Thursday, 17 November 2011

Irritable customer syndrome - pt3

The series continues, but thankfully this is the finale!

In part two I had written to the Managing Director of John Lewis's, Mr Andy Street, outlining my dissatisfaction with the service I had received from, of all things, his Customer Service team.
The John Lewis Head Office must have just opened on Monday morning when I received the first of two responses..

Thank you for your email to Andy Street who has asked me to respond on his behalf as customer service falls within my remit.
I am sorry to learn of the trouble you have encountered with your order from for three electrical appliances and I completely understand your irritation with us, especially as your concerns haven't been properly addressed.
Shaun Struthers has responsibility for customer service at and so is best placed to investigate matters and he, or a senior member of his team, will be in contact with you very shortly.  I will be updated with the outcome and I will inturn keep Andy Street informed.
In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our
attention and I trust we will find a way of restoring your confidence in our service.
With kind regards

Karen Eardley

That's more like it I thought as yet another email drops into my inbox from John Lewis.

Thank you for your email addressed to Andy Street in relation to the manner
in which we have managed things for you recently.  I trust that it is acceptable for me to respond in my role as a personal correspondent for Mr Street, in order to avoid any further delay.

As your email was addressed to Mr Street, I will of course ensure his
office is kept informed of my actions.

First of all please allow me to convey my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.  I have taken the time to review all detail held against your order, which does not make for good reading. It is completely understandable why you feel so let down.
It was extremely concerning and to be completely honest, genuinely
embarrassing to learn of the difficulties experienced and that the dishwasher order was cancelled and refunded without prior notice.

I have spoken to a representative from Bosch today and have been informed that the original delivery was scheduled as a home delivery and not one to a trade address.

The order has now been reinstated with Bosch and will be delivered on Thursday 17th November. You should be contacted on Wednesday to advise of the time slot for delivery.I have noted that you have been refunded for the dishwasher and in order to avoid any further inconvenience, I have arranged for you to be contacted by a colleague at Head Office to manually bill for the dishwasher.

These actions I trust you find acceptable.

Given events, I feel it is fair that an allowance is justified. Therefore, as a more tangible expression of my apology, I have applied a refund of £75.00 (RMA 3430782) onto your nominated card. Please allow up to five days for the transaction to be processed by your card issuer.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write to us, to highlight your concerns, and whilst I appreciate I am unable to alleviate the frustration and disappointment caused, I trust that I can at least reassure you that your experience will be instrumental in allowing us to improve the service we provide to other customers and, I hope, to you in the future.

Yours sincerely, 

Christine Chamberlain
Customer Relations Manager

Oh no, I've already got a dishwasher from another supplier!  I dashed off a quick response asking them to cancel the order and confirm the cancellation.  This they did by return and the next day I sent the following;

Dear Christine
Let me start by apologising to you for my less than gracious initial response to your email yesterday.   At the time I was rushing 'out of the door' when it came through and all I had time to do was try and save a wasted delivery.  Thank you for cancelling that by the way.

I wanted to let you know that you have indeed alleviated my frustrations with John Lewis.  You say you have 'taken the time to review all the detail' and that is music to my ears.  If I had been in your shoes I too would have been embarrassed by what I learnt and it is heartening that you felt the same way.  I didn't set out to be a difficult winging customer and I didn't set out to extract compensation but nevertheless your 'tangible expression' is appreciated. I hope that changes are made nearer the sharp-end of John Lewis's customer care, not to individuals but to approach and procedure, that said, let me
assure you that  I am back onboard as a satisfied John Lewis customer!

Thank you for your intervention

Yours sincerely

So John Lewis have redeemed themselves in my eyes and hopefully the 'sharp end' of their customer contact will get a bit more training/attention.  Gone was the thoughtless templated approach, I have had a proper answer, and proper apology, well done JL!


Anonymous said...

Good faith restored, no less than expected really. Well done John Lewis!


Nb Caxton said...

Hi Paula
Agreed, well done JL!