“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it.” – Mahatma Gandhi
E D I T O R I A L U P D A T E
In a previous Word Press article, “Tracking numbers aesthetically ugly”, I wrote about the poor quality of customer service I had been receiving from one well-known courier service. This is the conclusion to that story which ended on a high note for me. The package did finally arrive.
“The squeaky wheel is the one that gets attention” describes my efforts to have my package delivered to me.
On Thursday morning at 8:25 a.m.my series of telephone calls began. By this time the package I had been expecting had once again been “delayed in transit”. I was peeved to say the least.
For the past four days the online computer delivery history indicated that it had been placed on the truck around 8 a.m. but for some unknown reason was not able to be delivered by day’s end. This meant 4:30 p.m.was the cut off point for any hope of service.
I phoned the courier’s local depot handling the delivery around 8:30 a.m. A recording requested that I leave my name, number and brief message. The office would contact me later. I did as directed. At least the office operator knew I had a complaint with them . My message was brief: “Call me about a missing package ASAP”. That was it.
Next I contacted the national headquarters of the carrier service about 8:45 a.m. and explained my case to them. I gave them the item tracking number. They were also puzzled as to why the item had not been delivered. They told me that it should have been delivered on Monday or Tuesday…Wednesday at the very latest. I agreed.
Around 9 a.m. I contacted the Home Shopping Channel and explained my case to them.I had ordered the item on January 7th and was expecting a three to five-day delivery window. I had paid for that service initially.
It was now the nineteenth of the month and instead of enjoying the product I was essentially playing hide and go seek with the delivery service. Totally unacceptable. They heartily agreed. They told me they would contact the carrier and ask them what was going on with the constant delivery delays. They also gave me a discount for the delivery rate.
Time now 9:20 a.m. The next call was to the depot manager. I was given his number and extension the night before. I dialed the general office number and his extension. He picked up the receiver, identified himself and listened patiently as I explained my situation.
After a few moments he told me that he wa not the person to speak with regarding the delay. He transferred the call to the warehouse manager who was responsible for deliveries in my area. That seemed like progress to me.
The person the call was transferred to was friendly. He asked for the tracking number and was also puzzled as to the “delayed in transfer” notation made on the delivery time sheet. I told him whom I had contacted and briefly what actions I had taken.
He assured me that the parcel would be delivered today but gave no time for delivery. I told him I had altered my daily routines for the past three days waiting for the parcel. Then he asked me to hold the line for one moment.
When he returned he told me he had contacted the driver and that the parcel would be there in one hour. “Give me one hour to have it delivered” he asked me. It was now 9:30 a.m. By my way of figuring things out that meant the package would be at my suite by 10:30 a.m. I thanked him for his assistance.
Around 10:20 a.m. I checked my cell phone for messages. There was one there from the office secretary I had called earlier that morning. She requested I contact her and explain the situation.
The conversation with her was brief , cordial and to the point. She asked for the tracking number and like everyone else I contacted was puzzled by the non deliverable notations listed on the delivery time schedule.I told her I had spoken with a manager at the depot and that he told me the item was to be delivered within the hour.
She was going to transfer me to the appropriate office manager. I told her I had spoken to “Johnathan” earlier that morning and explained the problem. I also added that he had informed me that this was not his delivery area and transferred me to another manager. This other manager had informed me of the “one hour” timeline.
At this stage of the game it was 10:40 a.m. No sign of the delivery van as yet. I was transferred to the second warehouse manager who made the one hour delivery promise. I identified myself and reminded him of his earlier promise to me. He then asked me to momentarily hold the line while he checked with the driver.
As I waited for his reply I looked out the window and saw the company’s delivery van cruising up the street The manager then returned to our chat and told me the driver was on his way.
I asked him what caused the delay. “Business is brisk and there are a lot of deliveries to be made” he told me.
The driver finally rang my suite’s door buzzer and I greeted him at the door. He did not look too happy or enthusiastic to be there delivering the parcel. But I told myself that’s his problem not mine.
I told myself “the eagle has landed and all is well at least as my parcel delivery was concerned.
It is commendable that the firm’s local business is brisk but that fact should not deprive customers of the service they have paid for. The customer is a company’s bottom line after all. — gc