Tag Archives | customer feedback

Poor service from Komplett.ie

We received this e-mail from a ValueIreland.com reader in the past couple of days:

On December 12th I ordered a camera and memory stick online from Komplett.ie. Their website informed me that the camera would be due in stock and posted from Dublin on December 18th so I figured that I’d have it in time for Christmas Day. On Dec 18th I was informed by email that the camera would not be in stock until December 22nd. I received no further correspondence from Komplett.ie.

During the days after Christmas I presumed that the camera & memory card would be in transit to so I logged onto my user account to discover that the order had been canceled. I couldn’t get through to the customer service division and seemed to be constantly left in a queuing system every time I phoned. I sent two emails between December 28th and January 5th and still received no correspondence regarding my order.

I finally got through to the customer service division on January 6th. I was told that my order was canceled for no apparent reason. I am very annoyed at this service as a customer – if the item could not be delivered it should not be advertised for sale on their website. I think its also very bad form that I was not informed about this cancellation. If I had not made the efforts to check the delivery status I would still be waiting on the arrival. This was a great inconvenience as the camera was to have been a gift.

I have ordered equipment from Komplett.ie twice before this and was not offered so much as a voucher or discount coupon for the poor customer service. I will be taking my business elsewhere next Christmas.

Unfortunately, sharing stories like this is really the only way that Irish consumers can get any satisfaction from poor customer service experiences such as this. While the service provided by Komplett.ie was shocking, they haven’t broken any laws or done anything that could be investigated by the only people who are supposedly there to watch out for Irish consumers interests, the National Consumer Agency.

We in ValueIreland.com have always said that poor customer service experiences such as this should be shared around with others – it was one of the reasons the site was originally set up in 2003. It is important that the more people that know, and possibly stop using Komplett.ie, the more the company may start losing business and then have to begin to look at how they do business.

It’s particularly disappointing that Komplett.ie didn’t even acknowledge or respond to our readers complaint. As many customer service gurus will say, a complaint is a gift – free feedback on how a company might do their business in a better way.

We would always suggest that consumers be particularly hard on business that don’t appreciate such a gift – assuming it’s given in the right spirit (check our Top Tips on How to Complain).

In situations such as this, although such companies probably don’t deserve it, it would be a good idea to write them a final letter explaining what your problems were, what you tried to have them do to resolve them, detail how they let you down, and explain what you’ve done since – i.e. written to consumer organisations, told as many people as possible and had the complaint published on the web.

As a final piece of information, you should confirm to them that because of your disappointment with how they’ve treated you that you won’t be using their service again, and will be recommending to anyone that asks that they shouldn’t either.

I appreciate that this mightn’t always do you much good given how the company has already treated you – but you’re giving them a final chance to resolve the situation. It’s a desperately poor customer focused company that would pass up being given such a easy opportunity to retain a customer and retrieve the situation.


Customer service and word of mouth – the tables have turned!

It is generally accepted that the average business will not hear anything from about 90% of their dissatisfied customers – they simply walk away without saying anything, never to do business again.

It is also said that on average each of these customers will tell 10 people about their bad service experience, while nearly 15% of these dissatisfied customers will tell upwards on 20 people.

During a lunchtime conversation in work recently, we arrived at the conclusion that so many customer service experiences in Ireland are now so poor that these generally accepted principles could be seen to be reversed.

It’s now more the exception than the rule that we experience good customer service in Ireland these days and it’s those good experiences that we tell everyone about rather than the bad ones.

This is possibly a reason why the general response (including the Irish Independent, on Boards.ie (here and here) and AskAboutMoney.com (here), and here on ValueIreland.com) was so underwhelming with the “Service with a Snarl” PrimeTime Investigates programme before Christmas. It could be that we’re so used to poor customer service that seeing it played out for us on TV isn’t really telling us something we don’t know already.

BUT. And there is a BUT.

Where I think that “Service with a Snarl” was trying to get to is that we shouldn’t be putting up with this poor customer service. We’re paying for a service from someone, and we are entitled to an expectation of a minimum level of service.

Hence the advice at the end of this recent post on poor customer service from Komplett.ie. You should always complain, and you should always let them know when you’ve decided to take your business elsewhere, and why.


Why good customer service is a must!

You’re out for dinner, 4 of you. You have two main courses that are inedible and two that are perfect and beautiful. And you rate the restaurant 20/22. A 90% rating when surely you should give it no more than 50% given how the food went.

Well, you could have experienced excellent customer service and had your issues responded to properly and promptly by the restaurant staff as soon as you’d raised them.

So was the experience of Paulo Tullio in the Il Veliero Italian restaurant in Waterford.

One might say that he would have received better customer service anyway, given who he is and what he does, but here’s hoping they treat all their customers just as well.


The disaster of ignoring customer feedback

I wonder about the potential true impact of this “free dinner” offer that is allegedly offered in place of leaving a poor review up on the menupages.ie website, as referred to earlier this week?

If someone has a bad experience the second time around, I wonder would the original and new poor reviews be still left up on the site. Presumably such a scenario would be even more damning for the restaurant.

How? Let’s assume a scenario where someon had a bad experience in a hotel / restaurant. That person then complained to said hotel / restaurant and was offered a complimentary nights’ bed and breakfast at a point in time when they claimed that the problems would be resolved.

You would expect then that whenever that person was to book their nights accommodation that said hotel / restaurant would be prepared – they’d know that the person was coming and would be able to ensure that none of the original problems happened again. Sort of like a restaurant being tipped off that a restaurant reviewer was on their way. I don’t necessarily agree with this as such extra special service and quality should be standard for all guests.

It’d almost be like bribing someone with extra special service and quality in order to get them to change their minds about the original poor review and to think better about the place second time around.

What should that person then think if their second experience was the same, if not a little worse, than first time around? How should they feel when, despite the fact that the hotel knows that person is arriving and getting the night for free because of a poor experience last time around, they still put that person in the same room that they’d a problem with last time around, and hadn’t changed a single aspect of their customer service experience that was so poor first time around?

You’d just give up, wouldn’t you? The hotel asked for a chance to improve things, which they were given, and yet they’re no better than they were the first time around. How much do they really care about their regular customers when they can’t properly treat someone they know is watching them really carefully?

It’d almost be like recognising the restaurant critic coming in the door, kicking him in the nuts, and feeding him with last nights slops and leftovers. Take a bow Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.


An interesting case of “follow the money”

There’s a long thread at the moment on the Consumer Pages of Boards.ie entitled “Menupages.ie – negative reviews are removed” where it is claimed by several posters that negative reviews about some restaurants on the site were removed. It is also claimed that restaurants only have to ring menupages.ie to ask for negative reviews to be removed.

These claims were rejected by a menupages.ie member of staff saying that the negative reviews were taken down temporarily until the dissatisfied customers were offered a free meal at the restaurant in order to see if their minds could be changed.

This reasoning was rejected by one particular poster, who following a query to menupages.ie was told that the bad report was taken down – suspected to have been at the request of the restaurant, while the free meal was subsequently only offered following the complaint rather than being normal procedures as maintained by the menupages.ie staff member.

Indeed, no other posters who had negative posts taken down came forward to confirm that they had been offered a free meal pending reinstatement of their post, and since more issues were raised, there has been no further sign of the menupages.ie staff member.

While registration on menupages.ie is free to all restaurants, it appears that the reviews removed in these cases were reviews of “premium” or special restaurants who pay a subscription or advertising for a special position on the menupages.ie site.

This certainly puts into question the integrity of a consumer review based website that accepts advertising and then controls content on the basis of the wishes of those advertisers – even if only temporarily as claimed.

This was a major difficulty faced by ValueIreland.com in the early days when we provided a forum for users to provide positive and negative feedback on Irish business providers. While we would have loved a consistent stream of income, we believed that we could not hold our truly independent position if we were receiving any money from anyone.


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