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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.