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Monks Hill Books Blog

On the clear difference between customer service and the quality of books sold

In September 2017 I took a week’s holiday in the Transylvanian region of Roumania.  I was away for exactly a week.

During that week a customer ordered a book.  By the time I had returned from my holiday the customer had decided that I was not going to send the book and had put in a formal complaint to PayPal, who process card payments for me.  So the business’s email folder was full of automatically-generated emails warning of dire but unspecified consequences.

When I emailed the customer to explain why the book had not been sent, I received a curt reply asking for a refund of her money – which I did instantly.  PayPal, with an obvious sigh of relief, said it was closing its file on the matter.

I decided, being by training a lawyer, that I ought to investigate what the legal position was.  It turns out that a supplier has 28 days within which to fulfil the order, unless the supplier has a different, shorter, period in its own terms and conditions (which we do not).  So we would have been justified in sending the book in the second week and arguing with PayPal that we should not be blacklisted . . .  But that seemed a lot of hassle for a very small point.

I fully accept I may be a bit odd.  If I order a book, I would rather wait eight days and receive a well-packed book in very good condition, than receive the following morning a tatty ex-library book stuffed into an old Tesco carrier bag.

Do I really need something the next day?    Not unless I have been really stupid about missing an important birthday.  You will see time and time again on The Website That Is Intent on World Domination books described with one word (‘Good’), and then lines and lines of guff explaining how wonderful the seller’s customer service is.  So the ‘outstanding’ customer service is very far from being a Unique Selling Point.  Every seller has it, it would appear.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 at 4:22 pm and is filed under Fresh News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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