Lifestyle

OPINION: There are benefits to being the Customer From Hell

THIS may come as no surprise to those of you who regularly read this column, but I am a serial writer of letters of complaint to companies I feel have been derelict in their duties in some (any) way.

It will certainly come as no surprise to work colleagues who have endured my anti-telco/bank/internet provider tirades with stoicism.

I am the only person I know who has received a letter of apology, a refund and compensation for stress from a bank after one of their employees managed to lose the title deed to a house I was selling, causing a 10-day delay in settlement and a bridging loan fiasco that cost me thousands.

The bank employee in question was outraged when my solicitor told me what had happened - she insisted the title wasn't lost, they just didn't know where it was.

When I ring my telco now, the call centre staff put me on hold and play soothing music while they race off to find a supervisor for hints on how to handle the customer from Hell who just rang in with yet another complaint.

They take the call using hushed tones and speaking very, very calmly in order not to inflame me further.

All that said, I am never rude to the poor unfortunate who has just ruined their day by answering my call, and I am always careful to say "this company" rather than "you" when reciting the latest outrage as it is rarely - if ever - that particular person's fault that I am cross.

I've returned the faulty squeeze bottle of tomato paste that disgorged its contents all over the interior of my refrigerator (cash voucher refund), sent back the toothpaste tube whose lid snapped off (six new tubes of toothpaste) and whinged about the flavour of a packet soup that my partner carries on his yacht for a quick snack - "classic chicken flavour" it proclaimed, but there was no chicken in the ingredients list. It tasted like salty milk (voucher for more soup, never redeemed).

There's an art to having a good whine.

Don't make it personal, work out before you start what achievable outcome you are aiming for, and be gracious and polite (unless all else fails - then let 'em have it).

So I recently flexed fingers and prepared to type a letter of complaint to the cosmetics company that makes the only skin care products I can use.

The label type had been reduced to the point where I could no longer read it, thus making it impossible to distinguish between products.

A friend happened to drop by, and checked a jar against an old one holding rubber bands in the bathroom; she pointed out that the type was exactly the same and that I just needed glasses.

Phooey.

Topics:  customer complaints, shopping




Healthy outlook for hospital facilities in Coraki

FRESH START: Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, Paula Starkey, Claire Hetherington and George Thompson turn the first sod on Coraki's $4 million HealthOne facility.

Work is set to commence on a $4 million HealthOne.

Migaloo the albino whale due in Byron Bay tomorrow

Migaloo sighted from 'Bay Runner' at 2pm today approximately 2km north east of Cape Byron heading north alone at a steady pace of about 8km/hr.Photo Contributed whalewatchingbyronbay.com.au

Quick: Get out the binoculars. He's coming.

‘Demolish it now’: Iconic waterfront cafe now an eyesore

SQUALOR: Cr Jeff Johnson is pictured inside the former Shelly’s on the Beach Cafe building.

The building has been trashed and squatters have moved in

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

THE HARD WORD: Werewolves set to prowl around Lismore

Loaded Entertainment will bring Lycanthrope to Lismore. Photo Contributed

Newcastle metal band Lycanthrope will head here as part of a tour

Licking incident bars Ariana from performing at White House

Ariana Grande has been blocked from performing at the White House

Taylor Swift's ex throws support behind Kanye West

Calvin Harris shares a sing-along with Kanye West

Michael Jackson's jailed doctor wants his license back

Conrad Murray wants his medical licence back.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started