There’s always one isn’t there. Someone who just can’t wait to spoil your day. On our holiday it was the owner of the Matamata Central Hotel.
After a very pleasant – but long – 8 hour drive – we were somewhat glad to get to Matamata and be able to stop for the day. I love driving the new car – especially hood down through the countryside – but 8 hours on the road in a day is enough really. When we got to the motel – and checked in – we were thrilled. The unit was wonderful. Newly Built – as are a couple of other motels in the town, it was absolutely lovely – pristine and “well appointed” as they say. Lovely soft carpets, neat little kitchen area, free wi-fi (limited download available then there is a charge), big comfy bed, beautiful bathroom with a powerful show and a spa bath, and air conditioning. In fact – it was the perfect Motel Unit and life was good.
Then we went to bed.
Oh my word – what a nightmare. The motel sits right on SH (State Highway) 27. Which at this point actually has 4 lanes of traffic split by a railway line. And traffic is pretty constant – especially trucks throughout the night. And despite the motel having double glazing – you can hear every single one of them. All night. But added to that – the building shakes every time a truck or train goes past. All night. Its like a moderate quake going off.
At 5:30 am I just gave up and got up for a tea and to read. There was simply no point in trying to pretend that I was going to get any more sleep. I think I managed to doze off again about 7am for another half hour. The people in the unit next to us were also up at 5:30, showering (yep – we could hear that clear as a bell too) and left by 6am. Unfortunately – we had booked another night. So we decided to ask the motel owner if it would be possible to change rooms to the other side of the complex – which is away from the road.
And that’s when things turned really unpleasant.
There were no other rooms available you see. Now that wasn’t the issue – we realised that there may not be, and were prepared for that. What we were not prepared for was the unhelpful and defensive attitude of the owner. Hubby went in to ask, and after being told nothing else was available was told that because we had booked through the AA and thus got a discounted rate – those are the rooms that AA people are put into. Ie – we didn’t pay for a decent room, so we didn’t get one. At this point, hubby then asked for a refund on the second nigh, as we would not be staying. To be told that no refund was available as the AA needs 48 hours notice of cancellation. Hubby stormed off in a sleep-deprived bad mood having to deal with such a shite attitude, and we started packing.
As hubby was loading the car, the owner came past to start work on the next door room, and started on at hubby. We must be really light sleepers. No one has complained before. It’s all our fault we didn’t sleep. Blah Blah Blah. (Apparently, being able to live on The Terrace in Wellington and get a full night’s sleep despite a busy road doesn’t count I guess!)
Why he felt the need to be obnoxious I have no idea, but harassing unhappy and tired guests in the carpark when we are simply trying to leave is not good business etiquette. Its just rude and unpleasant.
Just as we finished packing, I needed a pen, so popped into the office to see if I could borrow one. When the owner started in on me. Now he did in fact say sorry that we had not enjoyed our stay. Fair enough, but I explained to him that it was actually his attitude that had upset us more – which is true. We had simply asked if there was a room we could move to away from the noise. Not an unreasonable request when the service you are paying for is meant to allow you to sleep. But the defensive and unpleasant behavior had put us off staying the second night. Ad he then started haranguing me: discounted room, no one has ever complained, light sleepers, and of course – the old chestnut – hubby was RUDE. Now sorry – but I know we can be quite forceful when pushed – ie – we don’t take bullshit excuses like “you paid for a shit room so you got a shit room” very well, especially when we have had no fricken sleep all night! But genuinely – we didn’t go into this expecting a fight – we simply wanted a better room and an understanding business owner. I distinctly got the impression that the owner was expecting a fight, and despite his protestations we were not in fact the first people to have complained about the traffic noise. Maybe others had done the same as next door and given up at 6am and left before the owner had to deal with their tired irritability. Maybe others were lucky enough not to have booked 2 nights and decided to just go and not say anything for a quiet life. I really don’t know, and frankly I fail to see what that has to do with anything.
Anyway – he refused to refund the room – stating that the AA hadn’t paid him yet anyway. I did explain that I didn’t recall booking through the AA – but through his website and as far as I was aware we had not got a discount, but he was adamant. Hubby had already said we would talk to the AA about a refund, but as this guy was still arguing with me (all I want him to do at this point is shut up so I can leave – I don’t need a pen this damn badly!) I explained that refund wasn’t an issue – we would sort that out later – could he please just calm down and stop being so aggressive. I was really starting to get a bit concerned. His wife entered the fray, at about the same time Hubby came back in – having got a bit worried about how long it was taking to borrow a pen. He was less than pleased to find that I was now being berated as well for having failed to get a perfect nights sleep in this guys establishment.
Eventually, thanks to the efforts of myself and his wife, things did calm down a bit. We got an agreement out of them that they would email the AA and us, agreeing to refund the second nights stay.
We have received no such email, so that was also bollocks.
Eventually we left ( I never did get to borrow a pen by the way), and went on to Hobbiton when I couple of shots of good New Zealand Coffee and a hearty breakfast helped wake us up enough to enjoy the day.
So, did we book via the AA and get a discount?
Hell no. If you go to the Matamata Central Motel website, and click on Book Online – it takes you straight to the AA booking system. So it is the owners choice to use the AA to handle his bookings. There is absolutely no sign of any discounts on the room. (Screen shot to follow – the WordPress upgrade has gremlins). So as well as being aggressive and argumentative – this guy is also a liar. We did not book a discounted room – we booked directly with the Motel Website.
Have we had a refund?
Nope. The AA has yet to get to back to us, and the promised email from the owners has not materialised – another lie. So today I have to go to the hassle of filling out a Credit Card dispute form and trying to get a refund via Visa.
In the meantime, this guys arrogance meant we had to pay substantially more than we budgeted for by heading off to Rotorua and getting a last minute room. So my contempt is pretty full-on.
I have no idea why so many Kiwi business owners take such an aggressive and dishonest approach when faced with an unhappy customer. But frankly – they need to grow the hell up and stop behaving like petulant children. In business you will get unhappy customers. Sure, not all of them will be the fault of the business, and you need a way of dealing with that. But a lot will be, and you need to deal with that as well. Attacking the client, lying to them and blaming them is not an appropriate response. And it can very quickly escalate what would have been a simple problem into something far worse.
Ho hum – the rest of the Holiday was really nice. And as an aside – the Pebble Beach Motel in Napier is also on a main road and near a railway track. Decent soundproofing and solid building means you really don’t hear it – and I slept like a log.
So tickets went on sale at midnight for The Hobbit. It hit the papers this afternoon, that Onsite sales were going ahead at the Embassy Theater at Midnight.
So – like the hardend Liner-Upper that I am, we went along at about 10.20pm to queue. (Hey – this is New Zealand – we don’t camp out for a month for tickets!)
But I totally forgot this was New Zealand – and they tend to have absolutely no bloody idea how to do these things.
At midnight – they allowed us all to get to the ticket desk.
Only they had actually opened up Online sales about 15 minutes earlier. So those of us who had queued for Midnight Screening Tickets- which is the one you really want if you are are a hardened geek – has sold out. Now The embassy on the Facebook page claim that online sales didn’t got live until 2 minutes before the onsite sales – not that would have helped – you can sell a lot of tickets online in a few minutes. But of course people were saying that they got tickets online at about 11.45, and guys behind us in the Queue had manged to get online on their phones and seen the tickets available before we we were allowed to start moving – that was about 11.50. So the embassy were lying.
What the hell is it with Kiwi companies and this absolute failure to tell the truth when caught with their pants down?
And then, we get to find out that they never had any midnight tickets available anyway.
Sorry – but If I can get tickets to see Star Wars Episode I at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood at the Midnight Opening show, a film we had been waiting for for 16 long years, then why on earth cant I get tickets to see the Hobbit Midnight Screening at the Embassy in Wellington when I live here????
Who were these tickets sold to? Its sold out – so someone is going. Why aren’t the public allowed to that show? And New Zealand thinks the UK has a class problem?????
(The Embassy Claim that there is a showing, but tickets were never going to be available. No one knows what the hell they mean, and a lot of people are bloody pissed. This is NOT the premier – this a a public showing – or it should be.)
I don’t know if we will ever got the the bottom of this, and frankly – I’m done giving a shit. Its just another in a long line of crap experiences with kiwi companies who haven’t got a clue how to run things properly and treat their customers like a pile of crap.
Anyway - at 1.18 am we ordered tickets to the Midnight show at the Reading Cinema,and while they do have tickets available – they also claim that tickets weren’t going on sale for another day, so I imaging they will also have a lot of pissed of people to deal with.
So all in all – a balls up of epic proportions, and a PR disaster. Are the embassy taking lessons from Sanitarium?
(I’m taking screen shots of the FB thread – just in case they really are taking lessons from Sanitarium! Ill publish them as a separate blog tomorrow – when I have calmed down a bit)
This blog is hosted at GoDaddy, which early this week had some issues that means millions of it’s hosted websites, including Avalon’s Guide, were unavailable for several hours.
Someone from anonymous (the hacker group) claimed that they were responsible, and basically were attacking GoDaddy fro their stance on SOPA and their willingness to effectively “censor” the internet. (What on earth they would make of increasing censorship issues and curtailing of free speech in New Zealand I can only guess – I figure Anonymous don’t actually know where New Zealand is).
Funny thing though: GoDaddy, after pressure from it’s customers, backed down and did not pack the SOPA legislation, and chose instead to back it’s customers. GoDaddy did not censor the internet,and curtail my freedom of speech – some twat in Brazil with a chip on his/her shoulder did.
Now GoDaddy are claiming that the outage was a fault, and nothing to do with some hacker. Even so, they have sent out an apology to all customers affected, and given a refund of 1 months payment as a credit to our account:
We owe you a big apology for the intermittent service outages we experienced on September 10 that may have impacted your website, your email and other Go Daddy services.
We let you down and we know it. We take our responsibilities — and the trust you place in us — very seriously. I cannot express how sorry I am to those of you who were inconvenienced.
The service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables. Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and GoDaddy.com. We have implemented a series of immediate measures to fix the problem.
At no time was any sensitive customer information, including credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised.
Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999% uptime in our DNS infrastructure. This is the level of performance we expect from ourselves. Monday, we fell short of these expectations. We have learned from this event and will use it to drive improvement in our services.
As a result of this disruption, your account will be credited for the value of 1-month of service for each of your active/published sites.* This credit will be available to you for the next 7 days. Please click the button below to redeem your credit.
It’s an honor to serve you. Thank you for the opportunity to re-earn your business and trust.
And lo – checking our account – we do indeed have a credit sitting there!
This website being down was annoying – but lets face it – its not exactly the end of the world. It didn’t harm me, it didn’t cause me untold stress, and in my case didn’t cost me any money in lost sales (though for many site owners obviously it would have done). And yet – without any hassle or correspondence from me, the company have apologised, and given me a credit.
Compared with the non-stop crapfest you have to go through to get an apology ( which you almost never get because of some strange aversion Kiwis seem to have to using the word “sorry”), let alone a bloody refund out of a Kiwi company even when they do screw up, it’s been completely refreshing. New Zealand businesses could learn a lot from this!
I am officially impressed!
Overall comments and reflections.
You know, screwing up is one thing. It happens. People have a bad day at work and say the wrong thing. You snap at a customer and cause upset you didn’t mean. But you apologise and put it right. And I say that as a proper Healthcare Professional. I have had to deal with upset and angry customers. You can’t work in the UK NHS and not have to deal with them. It is not an easy skill to learn, and I have to say I think many times in the early days I was practicing as a pharmacist, I probably screwed up just as much as this. I learned over the years how to be better at at, and I hope beyond hope that I was never behaved like this. As a pharmacist, you are automatically in charge of a pharmacy that day – even if only a locum, and the buck stops with you. If one of your staff make a mistake – YOU deal with it. You take the fall and you put it right, and it is your responsibility to then show any staff how to improve. Or improve your own work if its you who screwed up. What you do not do is pour oil on the fire and lie. You accept the problem, apologise and put things right.
But not if you are Wellington Dentists. You cause an issue, and your response is to make things ten times worse, attack rather than mend, and abuse rather than apologise. So I find I have little sympathy for people like this – who take no responsibility and look down their noses at the public trying to access healthcare.
They also appear to have nothing but contempt for the Health And Disability commissioner, and your rights under the law. But then why would they? It has about as much power as the Ombudsman. Apparently speaking to them of the phone, you need to have been caused physical harm before they can really do something. The respect clause of the HDC code is basically worthless for something like this. So in light of their refusal to say sorry, and their need to attack me and lie about me, and the lack of effect the HDC has, I write this blog. More and more in New Zealand I am left with the feeling that blogging (or going to the media) is the only way to deal with bad service and a totally lack of accountability for screw ups. No one will ever say sorry here.
While I cannot claim to be such a paragon as the Hygienist at Wellington Dentists, and that I have never had a complaint about something I have done, I can say, with 100% honestly, that any issue I have had to deal with I have done so immediately, and completely, and not a single issue was ever sent to the governing bodies because of the way I handled them. Probabaly becasue I am not afraid, or too pig-headed to use the word sorry. Sorry is a very powerful word, both when you use it and when you don’t.
I would be utterly ashamed and mortified if I had ever behaved so badly that I had to be reported to a professional or governing body.
One of the things that struck me about all this is the appalling assumptions and personal attacks that the staff involved made about me. The HDC lost the paperwork, and not only do they not seem to have explained this to Wellington Dentists, they also do not seem to have taken them to task for using that fact to infer I clearly am a horrid and they were quite right behave as they did. In the months since the events, I have had several major life issues to deal with,and friends dealing with similar issues which has taken up all my energy to deal with. I do not blog about them because this is not a personal blog (and really -TMI!) . But for Wellington Dentists to infer in their tiny little minds that I have been stewing over them for 5 months is childish and petty. I guess it makes them feel better about themselves to imagine that – but in reality – while I was furious and upset for a few days, I had blogged about it, made my complaint and then pretty much forgotten about it.
Occasionally, as I happen to walk past their clinic most days, I have wondered about what the HDC were doing, and thought “I really must chase that up”. And then I forgot about it as I went on with my day. One day the thought occurred to me as I was sat at my desk, and I was having a fairly quiet day., so I flicked and email to HDC. Not quite as exciting as me sitting here stewing, fuming and plotting my revenge eh?
In fact, I approached this as a bit of a test. I was curious as to whether my overall experience of bad service and lack of responsibility or honesty for mistakes would continue to be borne out. I wanted to see if a public funded body responsible for oversight of standards had any bite. Or would a complaint be as much a waste of time as dealing with the Ombudsman or the Disputes Tribunal. Can a company get away with giving the finger to professional and legal codes, and to their customers?
I wish I could say I was surprised by the outcome.
The HDC has in fact responded to tell me that they have expressed their “Disappointment” to the Lead Dentist at the tone of his responses, and that he is obliged to respond to such complaints professionally. I can imagine the scorn with which he dealt with that. In some ways, I actually am grateful to HDC, even though it turns out that have no real power in cases like this – where the issue is customer service based. They responded with grace and dignity, and when I had to speak to them, they were very understating. I may not agree with the outcome, but I give them all credit for listening and trying. But with the best will in the world, no professional body can really make arrogant and unpleasant human beings, into decent ones.
If you are thinking about a Dental Practice in wellington – DO NOT go to Wellington Dentists. If this is how they respond to a complaint about something as simple to deal with as rude behaviour (when all that was required was an apology)– how do you think they will respond if they mess up your dental treatment? If they caused you physical harm and should in fact compensate you? They have no formal complaints process, they will attack you for being one of the 10% of patients causing the problem (because it will never be them that caused it) and they refuse to apologise.
Just don’t go there. Its not as if dental treatment is cheap here – you might as well go somewhere where they don’t think you are a worthless piece of crap after taking hundreds of $$$ off you. Do you really want to be a client of such unpleasant and stuck up arrogant people? They will not change, they are utterly unrepentant, and see no wrong in their abusive behavior. In fact they are proud of it.
They are an embarrassment to the healthcare profession, and have no place working in it.
So, the receptionists take on things:
Helen arrived late at 11.06arn as can be verified by our software package.
Wow – a whole 6 minutes. Of course, my phone showed it was 11am on the dot as I was outside. All this because our clocks have different times on them. Just – WOW.
I indicated to her that she” was a bit late and I would check with the hygienist if we could still see her today
No, you didn’t. You said, in a stroppy and bad tempered voice “You’re late”. And then went upstairs leaving me standing in reception wondering what the hell was going on.
She then came out of the surgery and was ranting but I could not make any sense of what was being said.
Well, I’m not sure I was ranting, but having being put firmly in my place by you and then your even stroppier colleague – I accept I wasn’t in a good mood by then lol.
It is not my manner to be rude to a patient however rude they are to me.
But I wasn’t rude to you, was I? I turned up for my appointment, gave my name, and said I had an appointment with the hygienist. This, to you, is rude? You were rude to me however. Your behaviour was bad tempered and unprofessional. Worse, you are also a liar.
I personally feel Helen arrived very stressed and wound up and considering this incident happened nearly 5 months ago and was a minor blip in our day I am surprised it has gone so far.
Expect I wasn’t in a bad mood was I, you liar? Not that you know this, and not that you care, I had just had a pleasant brisk walk down form the Terrace with my Hubby. I Snogged him outside the clinic, and he went off to the library and we were due to meet up at Café Neo afterwards. Snogging your hubby may leave you bad tempered and stressed – I cant say the same thankfully. YOU were the one in a bad temper, and for some reason you took it out on me. And you don’t have the guts to admit that. You really are a piece of work.
I think it’s telling that this is so normal for you, that it is a “minor blip” in your day. The fact is you really upset me. Being treated like that is NOT a minor blip in my day. The fact that you think this is normal in your working day says it all really.
As a side issue, HDC do not appear to have explained to Wellington Dentists that I did in fact lodge my complaint within days of the events. It is interesting that Wellington Dentists appear to have taken the delay as a sign that I am somehow unhinged and they are quite right to think so little of me. They seem to have assumed that I have been stewing about this plotting my revenge for 5 months. Whereas actually I have had much more important things to deal with – I just happened to remember it a few weeks ago and wondered what had become of the complaint. It makes you wonder though, how they ever managed to bring themselves to treat me long enough to charge me $700 over the past year doesn’t it?
Surely I didn’t just turn into an abusive and violent scary customer overnight?
And the Hygenists point of view:
When I asked Helen “how are you today” she replied “I’m quite annoyed actually” surprised with her attitude (Helen appeared angry and “worked up”) I asked her “why, what’s happened” she continued to state that she wasn’t late and that in the past she has had to wait for the hygienist up to 15mins.
So far so good. This is actually pretty accurate.
I attempted to explain that it was practice policy to check with the clinician but that it wasn’t a problem and I could see her, as I am very busy and too appreciate my patients are busy.
And the lies start. And we were doing so well. In fact she did not explain any such thing. What she did was rudely tell me “Well, I can assure you I am never late”.
This is when Helen said “she too is busy and she didn’t feel she wanted to be treated by someone with that kind of attitude”.
No I didn’t you liar. What I said was that I expected the full treatment, and if YOU didn’t want to do that, I could go elsewhere. Because at this point I had in fact being told that I would not be able to have the full treatment as there wasn’t time. I did not actually mention your attitude – shitty though I thought it was, until I emailed your boss. I do remember pointing out that I am actually quite busy – because let’s face it – it’s bloody arrogant to complain at clients keeping you lot waiting because you are so important, when your clinic doesn’t give a crap about keeping those clients waiting when it suits you. Which let’s remember – is the whole reason I objected so much to the stroppy telling off for being “late”. If I have to sometimes wait in your waiting room for 15 minutes for your staff to see me, and I get not so much as an apology for that, it is not reasonable to have a “no tolerance policy” and be rude to your clients if they are late. I don’t mind waiting, – though the last time It was irritating as I had another appointment to get to (which incidentally your clinic made me late for) but I do mind if you refuse to wait for a few minutes if I am apparently late. Its called not being a bloody hypocrite.
At this point I didn’t feel safe treating Helen, as I hadn’t treated Helen in the past and could clearly see she was very worked up and unhappy.
You bloody liar. You didn’t feel unsafe at all. I was really upset, and struggling to understand why I was being so badly treated, and you went on the attack rather than attempt to calm me down and apologise that your receptionist was bad tempered.
Helen wasn’t in my room for more than a few minutes she hadn’t even sat in the dental chair. Helen wasn’t prepared to listen to my reasoning for checking with the hygienist as she was late. At no time was I rude to Helen and I had reassured her that I was happy to treat her.
Liar. All I had time to do was put my coat and bag on the floor. I wasn’t asked to sit down, and you did not attempt to “reason” with me. You snapped at me, and then marched me out of your room, leaving me to grab my bag and coat off the floor and again wonder what the hell was happening. What you should have done was suggest perhaps that I sit down and take a few moments, and assure me that a few minutes lateness would not impinge on the service I would receive, and that you would ensure I was happy with the result.
Instead you chose to inflame the situation and make it clear that you thought I was beneath your contempt.
Incidentally, a few days later Hubby received a message from the same clinic to remind him of his appointment. I fired back a snottogram to reception. It was picked up by a different person, who – shock horror apologised and corrected the issue. My response was to thank her very much for understanding, and praise her conduct and really impressive ability to deal with an upset and angry customer. It shows how this SHOULD have unfolded.
Once Helen continued to complain I did not feel safe to continue with her treatment, as this is my right as a clinician and now realize I made the right decision.
Oh my god. Your “right as a clinician”???? You really are an arrogant piece of work. With all due respect, you are a dental hygienist, not a “clinician”. I will accept that as such you are a “Healthcare professional” (and perhaps you should learn to act like one). But a Clinician??? No wonder I was met with an ego the size of a planet. A little perspective might help here.
Helen left the surgery complaining how rude we are and then re-entered the surgery to voice her opinion again.
No, I didn’t re-enter the sugery. Jeeze – why do you need to lie so much? Anyone would think you felt the need to pretend you didn’t monumentally screw up. I did however turn back at the door and tell you and the receptionist that I didn’t know why you thought it was ok to speak to people like that. You were smirking at her. Yeah – you were really scared of me! After frog marching me out of the surgery.
I was quite blown away with Helen’s irrational response; it took me a bit to get my head around what had just happened. 1 am not sure what I am to apologise for as I had treated Helen with the professional manner in which I treat all my patients, I have never had and complaint made against me in my nearly 15years of full time Dental hygiene work.
Well, now you have one. You also have a starring (if unnamed) role in my blog, because you are rude, arrogant, dishonest and full of yourself. Congratulations. And if this is what you consider a professional manner, I can honestly say I am glad I never had to work with you. And if you really are proud that this is how you treat all your clients – with scorn and arrogance – well, thank crap I never have to deal with you again.
Part 3: Overall comments and reflections.
So, following on from being treated like a pile of dog crap by a stroppy receptionist, and even worse by an egotistical dental hygienist, I actually made a complaint to the Lead dentist at Wellington dentists later that day to explain what had happened. His response was basically “get stuffed”. He also claimed they have a “No Tolerance Policy” on lateness. I was once gain shocked that rude and surly behavior was absolutely OK at a dental surgery.
Now, most people probably don’t know but Healthcare practitioners in New Zealand are obliged to follow a code of rights overseen by the Health And Disability Commissioner. The HDC Code of Rights is Law, and includes the following:
RIGHT 1: Right to be Treated with Respect
RIGHT 10: Right to Complain
1) Every consumer has the right to complain about a provider in any form appropriate to the consumer.
So, with my first two complaints, to the Hygienist, and then to the Lead Dentist being met with arrogance, nastiness and a totally lack of anything approaching an attempt at understanding, apology or decency, I sent the complaint to the HDC. Now the HDC sat on it for months, basically it just got lost in the system. but when I chased it up, they approached Wellington Dentists on my behalf.
Which is when they got really nasty. As usual – this is quite long and rambling, so I am splitting it up over a few posts to make it more readable.
I received a letter from the Lead Dentist, along with statements from the Hygienist, and the receptionist. In which all three of them lied through their back teeth (pun intended), and accused me of causing all of this myself, and being abusive to them all. Some of the more colourful lies and outrageous statements include:
There is no formal method of Communicating [the No Tolerance Policy] as the message would be too complicated.
Ie – I made it up when you complained. We don’t have one, I just don’t like you because you object to my staff being rude to you and It was all I could think of. Note to Mr Dentist: if you have a policy – you need a sign saying that. If you think that is complicated – how the hell did you manage to qualify as a dentist?
I have learned over the years that 10% of the Patients cause 90% of the problems.
Nice – your receptionist was as stroppy cow, and I am the one causing the problem.
We have a mutual respect policy and if patients are disrespectful to us then we will not be encouraging them to return.
But I wasn’t disrespectful. I turned up for an appointment and gave my name. Your receptionist was rude and that upset me. Your hygienist, rather than calm things down, went on the attack and when I complained to you, you couldn’t have cared less and you were arrogant and unpleasant. Yet somehow you claim to have a policy of respect. Which clearly is as much bullshit as the “policy” on lateness.
I believe you gave a disproportional response (and still are) to implied critism of your lateness to a dental hygienist appointment.
Talking to someone who is “late” as if they are a turd is not in any way disproportional? Treating a customer upset at that, by being nasty and arrogant isn’t disproportional? Frogmarching them out of the surgery and telling everyone that I will no longer be a client is not disproportional? Refusing to listen to a complaint and say sorry is not disproportional? Lying about everything and making up a policy to justify your behavior is not disproportional? I hope my make my point clear.
Your response was so disproportional that you made [the hygienist] feel quite vulnerable.
Bullshit. Her behavior that day was so full of overweening arrogance and ego that I do not believe that for an instant. In fact, as I left the clinic – she was smirking at the receptionist, while I was literally shaking I was that upset. She was not the one being treated like crap, and she was the one marching ME out of the surgery. She was not at all vulnerable– she behaved like a bully – and I was the one left shaken and vulnerable and in fact close to tears. While you and your staff seem to find my distress and reaction amusing.
That’s pretty despicable in my book.
Part 2: The Receptionist’s response.
So we head out to the airport for our midday flight to Auckland on Thursday.
We got to airport with an hour to spare and had time to grab a relaxing coffee from wishbone and eat a packed lunch.
And that’s when things started going kablooie.
Wishbone appear to have skimped on their coffee cups and while carrying an americano and an earl grey tea the lids flew off and scalding hot beverages flew all over my hands and the floor.
Not a happy bunny. Now wishbone were hugely apologetic and gladly gave me a refill on the coffee. I should bloody well hope so. But that was it. They even offered to mop up the spill but they didn’t actually do it and we ended up cleaning most of it with a stack of napkins. Meanwhile 2 hours later and despite thankfully having a bottle of lavender oil to hand my hand was still bloody painful. It seems scalding hot coffee and eczema are not a good mix.
You will note no offer of a free triple chocolate muffin with extra sprinkles and dipped in fresh chocolate? Yeah me too.
Anyway then we moved onto the gate lounge for our flight. For the first time we were using Air New Zealand’s mobile mPass system where your phone carries the boarding pass.
Hubby went first and duly got his price of paper with a seat number. Modern technology notwithstanding you still need a piece of paper to hand to the staff on the plane to prove you are the person they just let onto the skybridge and someone has somehow snuck on in your place. I then went through and the red lights started flashing. Apparently Air NZ has me listed as a standby. Which I wasn’t. I was told it would be sorted and asked to sit on one side and wait.
As everyone else boarded.
Another family who also had issues with the mPass system got their tickets and boarded
The girl who asked us to wait has now scarpered (this is bad customer service). We have no idea what is happening and I start looking suspiciously at our plane to see if it is leaving without us. And I grumbled a bit.
At which time a new staffer turns up and admits they overbooked.
Now we could get annoyed. Or we can force Air New Zealand to drag someone else off the plane and out of my seat. But – bless the guy dealing with it – he had already arranged that we could have compensation and lounge access if we were happy to wait for the next flight an hour latter.
So we took the deal. And are currently sitting in the lounge with a mice glass of Urlar Pinot, some food and $400 in Air Nz vouchers for a future flight. ($200 for me which they also extended to hubby as he also gave up his seat. I thought this was a lovely touch rather than as I’m sure some companies would do hiding behind the old well he chose not to take that flight.)
That is good service!
Sure they should not have screwed up my booking but hey crap happens. To me it’s not so important as a company fronting up when they cock up and making it right. Especially in NZ where most companies refuse to even acknowledge any issue let alone apologise and put it right.
So good on Air New Zealand – I was actually pretty impressed.
There are days when I just wonder whether front desk staff actually understand the meaning of either of the words ‘Customer Service’.
Yesterday I went to the post office at the Reading Cinema building, easy enough you’d think, to try and post a package back to the UK. On reaching the counter I ask for the price of posting to the UK, put the package on the scales and politely wait.
Post Office lady – “that’ll cost you $4 extra for stamps”
I give a puzzled look
“our printing machine that prints the ‘postage paid’ labels is broken, so you have to buy stamps. Which will cost $4 extra”
“err, if your machine is broken then that’s your problem. I just want to post this to the UK, if you can only do that with normal stamps I don’t expect to pay more”
“the printer is broken, it’ll cost $4 more”
Like I’m stupid and didn’t understand the English language in the first place
“Yes and it’s not my issue that you’ve got something broken, I don’t expect to pay extra just because you have to use stamps”
“Well you wont have to pay any postage. You either buy the stamps or we don’t post it “
Putting on her best I’m not negotiating face, take it or leave it.
So I left it.
And trudged off to the next nearest post office to try them. Shame it’s a monopoly really otherwise I’d be able to really take my custom elsewhere.
So at the other post office, the printer was working, the chappie smiled, asked me for $14.81 and checked that I’d put the right customs sticker on it.
Done. Sorted. Without ‘extra’ charging.
So I’m left wondering – was the staff member at the first post office just being obstructive, or were they trying fraud? After all, postage rates are postage rates, they’re standard. It doesn’t matter if you buy stamps in advance, buy them at the time, or print your own stamps. Same cost.
Where would the extra $4 have gone? Someone’s pocket?
Time to find the Post Office’s complaints form and fill one in.