The city didn’t pick up my recycling last week. I didn’t bother to call to complain.
I know from experience, since this happens several times a year, that if I complain someone will be sent the following day. But it is Winter so I’m not as concerned – the kitchen waste freezes, unlike in the summer where an extra week can produce a maggot problem.
But the non-pickup did get me to thinking about customer service. Lately it seems I have had a string of less than stellar experiences as a consumer.
My latest bout with Canada Post has been detailed here already, but I didn’t mention the earlier problem with my just-installed community mailbox. It seemed too trivial at the time.
Each mailbox has 16 individual places for the letter carrier to deposit your mail, each with its on lock. There are two boxes for parcels, and one slot where you can actually mail a letter. That is supposed to be one of the big selling points for community mailboxes – you don’t have to travel down the street to post something. However, in our new community mailbox that slot didn’t open, there was no way to post letters.
I didn’t think much of that at first. The mailbox was set up in advance of the service switch, and I figured the slot would remain shut until the implementation date, to prevent people from mailing items that would not get picked up for a week or two. But after the mailbox had been in use for a week the slot was still shut. Thinking I may have misunderstood. I checked out other community mailboxes in the neighbourhood. They all had working mail slots.
As I was debating a complaint to Canada Post, I had a chance encounter with one of their employees who was delivering mail to the mailbox. I explained the problem. He checked the slot, agreed with me that it wasn’t working and had apparently never been unlocked. Then he got back in his vehicle and drove off.
Silly me, I had expected him to unlock it. But maybe, I thought, he didn’t have required key. Surely he would send someone. I really didn’t care for myself. I rarely mail anything, and when I do I can use the Parliament Hill post office, which I walk by most days. But it was annoying to see the lack of customer service.
Two weeks later I was once again near the box when a different postal employee was delivering mail to it. I mentioned the problem. He unlocked the slot immediately. Which left me wondering why the first guy hadn’t done that.
Customer service is an attitude. Some people have it, some don’t. I think the ones who have it enjoy their jobs more – and probably have more opportunities for career advancement. The ones who don’t have it never figure out the problem.