Service Please!

Like the majority of the people on this planet, its pretty easy to keep me coming back to your business- all you need to do is give me what I am paying for.

If you include good service and perhaps a smile, I am virtually guaranteed to come back! And I will tell others about your business, without expecting something in return. If you screw me over however, the same applies. I will tell others about your business. And statistics have shown that poor service experiences are shared far more than good ones!

When I need electrical appliances repaired, I am far more likely to contact a well known company than someone I know who happens to own a pair of pliers and some insulation tape. Largely due to their advertising, the first company that springs to mind when I needed an appliance repaired is Bergen’s Appliance Repairs & Spares. I’ve used them before when I needed my oven seen to, and I had pretty good service from them without it costing me a kidney.

Now let me tell you a little story about a washing machine.

My washing machine stopped functioning- mid cycle and half full of water- about a month ago. I called up my nearest Bergen’s and asked them what my options were. Their answer was that they would fetch my machine, tell me what was wrong with it and we could take it from there. I got a phone call the next morning to tell me that the repair would cost me well over R1K, but that they had a used, newer model of the same make of machine that I could have for pretty much the same price as the repair. I spoke it over with my hubby, we had a look at some new machines, and decided to accept their offer.

Please note though- none of the appliance repair companies I have ever used will give you any money for the broken machines they take off your hands. They’ll sell you something else or repair yours (for a price of course)- but if they don’t fix it and you ask them to take it off your hands you get nothing. If you decide to keep the broken appliance, you will most likely end up with a garage full of spares that you can do nothing with…


They delivered the replacement machine- much later than they said they would- but it was here. It was then used twice, and it functioned dreadfully! It didn’t spin or drain properly and the clothing was coming out wet. The next day I placed another call and he said they’d come and fetch it to check it out. They eventually fetched it- a day later than they said they would- and it took a couple of follow up calls from me the next day to find out what was potting. They found something wrong with the drainage pipe and some or other motor. This they were going to repair, at no cost to me, and return the machine the next day. Nothing happened. Each time I called I was promised that whatever the planned action was it would take place that very day. Several phone calls from me to Bergen’s followed before they arrived days later- with another machine entirely! Another phone call from me established that my machine was not yet repaired and I could use this one in the meantime. I said “no dice” and sent it back.

Take note- this took place over several days and I had to make all the phone calls to Bergen’s- I was never contacted by them.

When I called again the next day, I was told the truck had broken down and they were waiting for it to be fixed but that I would get my machine as soon as the truck was repaired. Another day I was told the machine was on the truck and they were on their way to me. Then the man I was dealing with wasn’t in the shop. This trend continued for about a week. No contact from them, and empty promises when I phoned and spoke to someone there.

Can I just state here that not once did I raise my voice or use bad language- and this is quite something for me! I am not shy to complain, but I don’t always manage to do so without throwing my toys completely. I did tell the shop manager how unhappy I was- in no uncertain terms- but I maintained control.

When I called again a couple of days later- and the store manager now recognises my voice, by the way- as soon as he started making promises to get the machine to me I told him I was no longer interested in the machine and I wanted my money back. He didn’t argue, he said that was fine and he’d bring me the cash. I asked when this would happen and I was told it would be that very day. This was followed up with 2 more phone calls from me over the following five days, which included a weekend.

The last time I phoned the shop I did raise my voice. He again started promising me I’d have my money today ‘coz it was month end, and, and, and, and when I asked if it was really going to happen today he said I could fetch the cash if I wanted to. I said I would and I went round to the shop an hour or so later. I must state here that not once did he raise his voice or get annoyed with me, but he also never called me to tell me what was going on- that the part he was waiting for had not yet arrived or that the truck had broken down. Nor did he call me back after I had called the shop.

I got my money back, but sadly I will not be doing business with Bergen’s again. They really need to learn to under promise and over deliver.


Update!! Today, June 2nd, I went and bought a brand new, 8kg Samsung top loading washing machine for just R300 more than the second hand one cost me! I’m very chuffed! It was on special at Makro!

…come play on my roller coaster…

13 thoughts on “Service Please!

  1. WOW!! All I can say is WOW!! I would’ve lost it in technicolour!

    Although I am not allowed to send appliances in for repair without my resident handyman throwing some spanners at it first and then most likely it will need to be!
    But I can tell you if I would’ve.. and could’ve used an appliance guy.. Bergens would not be an option for me.. I would kill them. Dead. With fire.
    Yay for your new buy though!

  2. Wow, this is really really bad service. I like little independent companies – they seem to take your business and their service to heart as they rely heavily on personal recommendations and repeat customers and not on sdvertising.
    cat@juggling act recently posted…Then Magic withinMy Profile

  3. You are my hero. I would have raised my voice and swore at them long before you went down and got your money. Good for you!! We’re the same way for restaurants. Great service gets a tip. Shoddy service gets nada and a comment card from me. Ok, so we’re like that with any business we use/visit. Enjoy the new machine!!
    becky recently posted…Sunshine anyoneMy Profile

  4. Mark & Alida: I still don’t have a machine! But now I have my money back so I’m going to get a new one. At least then I get a proper delivery and a warantee and such.
    Angel recently posted…Service Please!My Profile

  5. In general I’ve noticed a decline in service/workmanship/quality. I always start out politely and explain what I’m unhappy about and why but usually the only time the situation improves is once I’ve lost it completely. I don’t understand why something just can’t be dealt with the first time a customer complains?

    So do you actually have a washing machine now?
    alidaonline recently posted…Some ThingsMy Profile

  6. Lack of service is the way of the world – he who shouts loudest, usually gets the best service (especially when all has gone wrong). I find that going to the top is the only way – businesses get 1 or 2 chances and then I escalate the problem rapidly. Strangely enough most businesses get very concerned about written letters of complaint, and I do so enjoy writing those!

    Bergen will never see me in their stores!!! And are you washing by hand at the mo?
    Mark recently posted…Tweeting MadMy Profile

  7. Argh isnt this so frustrating! I am not sure if its cos I am pregnant but I am noticing the lack of service more and more these days 🙁

  8. I think its really important to be able to complain about bad service. I know I used to struggle but I have got much better. I think what annoys me the most is places which are ensured of your business like the licencing department or even some hospitals. I don’t think people realise how far a smile goes. Anyway, well done for finally getting your money back!
    Vanessa recently posted…When I was a little girlMy Profile

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