Over-care: Is there such a thing as too good service?

As someone who grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s I was the child of old-school British service. Shops took a delight in keeping you waiting, there were Friday cars produced every day of the week and getting a phone installed took months.

Then consumers in Britain discovered that shopping could be fun and our money was actually important to the shop-keeper. Retailers began to renovate their old squalid stores and companies like Next showed the high street that buying clothes wasn’t about seeing how many thousand sweaters you could display at the same time. Even utility companies started answering phones in minutes rather than hours and deliveries came near the date you actually ordered the item. What joyous times we live in.

Unfortunately, some companies decided to see just how far customer service can be taken. I refer you to the otherwise excellent Appliances Online and their courier company DFD.  I stress these are great companies but I feel I’ve been licked to death by customer care, stroked, praised, reassured and loved until I’m a wreck.

I bought a new cooker hood. Not very exciting, reasonably expensive and in the great scheme of things not very important.  However you’d think I had just donated a kidney for all the fuss and attention I received. My order was processed on line and I got a confirmation, then a thank you email, then another thank you with a delivery date, then a reminder of the delivery date. Then an email from the delivery company confirming Appliances Online’s confirmation, a text saying they were coming the next day, then a text on the day with a one hour time slot, then another text with a 30 minute delivery window. Exhausted I took the package only to then get a ‘hope you’re happy with your cooker hood’ email. a phone call selling me life time insurance on my cooker hood, then a courtesy call hoping me and my cooker hood were getting on, another call hoping the delivery was OK and a final call hoping I was enjoying the cooker hood. Enough, enough, please stop. 

I suppose it is better than the old days where the attitude was more ‘Give us yer money and F-off” but there are limits. 

Thank you for reading this. No really, really thank you for reading this. On behalf of myself and all my limbs and brain cells thank you for reading this. I hope you’ve enjoyed this and you will continue to read my occasional blogs. I have lots and they all come with no guarantee of any sort but if you’re interested in blog posts just keep on reading. Did I say thank you?

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