Monday, February 18, 2008

Service. Everywhere except where you need it

If you watched “Gone in 60 seconds” you’ll know about the elusive Eleanor [Nicolas Cage plays Memphis Rains who has to steal 50 cars. Among them is a Shelby GT500 which has always eluded him, even when he thinks he has “her” - this car is nicknamed Eleanor].

In South Africa, good service has become our “Eleanor”. You know it exists, you know others have had it, but you just can’t quite seem to get a hold of it yourself.

There are few things I dislike more than complaining, but bad service is definitely one of those things. And I really don’t like complaining – I can think of far better ways to use my time and energy. Sadly, I know this is wrong, as the only way to communicate to those companies with bad service just how bad it really is, is to complain.

In the last few months, one particular company in the security industry has driven me to the depths of despair, ignoring my pleas for action and just seemingly losing sight of the fact that its customers safety is its primary objective. I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences with other companies [haven’t we all]. It’s quite ironic that companies have changed the names of their “complaints departments” to “customer services departments” – there is fairly often no customer service in sight, making me believe that the former name is often far more appropriate.

An interesting industry has started up in companies that help consumers to formally address this through an intermediary. is one of the additions to this stable, and hopefully they will be able to contribute to the eradication of the “poor service” stigma associated with many of our countries companies.

Personally, I think I’ll give it a whirl. Like I said, I have little interest in wasting time complaining more, but I would love to see this particular security company realise how far away they are from any level of decent service. Let’s see if they finally get the message, and I finally getclosure.


Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same about complaining about poor service! Although we know we should complain about poor service, it is such an effort and we often leave it. I believe this is mostly because you phone a company and your call gets transferred or put on hold repeatedly. It drains your energy just finding the right person to lodge the complaint to! I look forward seeing the results GetClosure produce as an intermediary in the process.

Catherine Luckhoff said...

Great post Darren. Hot off the press: Pick `n Pay, FNB and Cell C have all subscribed to the getclosure! service. Hopefully this will be an incentive for SA companies as a whole to show a commitment to better service and to take complaints lodged via online portals seriously. Face it, no-one likes annoying phone jingles!