I Only Want My Oven Mended…please

Do you remember this picture?

Why has Piglet posted a boring picture of her oven?
Why has Piglet posted a boring picture of her oven?

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.
“Boa tarde”
“Boa tarde”
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)”
“Bom Dia”
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.

“Boa tarde”
“Boa tarde”
“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!

46 thoughts on “I Only Want My Oven Mended…please

Add yours

  1. I’ve heard horror stories like this regarding all of the Latin American countries as well as Spain, Italy and France. Don’t know about other European countries. Makes me glad I live in the U.S. of A., with all its problems.


  2. They have a good advantage over you because of the language barrier. It’s so wrong to switch from English when they don’t like what you’re saying. Customer service seems to be falling apart all over the world. Who do they think pays their salary? We do! I hope it gets fixed very soon.


  3. I am so sorry about your oven and feel for you in dealing with the company to have it repaired. Makes one wonder if customer service is why some of the companies have no more business than what they do. Around my area it is rare to find customer service up to par. I don’t think I have had quite the trouble you have had though trying to get your oven repaired. Hope they show up and get if fixed very soon. Hugs


    1. Hi Mumsy,

      I would love to go into some of these companies and “help” them with such basic things like customer service. There is such a lot of money to be made from the expat community if they know how to play the game. Give godd service at reasonable prices and word of mouth marketing would kick in.


  4. Blimey it’s taken ages – I would have been down that office by now, it would really infuriate me, I hate lousy customer service. I do hope you get it fixed soon – can you not get any compensation for your phone calls and having your time wasted?


    1. Compensatation LOL 🙂 as if….Trouble is because I can’t speak Portuguese well, if they don’t like want I’m saying they revert back to Portuguese.
      My fault I know for not speaking Portuguese but at least I ahve tried 🙂


  5. Much sympathy. I was once an expat in a country of similar laisser faire business methods. When I got a job teaching business studies in the Polytechnic, I invented and taught a course called “customer care”, reflecting my horror at the lack of service there. At least my students learned what they should be doing! 20 years on, I wonder if anything has changed…


  6. That’s terrible customer service. Is it possible that they are understaffed and the employees are unhappy?

    I hope you still have good meals despite the absence of a functional oven.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Nel, you are too kind to these people. LOL 🙂 3 months is a long time.
      I better go and read Ronnie’s stress post before I do my vocal chords some serious damage when I ring them on Tuesday. LOL 🙂


  7. Well bless your heart. I can not imagine why that company is being so incompetent. Like you said it these economic times, you’d think they’d be falling all over themselves to satisfy their customers.
    I hope you can get your oven fixed soon.


  8. Oh trust me I know just how you feel. It is 32 degrees here and I turned on the ceiiling fan which reminded me he was coming back to fix it three months ago!! Then there was the superannuation saga and the tax office saga…….

    You have my understanding!!!


    1. Hi TO,
      and you have mine! I just don’t know why people can’t do their jobs 🙂 I worked in customer service for awhile and the attitude of some of the staff amazed me. They would not only lie to the customers about timed calls (Which we were unable to book) but they cut them off as well!


    1. Hi Jan, well I was spitting feathers when I put the phone down and typed up this post. We had to drag the BBQ out of the garage in a 10force gale while it was peeing with rain and cook outside under the porch.
      I literally was ready to eat someone alive!


  9. It´s true, no wonder the economy is in the state it is, nobody cares to give good customer service, nobody bothers to keep appointments or return phone calls. They obviously make enough money, otherwise they would be chasing the customers and providing good service!
    Actually one thing that has amazed me here in Perth (until now at least I can´t complain) is the punctuality of the repair men. Just this week we had someone booked to come to the clinic at 11am to repair the air-con, and he called to say he would be about 15 to 20min late as there was an accident on the highway, and traffic was slow. WOW, I thought he must be crazy, I wasn´t expecting anyone to show up on the dot!! Now that´s service!!


    1. Hi Sami,
      It is very sad in Portugal. The economy is struggling yet many of the businesses here seem to have the first idea about customer service. In fact, re reading this post I missed out her response to my question as to where the engineer was and why she did not ring me.
      “I am telling you now he is not coming”
      I must add that 🙂 It really was beyond belief. She seemed surpised I was upset!
      The customer service received by “Portuguese” companies in Portugal is the worst I have experienced. A great shame.

      Sounds like you receive good service in Australia!


    1. Hi Nancy,
      I think she is the only person in the office and no on else can speak English. Thi adds to our frustration. I am going to registar a fromal complaint if the engineer fails to appear on Tuesday


Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: