Tag Archive | letter of compaint

100 days – Day 14

 

100 days – Day 14: How to Complain

Today I’ve been tasked by a friend to write a letter of complaint on her behalf regarding poor service delivery to her recently.

I’m not very good at this; my letters or emails usually turn out too “nice” – they often become almost apologetic, of the sort of “I’m sorry to bother you with this….” type of approach.

Perhaps, I’ll put it off until tomorrow. Meanwhile, I came across the following yesterday evening.

 

 

James Lockley
24 April at 09:15 ·
Posted to Ryan Air today;
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing for the attention of your customer experience team. I am definitely a customer, and believe me, you didn’t fail providing us with an experience.

 
My wife and I had booked to fly from Stansted on the Thursday 17th April, evening flight to Bratislava. After 2 hours of fun, fun, fun, stuck on the M25 doing 20 mph, we arrived at Stansted check in with just one hour until the flight. Knowing the strict Ryan Air policy on ‘check in closes 40 mins before the flight’ as you are the Low Fare Taxi of The Skies, we went straight to the Ryan Air assistant and explained our plight. She said we were still within the time and all would be fine but we had to make the attendant at check in aware and he would assist from there.

 
We approached the attendant as instructed and explained. Unfortunately, in the main part, due to him being a child, and forgetting to bring his mother to work, he heard only half of the words before his brain fell apart like a wet cake. He led us to the line for closing gates, advised we should wait and all would be ok. We stood patiently in the line for 20 minutes. We got to the front of the line and the lady, who we shall from this point refer to a Vacant, explained that she had literally just that second closed the flight and we had missed it. We complained that we had done as instructed and she said it was the child’s fault because he should have advised her that we were trying to board a closing flight and that because he hadn’t told her it was therefore our fault we had missed the plane.
Confused by this process of blame apportioning, another check in clerk, who we shall refer to as Not That Bright, tried to blame us for not responding to the last call for the flight as we should have made ourselves known. I argued that the last call had not been made. Not That Bright then questioned Vacant on whether she had done a final call. Vacant did what she does best and looked, well,…… After establishing that the child had not informed Vacant we were here, and Vacant had forgotten to do a last call and that all of this was irreversible, and my fault, Not That Bright and Vacant conferred to agree this was not a problem they wished to deal with and told us to get in a very, very long line of very, very unhappy people at the quite wrongly titled ‘Customer Services Counter’ as it was in fact a Customer Shouting Desk. We complained and requested the attention of a manager.
Out came Colin, a man so angry all his hair had literally fallen out. He was so aggressive I can only assume he had accidentally inserted something sharp into somewhere private and been unable to remove it before he came to work. He was definitely a middle Gimp. I know this as Vacant and Not That Bright were clearly quite scared of him, and he can’t have been a Big Cheese as he was talking directly to customers and we all know from the papers that no-one in Big Cheese management at Ryan Air has ever seen, let alone spoken to an actual customer.
Middle Gimp had clearly listen hard at Ryan Air Middle Gimp school as he managed to take two perfectly calm and sane adults and in a matter of seconds reduce them to angry people considering violence.
‘Check in opens 3 hours before the flight’ he barked repeatedly as if it was the answer to every question in life. We tried to ask Middle Gimp direct questions about why it was necessary for us to miss the flight because the Child had forgotten to do his job, and Vacant had forgotten to do hers.
‘Why is this our fault, and why should we miss the flight because Ryan Air staff have admitted they made errors?.
‘Check in opens three hours before the flight’
‘Do you acknowledge we have just cause for complaint as we tried to do the right thing and the only reason we are not on the plane is because of communication failures with Ryan Air Staff?’
‘Check in opens three hours before the flight’
‘What colour are my trousers?’
‘Check in opens three hours before the flight’
‘Do you think economic sanctions on Russia will diffuse the escalating situation in Ukraine?’
‘Check in opens three hours before the flight’
‘Were Man Utd right to fire David Moyes?’
‘Check in opens three hours before the flight’
‘My tinkle is hurting, could you take a look if I promise not to tell anyone?’
‘Check in opens three hours before the flight’
Middle Gimp then conferred with Vacant and Not That Bright, and agreed that this was all our fault as we should have noticed that Child had made an error and we should have called the flight ourselves to assist Vacant in doing her job because she was clearly busy being, well,…… Middle Gimp then insisted we go to customer the Customer Shouting Desk, as he was definitely not going to do anything else. This was handy as the queue was very long so that by the time we would reach the front the plane would be half way to Bratislava and the problem would be solved.
We waited patiently in line as customer after customer stood at the desk to hear the same song;
‘No, no, I can’t do that, no, there are no Middle Gimps available, no, no, sorry, no, give me all your money’
We got to the Customer Shouting Desk and explained our plight to the lady there (who was actually very nice and clearly should not be working for Ryan Air as a result). She apologised but explained that Middle Gimp had finished being angry for the day and had returned to his padded cage and there were no other Middle Gimps around. We would have to book in to the flight for the next day and we would have to pay £110 each to change the ticket. When she tried to re-book the flight she said that the flight we had tried to get was actually delayed by 1 hour and still at the air port and that what we should do is run to the gate with all our luggage, she would call through and they would check our bags into the hold at the gate. We ran as fast as we could, which is not very fast because I am fat, to security to do as instructed. Security advised us that because our flight should have left, even though it hadn’t, the ticket machine would not open the barrier for us and we would need to return to the Customer Shouting Desk.
We waited patiently in the very long queue yet again for about 40 minutes to discover the nice lady had also gone home now so we had to explain the whole thing again to a new lady that looked like all the joy had been removed from her life at birth. She recited the Ryan Air customer services song with a sterling level of apathy and dreariness, I am surprised she could muster the will just to breather and stay alive.
‘No, no, I can’t do that, no, there are no Middle Gimps available, no, no, sorry, no, give me all your money’
She recited it with perfection, Middle Gimps across the world would have been in awe and the effectiveness of the techniques taught in Middle Gimp School. Seeing no other option but to hand over all our cash and come back the next morning we happily paid and got new flights.

 

As the new flight was at 6.25am in the morning we decided to get a hotel, we paid £79 for a room and got a taxi.
So, our customer experience was insightful and liberating. From the incompetent Child with a brain so full of girls and Vauxhall Corsa modifications he couldn’t actually listen or speak, through Vacant and Not That Bright who decided on reflection that anything they did wrong was our fault for not pointing it out to them, right through Middle Gimp who made a Tasmanian Devil look calm and Zen like, and the sad one, oh so sad, having every last drop of life sucked out of her by her chosen career at the Ryan Air Customer Shouting Desk. I very nearly jumped over the desk just to give her a cuddle and tell her everything would be alright if she could just muster the will to leave the Ryan Air Customer Shouting Desk and find a more fulfilling job, like starting the very first Israeli pork pie factory, or being a parking attendant in Tower Hamlets, or in fact just resigning herself to a slow and uncomfortable death would have been indistinguishable from the current position and would require much less effort.
The net result of this ‘experience’ was;
New Flights – £220
Hotel £79
Taxi x 2 £50
Worlds most expensive sandwich in the only hotel we could get £35
1 x significant breach of Tort Law (2008 as quoted by Lord Atkin) by Ryan Air, Google it, it’s a cracking read. I will leave you to decide the monetary value of this.
1 x very angry and upset wife, in particular with Middle Gimp for being so unbelievably rude.
1 x Missed wedding reception for our Slovakian family (sorry, forgot to mention this nugget earlier) who all turned up from all over the country to see us for an event we were forced to miss, because Child and Vacant are clueless at best and Middle Gimp has anger management issues.
So, thank you Ryan Air for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. I have watched a program called the news so I fully expect this to land on the desk of the customer services team underneath the empty bottles and sandwich wrappers that you also file there. You treated us badly, you cost us money and made us miss our wedding reception through a display of incompetence I have not seen since Greece was allowed to have money and a cheque book.
I sincerely doubt you will do anything about this, compensate us, apologise, or even respond according to the news, so I have sent this recorded and sign for delivery to absolutely confirm my opinion of Ryan Air and that it is not just ‘lost in the post’
Regards
You bunch of…………….
DJ Lockley
P.S. Maybe Middle Gimp in particular, but Child, Not That Bright, and Vacant should purchase one of your reasonable priced tickets and go to Slovakia (assuming they were actually allowed on the plane. The Ryan Air employees there are smart, clever, bilingual, helpful, and polite and they should in my opinion experience an example of how they should do their job. The Slovak staff could explain it to them, but they wouldn’t be able to understand it for them, so it may be a waste of time after all.

 

 

 –ooOOOoo–

This wonderful interchange appeared in 2007:

Dear Sir/Madam/Automated Telephone Answering Service,

Having spent the past twenty minutes waiting for someone at Leith police station to pick up a telephone I have decided to abandon the idea and try e-mailing you instead. Perhaps you would be so kind as to pass this message on to your colleagues in Leith by means of smoke signal, carrier pigeon or Ouija board.

As I’m writing this e-mail there are eleven failed medical experiments (I think you call them youths) in West Cromwell Street which is just off Commercial Street in Leith. Six of them seem happy enough to play a game which involves kicking a football against an iron gate with the force of a meteorite. This causes an earth shattering CLANG! which rings throughout the entire building. This game is now in it’s third week and as I am unsure how the scoring system works, I have no idea if it will end any time soon.

The remaining five walking abortions are happily rummaging through several bags of rubbish and items of furniture that someone has so thoughtfully dumped beside the wheelie bins. One of them has found a saw and is setting about a discarded chair like a beaver on speed. I fear that it’s only a matter of time before they turn their limited attention to the bottle of calor gas that is lying on it’s side between the two bins. If they could be relied on to only blow their own arms and legs off then I would happily leave them to it. I would even go so far as to lend them the matches. Unfortunately they are far more likely to blow up half the street with them and I’ve just finished decorating the kitchen.

What I suggest is this. After replying to this e-mail with worthless assurances that the matter is being looked into and will be dealt with, why not leave it until the one night of the year (probably bath night) when there are no mutants around then drive up the street in a panda car before doing a three point turn and disappearing again. This will of course serve no other purpose than to remind us what policemen actually look like.

I trust that when I take a claw-hammer to the skull of one of these throwbacks you’ll do me the same courtesy of giving me a four month head start before coming to arrest me.

I remain sir, your obedient servant

Graeme McNonymous

 

Mr. McNonymous was surprised to receive a rapid response:

 

Mr McNonymous,

I have read your e-mail and understand you frustration at the problems caused by youths playing in the area and the problems you have encountered in trying to contact the police. As the Community Beat Officer for your street, I would like to extend an offer of discussing the matter fully with you. Should you wish to discuss the matter, please provide contact details (address / telephone number) and when may be suitable.

Regards
PC 387
Community Beat Officer

 

And replied as follows:

Dear PC 387,

First of all I would like to thank you for the speedy response to my original e-mail. 16 hours and 38 minutes  must be a personal record for Leith Police Station and rest assured that I will forward these details to Norris McWhirter for inclusion in his next book.

Secondly I was delighted to hear that our street has it’s own community beat officer. May I be the first to congratulate you on your covert skills. In the five or so years I have lived in West Cromwell Street, I have never seen you. Do you hide up a tree or have you gone deep undercover and infiltrated the gang itself? Are you the one with the acne and the moustache on his forehead or the one with a chin like a wash hand basin? It is surely only a matter of time before you are head-hunted by MI5.

Whilst I realise that there may be far more serious crimes taking place in Leith such as smoking in a public place or being Muslim without due care and attention, is it too much to ask for a policeman to explain (using words of no more than two syllables at a time) to these t***s that they might want to play their strange football game elsewhere? The pitch behind the Citadel or the one at DK’s are both within spitting distance, as is the bottom of the Leith Dock.

Should you wish to discuss these matters further you should feel free to contact me on 557 0890. If after 25 minutes I have still failed to answer, I’ll buy you a large one in the Compass Bar.

Regards
Graeme McNonymous [Surname Withheld to protect him from the local t***s]

 

–ooOOOoo– 

THIS, however, is considered to be the very best complaint letter ever!

Dear Mr Branson

 REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008

 I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.

Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at the hands of your corporation.

 Look at this Richard. Just look at it:

 

Virgin1

I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the desert?

 

You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it’s next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That’s got to be the clue hasn’t it. No sane person would serve a desert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in:

 

Virgin2

I know it looks like a baaji but it’s in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you’ll be fascinated to hear that it wasn’t custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It’s only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.

 

Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started desert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So lets peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what’s on offer.

 

I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.

 

Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this:

 

Virgin3

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s more of that Baaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It’s mustard Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.

 

Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.

 

By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to it’s baffling presentation:

 

Virgin4

It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn’t want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.

 

I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.

 

Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous onboard entertainment. I switched it on:

 

Virgin5

I apologise for the quality of the photo, it’s just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson’s face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel:

 

Virgin6

Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I’d had enough. I was the hungriest I’d been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.

 

My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations:

 

Virgin7

Yes! It’s another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.

 

Richard…. What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Baaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I’d done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your baaji-mustard.

 

So that was that Richard. I didn’t eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you live like this? I can’t imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.

 

As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It’s just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to it’s knees and begging for sustenance.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Oliver Beale

 

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