Customer Service…What Customer Service?


Charles Tjatindi

Marketing taught us that the customer is always right, contrary to what life teaches us.
But is the customer really always right? If that is the case, then why are we constantly subjected to sub-standard service all the time? I mean, who hasn’t waited patiently for a civil servant’s assistance while she chats the morning away about how handsome he was – last night?

You can just imagine what goes through the customer’s mind during the long wait! The immediate thought is to reach over at the counter and strangle the attendant till death do you part. But then, that wouldn’t be civil now would it? So, you wait.

As a bonus to your waiting, you start prospecting yourself into the future – what car will I drive? Will I get married? How many kids will I have? To your surprise, you will find yourself driving your dream car, marrying your dream woman, and having two lovely kids. Yes, you would even think of names for them – Jack and Jill. Each day you will be sending them down the hill to fetch water from your little house on the hill. Ja, we all know that story!

You will even live right through your divorce! But then there are the good times to think of. You smile and nod quietly to yourself – that is a good life. That is, of course, before the irate and impatient guy behind you shoves you to the counter for your turn.

If you were in a bank queue, you would be reminded that they cannot cash that cheque upon arriving at the counter, and you would have to go to your branch – in my case, which will be Aminuis! After all that waiting and dreaming?

Sometimes one wonders if you’d rather phone first – that way you can save time spent in the queue. I mean, some of us carnivores have serious problems with gout – a man can only take so much pain!

But then again, the story is no different even if you phone. You will be put through to the hardware and logistics department when you ask for the office of the CEO.

Even worse, the voice on the other side will take its time to painfully relate to you that you are at the “wlong” department. You will be given extensions that do not exist, or transferred to departments seemingly manned by skeleton staff.

So I keep asking myself: Customer service…what customer service?
Talk of furniture shops that will give you the best “deals”, but would not hesitate to repossess your furniture if you fall one month behind. What happened to the consumer lobby? I have had it with listening to tales about last night in municipality queues, especially if I had no “last night” of my own to talk about.


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