Fancy a Curry? The Morning After

I don’t really want to go into the details of curry after effect. No, best not eh. So how are things in unsolicited email land? If that sentence means nowt to you, you can enjoy the Currys experience and song here first, then pop back and continue…

After five months of trying unsuccessfully to unsubscribe from Currys email database, the first Currys blog post, song and complaint letter to the ASA went live on Jan 12th. In 24 hours the song and blog post together received just shy of 400 views.

On Jan 13th some Twitter conversation started when @dixonsdelivery made contact

dixons tweets

On Jan 15th I shared my frustration with the CEO of Dixons Stores Group Retail (who own Currys/PC World). And I contacted @dixonsdelivery. That same day I heard from the previously silent @dixonsops. Coincidence? You decide.

dixonsops tweet

I dropped a line to @dixonsops saying I think everything is under control. Then on Jan 16th I got a follow on Twitter from @MarkWebb_Dixons. I followed back on the 17th and this happened:

Mark Webb Tweets

Yep – we had a conversation, a straightforward, honest and quite enjoyable chat on twitter. Well done Mark. And have the emails stopped yet? Well I had one on Monday – nothing since – fingers crossed.

So once again the power of the song and the social web prevails. And whilst I admit I quite enjoy bashing out these songs about poor service, it doesn’t reflect well on the world of customer service when we have to go to such lengths just to make something simple happen.


Fancy a Curry?

Sadly I’m not talking chicken jalfrezi. Currys, the pushy high street retailer has finally pushed me too far.

Rewind to July 2011 and after seeking advice from my Twitter buddies I went shopping for a netbook. I ended up in the Currys/PC World on the outskirts of Croydon. They had the item I wanted in stock at an acceptable price. I bought it. I left, not before asking the cashier to ensure that I wasn’t added to any email marketing lists…please.

Since the date of purchase I’ve been receiving regular sales emails from Currys and PC World. Each time one arrives I click unsubscribe and their web site tells me:

Currys unsubscribe messageThen a day or two later another email arrives trying to flog me a TV, DVD player, microwave, washing machine…I click unsubscribe, they acknowledge, they ignore. You get the picture.

I put up with this for months, man how lame is that? Anyhoo – before Christmas I had a go at contacting Sebastian James, one of the company directors who has a twitter account. I expressed my frustration and asked for help. I got no reply. Maybe in the run up to Christmas wasn’t a great time to contact him so I tried again in the New Year. Nowt, nada, not a sausage. Sebastian clearly uses his Twitter account, though seemingly not to direct and help resolve customer complaints.

A few days ago I hopped onto the Stop Doing Dumb Things to Customers Facebook page and asked for help. Julia suggested that Currys might appreciate a rocket up the backside (my interpretation of what she actually said), courtesy of the Advertising Standards Authority. So today – I’ve registered a complaint with the ASA. How tedious, and if it gets Currys off my back well it will have been worth it.

I’ll keep you posted – and if anyone can suggest a suitably mischievous way I might repay Currys for persistently ignoring my requests, I’m open to suggestions.

Update: Thanks to Julia for suggesting the ICO as another place to get help with removing unwanted email

Hong Kong Wait Long

I’m delighted to welcome the excellent Rob Jones as today’s guest blogger. When he’s not kicking up a racket over here, you can check Rob out over at the excellent Masters or Bust. As the late great Joe Strummer would have said, take it away Jonesy…

“In my experience you don’t have to look far to see either the good or the bad in customer experience. The best businesses have it systemised – it’s part of their DNA, everything they do is with the customer in mind (Apple stores come to mind) and the worst rely on individuals to bring their personal standards to work and trade off the back of them.

Airlines have had a torrid couple of years. With the advent of technology making global communication easier and cheaper along with the global economic situation making business travel far less attractive, the airlines have been facing an awesome challenge to remain profitable and in facing that challenge some cost engineering has clearly gone on…. with a few employee relations issues, the ghosts of a bygone era still challenging some!

I have had the (mis)fortune to fly a lot over the past few years (I think I did around 45 work flights last year) and it’s amazing how the service standards on the Asian airlines are very different to those elsewhere. I’m not sure whether it’s cultural but the attention to customers and the care taken in the service (irrespective of flight class) is just a notch above.

Last night I flew from Shanghai to Hong Kong on Dragon Air. Dragon Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific and operates regionally in Asia, winning quite a few awards. Despite being ‘down the back’ I still received great service. A menu for dinner, my choice of Haagen Daazs ice cream and even the landing card was delivered with a smile and the proactive offer of a pen. For not a large sum of money it was a great experience which had me landing in Hong Kong on time and in a great mood….

Which is when the wheels came off the wagon and all of Dragon Air’s good work was flushed!

We arrived at a satellite terminal and rather than a train or walkway to get to the main terminal we needed to get a bus. No big deal. Apart from the fact that 3 flights had arrived at the same time and there was only one bus and NO communication. After waiting 25 minutes (at around 11pm) to finally get on the bus we arrived at the main terminal to see queues for immigration that resembled the opening of a Star Wars movie.

Staff were promptly mobilised and the rate increased when two things happened that got me ranting and given I was travelling on my own I had to rant by email…

1. More immigration officers opened more desks and they split the queue across more desks. All good so far… Apart from they took the back of the queue to the new desks so people who were behind in the queue were processed first. My exhausted righteous gland was twitching

2. A video was looped to TV sets showing to the queue. The topic of the video was the proposed third runway at Hong Kong airport. The video featured Hong Kong business people and celebrities talking about the need to expand the airport and WAIT FOR IT – what an amazing airport it was. How it is a model of efficiency to airports all over the world and how easy and effective they find the airport. At this point I nearly ruptured something!

I understand that every operation has challenges. I recognise that the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley etc etc but DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, play a video bragging about how brilliant your airport is to a queue of people who are experiencing first hand that it isn’t always brilliant!

I landed at 2242. I picked up my bag at 2356. I will not for fear of distress discuss the taxi queue…

Dragon Air – we doff to you

Hong Kong International Airport – epic FAIL!”

In other news, our recent BA flight from Nice to London was delayed for over 90 minutes with no explanation. At least we had a seat to sit on, a game of Yahtzee and a small bottle of wine purchased from the café just before closing to help pass the time. Has anyone else found themselves hanging around at the airport lately?

photo c/o Giacomo P