How not to win customers… SMC Removals of Sandy #fail

We live in a quiet lane in a small hamlet, but unfortunately just outside the house is a short spur of public road which is often used by visitors to our neighbours (and lost drivers) to execute a three-point turn.  Generally it’s not a problem – but when dirty great lorries do it, at stupid o’clock, with the musical accompaniment of the reversing beeps it can be annoying.
Occasionally it can be *really* bloody annoying.  When drivers cannot manage their vehicles, and either do 15 point turns, or get jammed in the middle of a turn we often feel it necessary to nip out and survey their works and ensure that they do not either a) knock down our wall or b) drive over the planted verge that is in front of the wall.
Last week a removal lorry got almost completely locked in across the lane, and we had to go out and keep an eye on things.   In doing almost completely static 3 point turns they managed to churn up the tarmac.
So I thought I’d use their web presence to give them our feedback, which was a bit pointed but then we did want them to mend the damage to the road surface:
“We prevented your driver from knocking down our wall, and corrected their impression of a garden verge as being \”just weeds\”; however what remediation do you intend for the (albeit mildly) churned up tarmac on the lane outside our house where your driver… …was only able to move by turning the wheels on the spot…”
It was with some amusement that we received this back:
“It was actuall me who was driving the vehicle on the day in question.
Whilst I appreciate your wife being exrtremely irate that we came close to your wall, it was I believe reasonable to assume that the ground outside of your wall was not part of your garden.
I did apologise to your wife at the time for this oversight.
With regards to churning up tarmac, I would have thought that the last people to lay tarmac on that piece of road were the Romans in 55BC, and I am absolutely amazed that you are trying to seek some sort of recompense for what I saw was at best a dirt track, and in the short space of time we were there we saw large dumper and building trucks going up and down the lane.”
I don’t see this as a logical part of their “friendly and professional service”, I’d dispute the word extremely.  And of course the word remediation has nothing to do with recompense – we just want the surface re-instated.
Equally tickling is the dual assertion that the road surface is both dirt and tarmac (which was invented about 1500 years after the Romans left!).
I’d say it’d be better to mollify complainants than discharge aggressive, factually incorrect and facetious replies to potential customers.  Pissing people off is never a good B2B or B2C tactic

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

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