Great customer service


Now those are three words you don’t see me writing about too often. Ordinarily I’d be ranting and raving about the crap qos offered by companies like (pick your favourite here) Virgin Media, BT, Ryanair, British Gas, Avis, Co-op Bank, Boots Pharmacy (Teddington branch), Sainsbury’s home delivery etc etc. But just occasionally you get delighted by some great example of customer care.

And it happened to me in the last week. The company is Joseph Joseph and, as I’m sure you know, they make a range of rather nice kitchen utensils. Over the years we’ve acquired a few of them; oil and balsamic dispensers, cutting boards, salad grips and the like. Well one of the items is a salt and pepper dispenser called the Y grinder because of its shape. It has two turning barrels to shred the peppercorns and sea salt into digestible pieces. But over time (and not long a period) the plastic barrels have become worn so that the grinders don’t work. so no salt nor pepper.

I’ve been meaning to do something about this for weeks but it’s not been one of life’s priorities to be honest. but this week I found a spare two  minutes and went onto the company’s website to see if I could order some replacement parts. I couldn’t claim they were still in warranty and the northern make-do-and-mend-it-for-goodness-sake mentality bred into us by my lovely perfect Nan, meant that I just couldn’t throw away the main stem of the S&P dispenser which was perfectly fine. So I found a tel no for the company’s customer liaison team based in London and called them up. I got though to a delightfully helpful young (sounding) woman who asked about the problem. She explained that the loss of ‘grindability’ was something that tended to occur when the grinder was held over steaming pans. I could see how that could happen but then added that’s when it was necessary to add salt/pepper to the cooking process. For once I didn’t melt into my default Defcon 1 mode of attack. And to be fair she readily agreed (I suspect it may have been a slight design flaw and I might not have been the first complainant) and she said that on behalf of the company she’d like to help. She asked for my contact info and I seriously thought I’d be asked for my card details to bill me for the replacement parts, which is what I’d called for to be fair and would have been happy with.

But here’s the thing, the young lady said the company would like to make amends and asked me what colour dispenser I’d prefer. I told her and she confirmed my address details. I had to check what had been agreed in action terms and yes I was to be sent a whole new replacement unit foc. And today it arrived. I have to say I am just gob-smacked. It is a stunning example of great customer service and I am so impressed. Sadly I cannot remember the young lady’s name but she was delightful – helpful, friendly, informative and generously-minded.

I’ll be writing to the company’s  UK Head to express my appreciation and praise but just thought you might be interested in a good news story from me for a change, especially as my wife called me the original and grumpiest grumpy old man today. She may well be right but then again I’d hate to be known as ‘mildly curmudgeonly’ (I’m sure we passed through that village on holiday in Devon).

surly paulie

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