March 5, 2014 2:52pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 47 Comments

Sometimes things annoy me so much that I can’t leave them alone. Where other people would walk away, I cannot.  If I feel I have been wronged my inner goddess of vengeance emerges. 

One thing that annoys me (particularly in my country) is service and people that work in customer service but fail to recognise what that actually means.  The British way is to usually shrug your shoulders and walk away but then bitch and moan about your experience to everybody and vote with your feet.  I think this is wrong. You cant slag something off and then not be prepared to voice your opinion to the wrong doer or things will not change.  That’s just my opinion.  When I am out and about in the world, I make a point of being polite and accommodating to people.   Particularly to those in a service industry as I appreciate how annoying it must be to deal with the fuckwittery of society.  However, if I am nice to you then I expect the same.  If you treat me poorly when I’ve done nothing wrong then there’s nothing I can do because my ‘Adrestia’ will take over. 

Two weeks ago I sent a parcel to a friend overseas.   I chose the express option as I wanted it to be there the next day. Cos that’s what express means.  

The following day I checked my tracking number and the parcel was still in bloody Stansted airport.  I was not amused.  This delivery had cost me over £40.00. That’s like a night out with my friends for a meal and a bottle of wine or half a pair of Irregular Choice shoes or a 25th of a Macbook air, or… Anyway, it’s expensive.

Maybe it was going by learjet or something, so I waited until the day after. It was still in Stansted.  

Well, there wasn’t a great deal I could do about it but I decided to email the parcel company asking, very politely, for an explanation and that they consider a partial refund so that I paid for the economy option since that’s what I got.   I received one of those generic e mails to say that it would be dealt with shortly.  It wasn’t.  My parcel did not arrive at it’s destination until 4 days later than it’s due date.  That’s when snakes started coming out of my head. 

I sent another e mail… Then another. Over the next week I sent 6  emails.  Now here’s the part where most people would have just given up because it’s not worth the hassle but to me it becomes a point of principle.  I’m now not so worried about the money part as I’ve probably spent as much in time and effort but it’s about the lack of consideration. Bad manners mate!

So, I made a phone call.  Spoke to Millie.  She promised to ring me back.  Guess what? 

Next day I wrote another e mail asking why nobody was coming back to me.  Gavin wrote back saying he was dealing with it.  But he didn’t. 

The following day I spoke to Rob.  Rob said I needed to talk to Gavin but Gavin was on the phone.  I rang back 3 more times that day.  Gavin was still on the phone.  He must have very sore ears, poor lamb.

And on it went. For two weeks.

So today I woke in a rather tetchy mood, which I decided to give to Gavin since he was now starting to right royally piss me off. 

Millie answered.

“Hi Millie, it’s me.”

Silence… Brain ticking over..oops.

“Hi, are you having a good day?”  She asked.

I thought that was a rather stupid, open ended question to ask me but then, let’s be fair, it’s not Millie’s fault.

“ No Millie.”  I retorted,  “I’m not American so my day is really kind of average and Gavin is starting to ruin most of them by refusing to respond to me.  What is Gavin’s actual role in the business, Millie?”

“Err.. Well he’s in charge of customer service..”


“He is? Goodness. Does he ever make his bonus?  I don’t suppose by any chance he’s available right now?” 

“Let me check.”

Cue Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

“ Hi… He’s on..”

“The phone.  I know. Well I’d like you to take a message for me if you will, Millie? You’re going to need a pen and a sheet of A4”  

“OK”  She said.

“Now, here’s what I want you to tell Gavin.   Tell him that I don’t want him to reply to me because I have a life to live and it’s losing will. Instead I’m going to write a piece on the diabolical service I have received and how poorly run the customer service department is when your customers have a problem.  I will then send that off to an editor of a national tabloid so other people are aware of you and aren’t ripped off or sent to Coventry. I’ll make sure I send  along a copy of the article to the Managing Director of your firm so he can sit back and read it before it goes to press with a nice cup of tea.  Merry Christmas. “

Not five minutes later I received  an e mail. 

Dear Juliette,
Firstly, I do understand how very frustrating that this must be for you and I am very sorry that the item was both delivered late and also for the time that it has taken to address your issue.
Please do understand that we are not trying to brush this aside. On this occasion, what I am willing to do, is offer you a 100% refund of the shipping charges that you paid to send your item, as a gesture of good will due to the inconvenience that was experienced with this parcel and the unacceptable lateness of this response.
Please do let me know if you are happy to accept the above offer and I will ensure that the credit is processed as soon as possible.
Again, please do accept my personal apologies Juliette and I do hope that you give our services another try in the future.
Thats the ticket, Gav.  Drinks are on you 🙂


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British tenacity at its best! I’ve complained about the shoddy customer service my broadband/telephone/tv provider offers on numerous occasions and never failed to get a token amount off my next bill (note it’s always the next one so that I have to remember to check it’s actually been applied!) Personally I LOVE your goddess of vengeance!! That said I’m very happy to be stood on the right side of her 😉

Do not even get me going on Virgin Media… What? Did I just mention that company by name? Ooops… I have spent endless hours on the phone to them. They lost my e mail account and my internet went down, many times. So many I ran out of 3G data which was when I got proper nasty. Here’s what you do. You don’t want money off your next bill, you want a discount, monthly for the next year starting now for their ineptitude. Also they will upgrade your internet speed for free if you start fake crying.
You are always on the right side of me – 1: You bring me cake and 2: I don’t mess about with witches. x

i wish i could listen to classical music. when my cable goes out—which is often—i lose access to both tv and internet, desktops and ipads alike. i use the phone—the only thing which still works—to call up the cable company. instead of keeping me on hold with some nice waiting elevator music, they barrage me with the same taped ad: “is your internet out? did you know you can go to the internet right now and log onto our website right now to check to see if your internet is out in your area?…”

That’s very, very annoying and stupid. That kind of thing would tip me over the edge and make me eat a giant waffle covered in maple syrup. Now, if companies had any sense or marketing skills they’d play compelling, meditative, hypnotic music with subliminal messages. The sort that would make you want to be nice to them no matter what kind of BS they fed you.

What you’ve just proved, Jules, that humans become much more obliging when they’re in danger of getting their arses kicked! Note that he’s asking you to ‘accept’ his offer rather than just promising a refund. I think he wants you to say that you won’t write the letter in return for the cash. Don’t you just love it when they beg?

Isn’t that so. Yes, I noticed that too. I accepted, obviously, without any indication of my next move. I do love it when they beg. LOVE it. I would have made a most excellent dominatrix.

I could draw that picture but I won’t…. becaue I’m a gentleman. And because Shoes would like it too much. 😉

Oh go on. It’s just art…:)

Okay… I was having a drink. Becaue is not really a word. I could tell you it’s an old English word newly discovered by moi but it was just the bourbon talking. It tends to suck up my consonants.

Hahaha! I kind of like the word becaue. A little bit French looking and I’m sure it would sound most becoming with a bourbon slur 😉

The moral of this story is persistence pays! I’m not sure the pay is adequate considering the amount of effort you went to but I’m guessing that’s what these companies are hoping for…that if they screw up, they can simply make it too much trouble for the customer to get satisfaction.

Good for you putting in all the time and effort to make it right. Not only did you get satisfaction but maybe it impressed some people at that company to improve its customer response policy.

You can’t beat persistence right, David!

I can only hope that they take it on board but not holding my breath on that one!

*facepalm* I call that breaking our your inner New Yorker. Yup. I totally had to do that while living there. All. The. Time. So frustrating. Government run institutions were the worst though. I’m inclined to say you really should have sent an article anyway. I would–at least an online review of the company. Here’s hoping they have improved their department.

Oooh….I have an inner New Yorker! I feel a bit cosmopolitan 🙂

Yeah, maybe I should.

I feel so bad for service people. I’ve been there. It’s a tragic way to make a buck. I always over-tip. Do you guys tip? I forget.

That’s some crap service. During the last royal wedding, I tuned into the BBC for the live stream and it was “down.” It’s hard to believe you guys used to run the world! But you did give us The Beatles. It’s hard to top that.

Do us guys tip? HAHAHAHA! Yes …of course we do. Just not as much as you lot!
We still run the world. We just pretend to be stupid and inept as a cunning disguise.

Nice going Jules!
But as you haven’t named and shamed to prevent your readership falling foul of the same bunch of shysters, can I have a couple of guesses (based on personal experience)?

City Link – Bloody useless! I ended up driving to my local depot once to pick up the parcel that, three times, they failed to deliver to me.

Yodel – With packages thrown over the garden gate, or thrown over neighbours’ gates because they weren’t in to take it for me, or crushed as it’s been squeezed throiugh the letterbox, or just plain not turning up, this useless bunch of twunts take parcel delivery ineptitude to a whole new level.

You may : but it’s not them…since I’m still waiting for payment( because this is clearly going to take another two weeks since it’s so difficult to put money back on a card) I’m going to wait but I’m more than happy to fill you in on WHERE NOT TO GO and I shall avoid City Link and Yodel. In fact sod it, I’m just gonna stop sending stuff to people. I’d like to say I can rely on royal mail but…pffft. Let’s not go there.

Dear Jules…

fuckwittery… now that is one cool word!! I am going to use this word in as many comments and sentences as I can today!!!! I can see myself now… telling my chair at work… how I feel about the ‘fuckwittery’ of his decisions…

HAR!! I can’t wait!!!!

As for ‘customer service,’ that’s how it is here as well… I was in a ‘Burger King’ the other day… and this gal is at the register… wanting to take my order… and she just stands there… no ‘good morning’… no ‘how can I help you?’… no ‘kiss my ass’…


Thank you for cheering me up! Seriously… I love your approach to the speed bumps in Life…



It’s a great word isn’t it. I hope you have managed to use it many times. I want it in the Oxford dictionary by next year! Spread the word!

Well, you DO need an ology in fuckwittery to work at BK. Fact.

Glad to cheer you up Shoes 🙂

You have hit on something there in that the service culture in Britain is monumentally shite. I am recalling the problems in getting an IKEA sofa delivered – 3 weeks later the cover arrived and they got flustered when I asked what had happened to the rest. It’s not that much better in the US, but a bit I would say. This reminds me I have to get onto my scathing Google review of Pepboys – yes the consumer has the power – hope it’s going swimmingly for you…

Well what do you expect when you put the Swedes in England.

Well I’ve YET to receive my money back… I can see another e mail coming on. Sigh.

Good for you. Just a shame that you have to practically turn into a psychotic stalker to get taken seriously. I have a feeling that we’ll all be channeling our inner warrior goddesses more and more because people seem to give less of a shit every day. Rock on Adrestia!

I know , it’s annoying but what can I do. My Adrestia is a superhuman force within. There’s no stopping her if she gets the bit between her teeth and, well…nice placid, little me just has to take a back seat!

Oddly enough I am now trying to track a package sent to me and delivered a week ago to the local post office — which I haven’t got yet (not the post office, the package). Tracking shows it delivered to PO but they show it not. So I am tracing back to the previous PO (package changes delivery companies since we live in the sticks, which complicates things). Good thing it was ordered on Amazon and placed on Credit Card since I can just not pay the credit card charge if I don’t get my 15 foot CPU to flatscreen cord I ordered!

Blimey. Talk about hard work! Good luck, goatman.

Good for you! I’m glad you didn’t give up, which I’m sure they were hoping / expecting you to do.

But, having just googled Adrestia, I’d say Gavin got away light on this occasion.

She can be horrid, just this time she only had to dip her toe in the water of hell. 🙂

I have an unpleasant side to my character. When I feel that I’ve been wronged, I show up in person. Yes, various companies have called the police on me. However, because I have ‘credentials’, the police leave me alone, siding with me against the company that has wronged me. While the creds are convenient, it’s much more difficult for people to deal with a human being than it is to deal with electrons (e-mail) or a fiberoptic presence (telephone call).

A mail order company “screwed me” on one internet transaction so I hunted them down. They were operating out of a small and poorly stocked warehouse that was unmarked. When I showed up, some of them ran. The person that I confronted looked for a place to run but was not in a position to join his co-workers. He opened his wallet and had enough money to satisfy my claim.

As e-commerce spreads and e-activity distances the customer from the service or goods, the lack of service that you experienced is more common place. I take great pains to order goods or services from people within comfortable range from where I live and work so that if something goes awry, I can transform myself from my generally mild mannered setting into “scary Larry” and settle the problem in person.

Ha! That’s brilliant. Can you move close by to me please and be my vigilante?

Scary Larry – the new Heisenberg!

Heisenberg is a wimp – even when he went up to see Tuco, and blew up the Chicken Man…it was only a TV show.

That’s why you’re the new one. For real. And I hope you take your axe and gun with you.

It’s a tomahawk. “Axe” is the generic, and I suppose that provides a general sense of the weapon.

The way that I look at weapons is that it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.

Good for you!! 😀

I am a pushover, but there was an instance when I fought for my right which I’ve been meaning to blog for a long time now. Must remember to do so soon!

Thanks Dee 🙂 Yes, I’d like to hear that story. I am generally an easy -going-just-live and let live soul until I get treated poorly, then a whole new me just happens. It’s like Alien.

So a little vicious Juliette monster (we will call her Jules) bursts from your chest, cries havoc and lets slip the dogs of war?


Think YouTube video…and yes, it would go viral.

You have such spanking ideas Larry. You should be a serial entrepreneur. 🙂

I should be a movie producer/director.

And I should be a hot starlet. Everything goes bloody wrong.

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See Jules, this is what I don’t get about people, why not respond or give me what I’m asking for when I ask for it… why wait until I unleash the F@#$ing Dragon so that you can acquiesce to my request. It’s exactly the same here, if not, worse. I once had a problem with my Barclay credit card… they kept on losing my paperwork and then sending me notifications saying that I’m not yet authorized to use the card because I haven’t submitted my paperwork… after the third notification two months later, I sent them an email filled to the brim with F’s and B’s… saying that they clearly did not want me as a customer and as such, I will be taking my business elsewhere… and within an hour, all was fine and dandy. But see, I had to become the dragon before anyone could respond.
Just last week in a shop, I had to unleash once again… it gets tedious and cumbersome. And worse, I feel like the bad guy.
Be thankful you don’t live here in the third world 😉

I don’t get it Azra, I really don’t. It’s infuriating. On a side note, I’d love a dragon, though it would be very dangerous for me to own one.

I’m a lot like you. I don’t let these abuses slide anymore. I make trouble and then some to make sure the guilty parties know that there is a price for screwing me. Just the other day I sent a nasty email to my US Senator for something particularly treacherous that he did. Someone from his office called me house and left a message and a phone number. I was a bit surprised. No US Senator ever called me back following an angry email before. Apparently I am getting better at writing them because I got his attention. But then I called the number. “Not in service.” WHAAAAT??? My senator is screwing with me. That’s his response to my angry email – to screw with me. Dammit.

I just hate it when people think they can just blank you and you’ll just go away and forget about it. Errr…NO. Wrong person. I’ll gladly sod off and have you never darken my days again, once you’ve put right your stupidity. But, trouble is, you can’t fix stupid.
I cannot believe that. Wow Mr Senator, let’s have a chat about stupid. Duh.

‘customer service ‘ is such a misnomer. Snakes coming out of your head… I could draw that picture too, Jules. Millie, Gavin and Rob… what’s in a name, right?

“I’m not American so my day is really kind of average”…. good one.

In a name.. you mean like, oh I dunno, Rob? Robin? Robin bastard? 😉

I’ve just been catching up on everything I’ve missed here. (I’m no good at keeping up with this blogging stuff, or anything else for that matter.) Your writing is truly superb and the more I read, the more I think, YES! YES! Right On!…(and so on.) Sometimes it seems that you’ve plucked thoughts and experiences right out of my muddled head, sorted them, and then articulated them in a way that I could never manage. I guess that’s what the best writers do.

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