Do you remember this picture?
It was my interpretation of the theme “Broken” for the “Wordpress Weekly Photo Challenge on the 6th August. It was my “Broken” oven and guess what folks? My oven is still broken!
Initially, I was very impressed when the appliance engineer actually arrived on the agreed day and more or less at the agreed time. Despite language problems he quickly diagnosed the fan thermostat, which cools the oven, was faulty and a new part was required. He kindly “wired” up my oven so I could at least use it on a temporary basis until the new part arrived in a couple of week’s time. A couple of weeks – why am I so gullible?
A couple of months later (we’d been away for five weeks) Mr. Piglet was once again on the phone to track down the elusive engineer. The girl in the office was evasive and promised Mr. Piglet she would investigate and ring him back in five minutes. Nothing! He then rang again the following week. Nothing. So I took up the gauntlet.
I already know the girl who answers the phone in the office can speak English, so pleasantries over I pressed on.
“This is xxxx of xxxx you were chasing a part for our cooker and you promised to call us back”
Piglet put your brain in gear chasing a part probably does not translate! I reworded my question
“Has the part for our cooker arrived?”
“I call you back in five minutes”
I end the call and relay our conversation with Mr. Piglet who snorts an unprintable comment in acknowledgment.
A long five minutes and three days later I called the office again. Hey, we were on a roll after our dealings with PT and SAPO call centres so dealing with a small business repairing domestic appliances had to be a “breeze” by comparison! Right? Wrong!
“Bom Dia (Good day)”
I am in luck the same girl answers the phone.
“This is xxxx of xxxx you were going to call me back in five minutes, three days ago”
“Ah yes, the engineer can come today or Friday”
I nearly fall off my perch in disbelief.
“Today” I splutter “But it’s now 11am, was anyone going to let me know?”
I regain my composure
“It’s not possible today, what time on Friday?”
“OK, so the engineer will come here on Friday afternoon?”
I relay the good news to Mr. Piglet. “You don’t really believe her do you?”
OK, yes, you were not mistaken a little piggy did just fly past your window. Well he did mine!
Friday afternoon (today) we wait and wait and WAIT. Mr. Piglet wants his dinner and “tarde” in Portugal can, in reality, mean anytime up till bedtime. It’s now 16.45 and I decide to call the office.
“It’s Mrs. xxxx or xxxx” we are expecting an engineer this afternoon. Please can you tell me what time he is coming?”
Silence…“He is not coming today”
Silence… (I think she senses I am not a happy bunny)
“We have waited in all the afternoon for your engineer; you booked the appointment and now have the audacity to tell me he’s not coming!”
“Why did you not at least have the courtesy to ring me and let me know?”
“But I am telling you now he is not coming”
I sense my outrage is like water off a ducks back. No apology nothing! What happened to customer service?
“Yes” I explode, “But I RANG you!”
“The engineer can come next week”
We agree a day and morning appointment.
I slam the phone down ready to eat someone alive!
Mr. Piglet gives me one of those irritating “I told you so” looks.
I am sure this atrocious level of customer service is not just “peculiar” to Portugal.
It makes me wonder when businesses are struggling to make a profit why staff are so off-hand. Don’t they want your business?
We were going to have our boiler serviced with this company every year and no doubt, in time, even a replacement boiler. Not now. When our friends ask for recommendations – I won’t be recommending this company.
With any luck the sun will shine and we can have a BBQ tomorrow!