Gary’s Kodak Printer

Howdy folks

News has reached me of another customer service fail. This time the victim is Gary Franklin, and the fail is from Kodak. In truth they’ve failed a total of seven times so far. Technical fails, and customer service fails. I shan’t repeat Gary’s tale of woe – he’s blogged about it and if you want to read how a big company can do bad service, do take a look at his story.

I’ve written a short song about Gary’s printer. Who knows – maybe, just maybe it will help get Gary out of the seventh level fail and towards a suitable result. I hope you like it.

Taken to the Cleaners

As some of you know, occasionally news reaches us of customer service tales so woeful we feel obliged to write a song about it. Previously we scribbled a tune for Darren about his shocking BT broadband experience. The BT customer service people appreciated the chance to get involved and help out. Shame their CEO didn’t feel quite the same way. Contrast this with a problem another friend had with Barclaycard. When we put them to the sword, I mean wrote a little song about them, they entered into the spirit of things. We had some friendly exchanges and they fixed the customer problem quickly.

Fast forward to the end of January 2011 and a new problem presents itself. Over on our LinkedIn group, David Shanks has been experiencing poor service and bad management at the hands of Johnson’s Dry Cleaners. In frustration he shared his tale which lead to all kinds of song suggestions plus another sorry Johnson’s tale courtesy of Gary Franklin. We couldn’t resist.

This one is for David, for Gary, and Johnson’s too, if they are listening?


He was taken to the cleaners by Johnsons
His trouser legs are now all the wrong size
He was taken to the cleaners by Johnsons
And now they aren’t listening to his cries

Dave took his trousers in for readjustment
A service Johnsons offers should be fine
But on return he swears he couldn’t see the difference
And he knows his eyes are fine, not going blind

He coughed up the dough for a second time
He’s easy going didn’t wanna cause a fuss
Then turns out the sales director had told the local branch
Don’t give ‘em back until he pays, he’d had enough

He was taken to the cleaners by Johnsons
His trouser legs are now all the wrong size
He was taken to the cleaners by Johnsons
And now they aren’t listening to his cries

His trouser legs ain’t adjustable
And his mood is now combustible

I know another who has suffered a similar fate
Suits muddled, items lost the list it grows
They even put a permanent crease in the wrong place
Which way round go Gary’s trousers no one knows

So Johnsons if you’re there please get in touch
We’re sure you didn’t mean to do us wrong
All we want is for our garments to be right size and shape
And maybe then we’ll stop singing our song

We were taken to the cleaners by Johnsons
Our trouser legs are now all the wrong size
We were taken to the cleaners by Johnsons
And now they aren’t listening to our cries

Virgin Whine

a photo of wine bottles
a photograph of wine bottles, taken by WTL Photos

Oh dear. I feel a mix of awkward and angry. If Keira wasn’t at school, she’d probably suggest I’m feeling a combination of both words, angward. Why? Well I’ve just tried (and eventually succeeded) in cancelling a subscription to Virgin Whine.

Last month I tried one of these voucher offers. I got £40 off a mixed case so it only cost me £47, just under £4 a bottle (a little over £7 without the offer). Sounded good. Oh, and there were no strings attached. There would be the small matter of a case every quarter being picked and delivered to me, but I can either send it back if I don’t want it, or cancel the order. I think they call this inertia marketing?

I placed the order. It wasn’t easy, the system got a bit confused by the voucher code, and in the end I had to phone my order through. Not great, but not bad. I’m getting £40 off so maybe I should expect a little glitch or two. The delivery was fast, I appreciated that.

I tried the wine. It’s….not bad. Not bad at £4, but for £7, I’m thinking maybe I can do better down my local shops?

Then I started to get bombarded with emails inviting me to buy more and more wine. They did say something about drinking responsibly but come on folks, you’ve only just dropped off 12 bottles, steady on. I logged back onto Virgin Whine to turn off the torrent but it wasn’t clear how to do this and if I did, would that mean cutting off all correspondence?

The whole thing was just registering a bit too high on the inconvenience scale so I decided to cancel my account. Guess what? You can’t do that online. So I called the contact centre and asked them to cancel. As soon as I said the magic word ‘cancel’, the tone changed. What had started as warmly as a room temperature red quickly became a very chilled white.

“OK then we’ll come and collect the case of wine.” Said Virgin Whine. “Why’s that then?” says I. “Well you’ve used the voucher, you haven’t given us a chance so we’ll take the wine back.” What ensued was a confused awkward conversation. I said something about “Wot, no strings attached?” Virgin Whine didn’t like that and though they agreed the offer was no strings attached, they kept saying “You’ve not given us a chance so we’ll come and take the wine back.”

I paused before explaining that my decision was in part taken because the wine just wasn’t all that. Yes, I’ve tasted the product. I began to fear that Virgin Whine might turn up with a stomach pump. I’ve still got five bottles left, will that save me from this fate? With that the conversation ended. I was told my account was cancelled, call over.

And now I’m left feeling…angward. Awkward because I feel I may have inadvertently taken advantage of Virgin Whine. And a little angry too. Angry because of the way the call went and angry with myself for attempting to be reasonable in the face of what felt like a pretty unreasonable way of playing “no strings attached”. I need a drink.

Photo c/o WTL Photos