Tip of the Week - Complain, because companies DO respond

(20/10/14) It is worth complaining because there are a large number of companies who, when they get it wrong, will admit that they got it wrong

Some people believe that there is no point in complaining because (a) no one at the organisation gives a damn and (b) a complaint will always be met with nothing more than a polite dismissive apology. This is not true. Obviously a complaint by me warrants very special attention but your complaint will also be listened to as well if the company concerned is reputable and you follow my guidelines. That said, it often surprises even me how seriously some companies take a complaint.

Last summer British Airways had the misfortune to serve my daughter Nina with a plate of completely mouldy grapes. I sent the offending fruit to the Chairman of the company. British Airways were so concerned to ensure that I understood the lengths to which they go to check quality that they invited Nina (and her sister Zoe) to conduct a tour of British Airways’ catering Centre at Heathrow (operated by its contractor Gate Gourmet). 

Escorted by Eddie Edwards (BA’s Senior Catering Executive) the girls carried out a detailed health and safety inspection and concluded that in the course of preparing millions and millions of meals only the most determined of rogue grapes is likely get through. Computers, space-age automation and dedicated staff do their best to ensure that all the food is kept fresh and that the passengers are kept happy. More importantly however, from my perspective, British Airways are big enough to admit that they are not perfect and that sometimes, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. It was perhaps unlucky for them that of all the kids in the whole world to serve rotten food to, it had to be my daughter (or should I say – my apprentice!). In any event, they righted the wrong big time and for this I award British Airways five points for customer care.

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