I mean seriously!? Is that really too much to ask!??!
Unlike a lot of South Africans, I do not shut up when I get shirty service or sub-standard product. I never have. I work hard for my money. I also spent years working in an industry where the customer was always right no matter what, and learning from my employers I decided long ago that I would not get shafted if I could help it. I complain if its necessary and I pay compliments when its appropriate. Fair’s fair after all.
This afternoon is a case in point.
When you have to pinch pennies you become acutely aware of exactly what things cost. This afternoon I went to PnP to stock up on some groceries and baking supplies, and I used my Smart Shopper points (which are AWEsome when you have to spend wisely) and I was happy with my shopping trip. I was starving when I left the shopping centre and I knew I would be passing a fairly new McDonald’s on the way home. I hadn’t had Mickey D’s in aaaages and I decided that two cheese burgers were in order to sate my hunger. I hit the drive through where the little screen spoke to me and on the spur of the moment I decided an Oreo McFlurry was the perfect treat. My order was taken. Done. Easy. The voice said “next window please” so I drove on.
And now let me set the scene.
There was a guy in a Mickey D’s uniform outside the pay & collect window, and he looked to be laughing and conversing with whoever was inside the window. There was no-one ahead of me so I didn’t anticipate a wait. When I pulled up to the window I could see three or four Mickey D’s employees squished into the small space on the other side of the window, talking amongst each other and to the guy outside. The woman with the headphone thing greeted me, took my cash (my order came to just under R34), handed me my change and disappeared. She returned quickly with my McFlurry and then handed me a small brown McDonald’s paper bag which I dropped on the seat next to me. I drove off, eating my McFlurry as I drove home. DEE! VINE!
At home I unloaded the groceries from the car, got it all into the house, mopped up a pee puddle from the puppy who had been locked inside whilst I was away, packed the groceries away, washed my hands and then poured myself some Coke Zero to have with my cheeseburgers. By now I was ravenous.
I stuck my hand in the bag. One burger. Only one. I checked my receipt and it clearly stated I had paid for two cheeseburgers. I looked in the bag and then tipped it upside down just in case the second cheeseburger was hiding under the serviette or something.
Now I am hungry and angry.
I didn’t check the bag before I drove away. I really didn’t think I needed to check the bag when my order had been so ridiculously simple.
I called the customer service number on the receipt and- kudos to the woman who answered- they were exceedingly polite and very apologetic. She promised that someone would get back to me within 48 hours, which she assured me is their standard turn-around-time for addressing issues. Fine. Done.
Now I ask you with tears in my baby blue eyes- why do we have to resort to complaining in order to get what we pay for!? I know that in this case its only a R10 cheeseburger, but its the principal of the thing! I am not expecting free food for a year or even a reimbursement of my R10. I want them to make sure no-one else gets screwed over again.
I really do not understand why the level of customer service in our country is so bad!?! Why do so many businesses behave as if they are doing you a favour by providing you with a service or a product!? Whether you’re buying a car or a cheeseburger you are seldom treated as if your business is appreciated. You are snarled at by cashiers, ignored by shop floor staff, appointments aren’t kept and unless you have a hissy fit, you are dismissed as an irritation.
There are many shops that are getting it right, and many are using social media like Twitter and Facebook to interact with their clients and customers, but this country has a loooong way to go.