Don't you just love it....

  spuds 12:48 22 Mar 2006

when people offer you 'Goodwill Gestures' and "On this particular occasion, we will allow" type of statements.

You buy that nice new gleaming product or service, that you have been convinced would be top notch for your needs and requirements. Spend all that lovely money, then disaster appears, only to have a battle on your hands to resolve a perhaps simple issue.

The retailer, manufacturer or service provider then proves to be very stubborn as to what they should provide, either legally or otherwise. Generally with the demeaning phrase of this is a Gesture of Goodwill, when perhaps in actual fact the law is 99.9% in your favour.

Had any experiences of this. I seem to be getting these 'Gestures' quite a lot lately, and I was wondering if it is an essential part of customer relations.Or is it that I expect to much out of life, and have no need to expect the old ways of the handshake, and a man's word was his bond.

  bluto1 23:09 22 Mar 2006

I bought a 32" wide screen TV from High St and major problems started. I was unable to walk at the time but phoned the retailer and was told that the earliest they could visit my house was between 5 and 7 days hence. I then said the magic words "trading standards" and I was visited the same day with a replacement TV which was tested in situ and we parted friends. They knew I was quite prepared to go to the local Trading Standards office and start kicking. It`s worth it, because if what you buy does not give the service you bought it for the it`s not a saleable item.

  spuds 10:18 23 Mar 2006

One of the points that I was making, why is it , that you have to fight for your basic rights of consumer law.Why is it that once a retailer as your money, they seem to want to play on some peoples ignorance of consumer law, especially when 'Gestures of Goodwill' always seem to deem that the retailer is putting themselves out to provide a very high class of service.

The above posts show typical examples of how to offer or insist on something, that could be provided at a perhaps much better level. Yes perhaps human nature can be twofold and genuine mistakes can be made, especially in respect of people demanding refunds on perhaps the odd occasion, but both sides have a duty of honesty and care.

  Template 13:39 02 Apr 2006

I know this is rather different, but I stay in hotels at the... shall we call it... 'cheaper' end of the market.

One national chain claims to rectify any problems within 15 minutes, and in the few instances I had called reception, they solved the problems within 10 mins, with no quibble whatsoever.

Another national hotel chain gave me reason for complaint about a few matters. At the time they weren't what I would consider serious, so I just filled in the customer service feedback card and handed it into reception when checking out. Within 24 hours I received an e-mail apology, within 48 hours I received a telephone call and a 50% refund on the cost of my stay.

Not all customer service is poor, some is remarkably good!! I know which hotels I book for future stays.

Now if only another ultra competitive market..... say.... computers.... could have such customer service. (Don't start me off about Dell).

  spuds 14:15 02 Apr 2006

This is the point of this posting, some companies can resolve an issue without batting an eyelid. Other companies seem to gain pleasure in trying to prove that the customer is or appears to be always wrong. Then when things are shown to be right in favour of the customer, the 'gesture of goodwill' seems to have committed the seller to the unthinkable.

Another point that I find on the increase is the one page of 'we strive to always give first class service' letter, then your complaint seems to have been swallowed up in a company praising themselves. The actual subject of complaint seems to be of no concern by the companies letter writer. The same thing applies to call centre staff. If its not on the screen, then you are not provided with a solution to a problem.

The same thing applies to referral to certain ombudsman schemes. Most of these ombudsman schemes have no legal persuasion whatsoever. Yes they may make suggestions for possible correction of a fault, but in the long term, they appear to be lions without teeth.With the company or establishment, that the complaint as been made against, feeling that they have been cleared of any possible wrongdoings, legal or otherwise.

  spuds 10:49 08 Apr 2006

Since starting this post, had further 'Gestures of Goodwill'. I am beginning to hate those three little words, especially when its very evident that it comes over with no sentiment or consideration whatsoever.

Ticked as resolved.

  DrScott 01:36 09 Apr 2006

Or actually most large corporations - as soon as there is any scandal, the culprits say a deeply insincere 'sorry' and they waffle on about how there'll be an immediate and thorough investigation. Funnily enough, there never seems to be any result from this investigation. Further training is another phrase that drives me to distraction.

In my line of work saying sorry with sincerity and admitting your mistake is the surest way of keeping oneself out of the law courts - people want to be heard and respected, and that is what so many corporations, and politicians, entirely fail to do!

  aveylee 13:35 09 Apr 2006

Some months ago I was speaking to a Trading Standards Training Officer.
He explained that often the level of customer service depends on the nature of the goods sold. Dixons and Curry's are both parts of the same overall company, but offer significantly different levels of customer service. This is because Dixons realises that its customers may buy several 'Dixon' type items, and therefore Dixons will go the extra mile to retain the custom by being (relatively) customer focused. Whereas Curry's with its big ticket White goods item realises that most people will only buy one thing from them (1 fridge or 1 cooker etc) therefore they are not so concerned with you r repeat custom.
Dixons expects you to come back, Currys expects that you won't no matter how good they treat you.

  spuds 15:29 09 Apr 2006

That's a good point, but how doe's that equate to the DSG group's PC World. We often hear on this and other forums, about the methods PCW seem to adopt in resolving certain issues.

I have stated on many occasions, from experience, that taking a complaint 'in-stores' can give various standards, depending on that particular stores management, at the time of concern. Good manager, usually equals good or fair decisions. Bad managers, generally give the impression their word is final, whether they are correct or not in consumer law, hence the gesture of goodwill feeling. I have two local PC World stores, and in both places, staff turnover is fairly high. This includes all levels. Change of management is usually very noticeable, by the standard that the stores seem to be run. Grumpy managers=grumpy staff.Decent managers= amicable staff.

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