Thursday, 6 October 2011

Lessons in dealing with Customer Services: 1.0

Having spent most of my working life dealing with customers in one way
or another, I have always prided myself in my ability to construct a
balanced and objective stand point when discussing a contentious

Two weeks ago I was on the receiving end of someone placing a nice
sticker on my windscreen telling me my parking was fine. I was always
one to be pleased when earning certificates though have never been
asked to pay for one so was a little shocked to be told that this one
would cost me £110. Still, time moves on and I guess the economic
downturn means that I have to contribute towards the salary of the
fine gentleman who adjudged my parking to be fine. And, get this, in a
special early autumn offer, if I choose to pay for my fine parking
within 14 days, they have a 50% off sale so I can be the proud owner
of my parking fine for a mere £55. Bargain.

This morning I thought I would give the lovely people at Kingston
Council a call to thank them for this wonderful opportunity but also
to regretfully decline their kind offer as I felt that there are
others more worthy of having their parking recognised in such a way.

The Customer Services Gimp was most pleasant all the way through our
delightful conversation, explaining that I was fully deserving of my
Fine Parking Certificate. However, if I wanted to pursue my request
not to be the proud recipient then there was a process to follow so
that eventually I could speak with Big Chief Parking-Adjudicator for a
specific 15 minute slot in which I could lay claim to not having to
pay for my award.

Drawing on my years of dealing with customers, I succinctly and
objectively summarised the situation, the options and the way forward
before calling him a tosser and hanging up.

So now I am going to pay for my fine parking purely so I do not have
to speak to the same Customer Services Gimp again. One day I will
learn not to resort to ending frustrating conversations with
completely childish remarks purely because I am not winning the

And his mum smelled of poo.

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