Posted in Tidbits

Bad customer service

1-DSC00816“Why are the waiting times so long for your customer service?” I ask the lady on the other end of the line. Her response:”Because people ask all these extra, unnecessary questions” would not have won any awards in client service. Well, she might not have said extra and unnecessary, but I could clearly hear it in her voice.

Last weekend I ordered tennis shoes online. It was Queens Day on Monday, but on Tuesday I already received an e-mail, telling me the the order was dispatched and on its way. Had I’ve been home all day on Thursday, I would have been a happy customer with the tennis shoes delivered to me two days after I ordered. However, I was not. Instead I found a notice telling me that while I was out, they missed me…..I could kindly call the office between 9am – 5 pm to arrange re-delivery of my consignment.

No worries! At least I did not have to pick up the parcel at the post office on the other side of town, as is the case when you get a delivery from Australia post. So the next morning, 9am, still having 15 minutes before I had to leave for the gym, I called the office. “There are eight people waiting.” Fifteen minutes later it was down to four, so I decided to leave and try it a bit later. Thinking everyone calls early in the morning, so the wait will get shorter when I call back later. Well, sort of. I had nine people in front of me and the wait was ‘only’ 25 minutes until I could speak to someone.

The delivery could be done on Monday. That was enough for the lady that I had on the phone. For me, it was not. It was the starting point for my questions. “In what time frame?” “Between 9 am and 5 pm, but you can give us a call on Monday after 10 and we can contact the driver to see if he can give a better estimate”. Wow, that is service with the customer in mind! Yes, I will be happy to wait another half an hour to find out when the delivery will be done.

“Isn’t there another solution?” There was. I could fill out the card that allows the driver to leave the package. That sounded a lot better. Until I asked my next question: “What do I do with the card?” The response was a really well thought through: “Just leave it at the door, so the driver can see it”. Yes, right, along with every burglar passing by.

So, there I go with yet another question: “Isn’t there another solution?” I could also send them an e-mail, giving the authority to leave the freight. Well, that I can live with!

So now hopefully I will find my package at the door on Monday. Well, fingers crossed, otherwise I will have to make a new list of questions that I can ask the people at the office.

Maybe I am missing something and they have an internal competition. The call desk person that gets the most questions by one customer gets the employee of the week certificate?

No, she is right, people are asking to many questions! Doesn’t it make anybody think of changing some things in the system, so it is not necessary to ask that many questions?

Is this typical Australian? Well, if I am honest, this is not the first time I got irritated in a customer service situation. What I find very weird though, as it is such a big contrast to the friendliness and helpfulness from the ‘normal’ Aussies that we experience in daily life.

Do you recognize the situation?


Mother, wife, explorer and loving the outdoors. We recently moved to Australia, so lots to explore here. We are keeping a blog about our experiences of moving and living on a different continent as a family.

4 thoughts on “Bad customer service

  1. It is a sad fact of life in Australia that our successive governments have had a policy of forcing “efficiency dividends” on government enterprises like Australia Post. The fact is the any efficiency gains were realised long ago and now the policy is forcing inefficiency dividends on all Australia whether it be Australia Post, Centrelink, Medicare or any and every other government service.


  2. Und nun, hast Du denn nun die Schuhe? Hier fragt der Postbote, ob er ein Paket beim Nachbarn abgeben kann. Gibt es sowas nicht auch in Aussieland? LG Opa Duisburg


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