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Waddaya mean the time's wrong?

I looked at the display on my phone on the Sunday after the clocks changed. Really? It is that time already?

Only, it wasn't.

The phone, a SonyEricsson Xperia Mini Pro branded to Orange France, completely failed to switch from summer time to winter time. This isn't a fault of Android, as my Motorola Defy changed correctly.
Looking in the settings, I see the peculiar behaviour of having the time adjusted to be "Central Africa Time"; so it is as if the phone knew the offset should have changed, but just didn't change the time displayed.

Incorrect timezone details

I rebooted but it retained the same time information. So I pulled the battery out for a count of thirty and hard-started with GSM enabled to force the phone to request time and date information from the local cell. That worked.

The correct timezone details

But, tell me... this happens twice a year with regularity. Why do we still have devices that can't get it right? What if I had relied upon the phone to wake me up on Suday morning? [*]


* - actually, I never use my Xperia Mini Pro as an alarm. The reason for this is that turning off the sound turns off the alarm. My Defy is smart enough to understand that I might want to turn off the sound (no audible notifications of emails, texts, or incoming calls) but having specifically set an alarm, I would want to hear that regardless. The Xperia Mini Pro isn't that clever. I either have sound (and all the notifications) or I have no sound (and no alarm). Duh.
Sometimes I reckon programmers ought to be forced, like in their contract or something, to use the devices they create. Then they might spot these sorts of situations and provide for them.


Customer Service? What customer service!?

So two weeks ago mom went into a... it's like a cross between a butcher and a deli. Anyway, one of the things they offer is a "panier bio". A little shopping basket containing a selection of organic vegetables freshly picked. She ordered a large panier (€12). Right-o, it'll be there for next week.

Are you getting that feeling?

Of course you are. What sort of useless b.log entry would finish with "and on Friday she picked up the panier"?

So Friday evening, after work (shops in France stay open until around 7.30pm), we went around. The young serveuse nodded, went around the side, and returned with a look of panic on her face. She called the guy in charge who looked at a chart on the wall. Then the guy's wife turned up and was instructed to look in the fridge in the back...again (the younger one already tried that). Then pieces of paper were fetched. Other pieces of paper were pointed at. This process took over ten minutes. The man's wife then gave a textbook example of a gallic shrug, at which point mom just walked out.

How not to do customer service

Mom reckons the man should have apologised and offered a little something as compensation, along with a promise that this won't happen again. I think she's living in another era where people gave stuff away for an apology because they actually gave a crap about the customer.

Me? I'm more modern. I expected just an apology. I mean, it is all very well to be smiley and such when the customer hands over a crisp €50 note for their purchases. But it is when things go wrong that you can judge a company.

Listen up Mr. Deli man. The customer doesn't want to wait for over ten minutes while getting the impression that: while you have figured out that the product isn't there, your main concern would appear to be deflecting blame. The customer made a contract with you and you failed to deliver. Man up and bloody well apologise for it. If you then want to punch the supplier in the face for their error, or kick the dog or the intern... do it when we've gone. Frankly, we don't really care who is to blame. A panier was requested, a panier was not there. Say sorry.
Furthermore, we don't give a flying fudge-cupcake about all those pieces of paper. They failed to answer the basic question of "what happened?". Was there an error in order? In delivery? Was it sold to somebody else? The papers, evidently, held none of those answers. So why was so much time spent watching you and your co-employees faffing with those papers? Do you think we have nothing better to do?

Before anybody comments to say "it was just a panier, order another", the problem is not whether or not we walked away with a panier. The problem was the attitude, the employees indifference, and the gallic shrug at the end to seal the deal. This could have been handled so much better - namely, our part needed only continue a minute after the realisation that the product was not there. We would have left thinking "bloody hell". Instead we went through this charade and left thinking "bloody incompetent" and that our business really doesn't matter to them. It isn't an exercise in supplying a panier, it is an exercise in customer relations.

Mr. Deli man. Look up whatever the French for "EPIC FAIL" is, print it out, stick it to your chest, wear it proudly.

Here's one I made specially for the occasion - try this:

l'Épopée Échoue [Epic Fail in French]
This image is licenced CC BY-NC-SA; so if you're French and you need an Epic Fail, use this!


Footnote: Perhaps the saddest/most ironic thing is that the company is a big part of a local committee designed to encourage people to shop in the smaller shops in town instead of getting everything at the supermarket.
Nice going.



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Rick, 8th November 2013, 23:37
Mail me if you want a copy of the Fail-smiley without the automatic watermark... my email address is at the top of the page.

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