone will not ring when there are
incoming calls when I fit a
microfilter for broadband access.
Describe approaches which have worked better than others in
our case. Please note from our various case studies that
it is important to keep good notes and file
all correspondence. Having failed to
resolve matters through the usual Customer
Services telephone number, we had to write
polite but firm letters to Managing
Directors to get problems resolved.
All this is time consuming and not always
easy. Agencies which offer practical
help are noted in the item below.
pointers to some sources of information and practical help
have come across; for example, regular columns in Newspapers which seek
redress on behalf of customers after they have failed to get satisfactory responses
from providers. It is deplorable that government funding for Citizens
Advice Bureaus, Consumer Direct, The Law
Centre etc. are being cut back at a time
when billions of tax payers funds are being
gambled on Northern Rock for political
There are many forums (eg on Amazon) where people can
informally 'voice' their praises and complaints.
You can also lodge a formal complaints through the government's
service and the RipOffTipOff site, which it refers to. This web does not replicate their
Visvalingam 24 June 2007
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