Tag Archives | customer service

Pop Quiz: Why do you fly Ryanair?

Ryanair describes itself as “the worlds favourite airline” in its press releases. It frequently provides the cheapest fares on its routes compared to its competition.

Yet many people seem to feel that the customer service at Ryanair is pretty bad. There are definitely more e-mails to ValueIreland.com about Ryanair than any other company in Ireland.

If this is the case, why do nearly 6 times more of us fly with Ryanair than flies with Aer Lingus for example?


More poor customer service from Smyths Toys

This e-mail came through from a reader recently about their crap customer service experience with Smyths Toys. Unfortunately, in answer to their final question, there are no consumer rights that say we should be treated by respect by businesses.

You would like to think that businesses would take this for granted, but obviously it’s not something that Smyths Toys really care about.

I went to return a faulty product (the explosive experiments) at Smyths store and asked for a refund. My complaint was the the ‘explosives’ did not explode. They said they had to test the product and that they would call me the next day.

They indeed called me the next morning and told me that they had tested everything and everything was working fine. I asked for the manager, and told her that this is your word agaist mine, and I want you to test the product in front of me.

She agreed. I went there for a second time. I asked for the manager the staff told me she had left and refused to do the tests. They also admitted eventually that the had not tested everything as they had  claimed, but only one experiment (the only one in the box that actually does not explode).

I called their customer service and they told me to go again at the store and this time they would test it. They have been lying to me insisting they had tested it when they hadn’t, I have already been twice to the srore and I think it is disrespectful to ask me to go again because their staff failed to do their job properly. The issue at this stage is more the way I have been treated rather than the faulty product.

What are my rights as a consumer  to be treated with respect?

I reckon that for this reader, their next step would be to take a claim against Smyths Toys in the Small Claims Court in an attempt to get their money back. Bringing such a claim would hopefully at least get their attention.


Komplett.ie – being forced to learn about customer service?

I’ve written before about customer service problems with Komplett.ie. Last week, I received an e-mail from Des who detailed his own customer service problems with them, and how they were resolved through an intervention from the Environmental Protection Agency.

I realise that you (and a lot of us) often complain about the NCA who have shown themselves to be poor.

However I had an issue with Komplett and their refusal to collect WEEE (an old TV). I contacted the EPA and they reminded Komplett of their obligations on the same day.

It might be no harm to publicise the guys who DO support the consumer.

The original posts from Des are here and here.


Dear Business Website Owner! Don’t you want my money?

I’m sure I wrote about this before, but here I go again. Why do businesses who have websites, and who expect to do business online through the site have contact e-mail addresses and forms, and then not respond when a query is sent though to you.

Dear (Name Withheld – for the moment),

Twice this evening I tried to set up an account via your website on your “Join” page. Both times I received this message.

I haven’t received any on-screen confirmation that my account has been set up, nor have I received any confirmation e-mail.

Also, the username and password I’ve tried to set up hasn’t allowed me log back in either.

Can you please let me know what the problem is and how I can get my account set up?

Many thanks,


In other words:

Dear Business Owner,

In these straightened times, I’d like to give you my money – so much so, that I’m giving you a detailed e-mail to show you how your website doesn’t work.



We’re now over two weeks later, and no response whatsoever!

Oh well.



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.


Problems with O2 Experience Customer Service

Alexia has a post here bringing to an end, sort of, a saga of poor customer service experienced at the hands of O2. Also linked in that post are other poor customer experiences suffered by some others as well.

It was only last week that I had what was actually a funny experience in the O2 shop at the top of Grafton Street – but which when you look at should be very disappointing for O2, especially if they’re following up as a result of Alexia’s experiences.

I took a SanDisk 4gb memory card down from the display that had a selection of memory cards available and took to the counter to pay for it. The display items are obviously dummys as the guy went into the back for 4-5mins and brought out another pack and rang it up in their till.

  • O2 staff member: “That’ll be €39 please”.
  • ValueIreland: “€39? The 4gb card I picked says it’s only €29”.
  • O2 staff member: “Yeah, but that’s the Nokia version of the memory card. The Sony Ericsson version is €39”.
  • ValueIreland: “Nice to know, but I picked the Nokia version from the display because I have a Nokia phone”.
  • O2 staff member: “Oh! Do you want me to get the Nokia one for you?”
  • ValueIreland: “Eh, yes, please!”

Clown!!!! Nearly 10minutes for the simple transaction of buying a memory card.


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