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Author Topic: It's very annoying ...  (Read 985 times)


  • Full Mayhemer
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  • Location: Hythe, Hants, UK
    • Plague Marine Services
It's very annoying ...
« on: October 26, 2012, 12:29:03 pm »

... when traders don't communicate.
Despite our modern high-tech systems - or maybe because of them - making contact can be a real pain.

I recently tried to contact two companies; both give e-mail and phone numbers on their website, but one says e-mail is preferred which is unusual as e-mail is generally considered to be a bit unreliable.

I had a problem with the purchased product from the 'e-mail' one, so I e-mailed them as recommended. After 10 days - nada, so repeated the e-mail. Again, nothing, so then I phoned them and after a few tries made contact - they said they hadn't received any e-mails from me. I assume they got swallowed by a spam filter, but that is not good enough. If you ask customers to use e-mail you need to be absolutely sure your system isn't swallowing legitimate enquiries which means taking charge of and regularly checking your spam.
Following the call I returned the item for checking and nearly a fortnight later I'm still waiting for some response. I guess I'll have to phone them again to find out what's happening.

From the other company I wanted to order some spares and also an 'impulse buy' kit that I noticed on the website while looking to see if spares were listed there. I wanted to speak to them as I didn't even know if they did spares (they weren't listed as far as I could see), so I phoned. I got the voicemail and left a message. 24 hours pass with no reply, so I ring again and get the machine (I didn't bother leaving another message). Another 24 hours and I'm about to go abroad for a week and I quite wanted the bits to be waiting when I returned, so I went to ebay and ordered some suitable stuff to do the job and decided that for the kit I could probably scratch build a version of it from scrap and didn't need it. I spent about 2 in the end - the company lost an order for maybe 20.
But the story doesn't end there. While I was away, and probably 5-6 days after I left the message, the company finally rings back and tells my wife "It's better to e-mail as our phone is always on answer machine." My belief is truly beggared!

Dispatching the right item in good order and in a reasonable time is standard, in fact a legal obligation, so I don't give five stars just for doing that - I put a lot more weight on how companies deal with out-of-the-ordinary issues like those I had (have) here. I'm afraid neither of these have impressed me.

My advice to traders:
1/ If you don't want people to use the phone or e-mail, don't put it on your website.
2/ If you list both but have a preferred channel - say which it is.
3/ In any case make sure you monitor ALL listed channels because if customers don't get a reply they will assume (rightly or wrongly) that you aren't interested in them.
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