Monday, 18 January 2010

What? No and Thank You.

A few weeks ago, I made reference to some car-related challenges we were facing.

The weekend just passed, we collected our repaired car.

It felt like a real struggle to get resolution to this situation, and I won't go into the minutiae of the full story, but there were three significant events:

  1. the car broke down with an almost identical fault that was repaired while under warranty in December. Jenny was headed home with the weeWeir at the time of this happening.
  2. the garage were claiming no responsibility as the car was now out of warranty - resulting in a quite heated phone conversation between Jenny and a service person at the garage.
  3. the 2195 word email I sent to the Managing Director of the company - in which I gave the full story from when we bought the car in June 2009 until the moment the email was sent.

In the end, a few things happened. The car was repaired. We split the cost with the garage, which was a fair result (from our point of view, and hopefully from theirs!). We also learned that there's a lot of things that matter a LOT at the time, but in 100 years will have any impact?

I really don't like complaining. I don't think the world owes me anything and I'm certainly not convinced that everything should be perfect. In fact, I'd much rather take action by not using - or not recommending - a provider, product or service than by shouting and bawling about it. However, this time there was a clear sense of imbalance, and that's no good for anyone. My email wasn't abusive, vindictive or nasty (even if I do say so myself) but it stated what happened and why we felt let down. Our Mini Adventure was made possible by this company. They were *brilliant* at that time. Why not now?

Giving credit where it's due is important. The Managing Director of Eastern Holdings was absolutely first-class in the way he responded to my letter. I'll say it publicly, I would do business with their group again. I might not go back to the original garage, but I have confidence that their business is being run in the right way. Thank you, Mr Brown & your colleagues who helped get this sorted.

Funnily enough, I read this by Seth Godin today. He makes the valid point about the use (or not) of *but* when prefacing a complaint.

Read his post and see what you think.

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