Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Servicing Stop Ltd follow-up

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Following Wednesday's blog post, on Friday I was called by both Jo Preedy of Servicing Stop and John at Acme Garage. They'd seen my blog.

First off, I got a call from John. I was a bit mystified that he was calling me, when I hadn't named his garage and my contract was with Servicing Stop. Anyway, we had a long chat about the whole thing and he sounded sincerely apologetic.

Then about 15 minutes later Jo Preedy rang. She said basically fair enough if you want to complain on your blog, and she apologized if I felt I'd been "let down". But she also felt I'd unfairly depicted her as incompetent, because every single time I'd called to complain she'd contacted the garage (true enough), and there was no point in her calling me as well (so she said) because it was easier for the garage to deal direct.

Yes, of course it's easier, but doesn't this defeat the raison d'etre of Servicing Stop? Aren't they meant to be managing the customer relationship instead of me dealing direct with the garage? And Servicing Stop's T&C state that all complaints/communications must go via Servicing Stop. This means I'm not actually allowed to call the garage, so why is it okay for the garage to call me? The whole system is a fuck up if the point of contact isn't consistently customer-2-Servicing Stop. It may work fine when there are no problems and the car is delivered back on time, therefore no question of customer-2-garage contact; demonstrably not fine when there are problems. At that point, it's even more essential that Servicing Stop makes sure the problem is sorted and the customer goes away happy, or at least not totally and utterly fucked off.

I just don't buy Preedy's claim that because she'd passed my complaint on to the garage every single time she had therefore done her best. She should have stayed on the case the whole way through, and called me and the garage regularly to check progress, not just assume the garage was on top of it. She did admit that it would probably have been a good idea to call me to check up on customer satisfaction levels (I contemplated legal action at least once in the 'silent' periods). But I shouldn't have had to tell her this would have been a good idea.

Preedy went on to explain about short staffing problems as a result of unanticipated increase in business. I told her it wasn't my problem.

I accepted her apology, but she had no answer as to why Mr Oliver "
outstanding customer service" Richmond hadn't called me himself or replied to my letter. Ultimately, I don't blame Jo Preedy. Poor customer service is always the result of poor management.

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