Wednesday, 6 June 2007

How To Turn A Customer Off In Four EAsy Weeks

You may have read, many posts back, how Telstra, through being a total customer care wasteland, turned me from a 20-years Telstra customer to an Optus customer. It's kind of funny, how some businesses will do anything to get new customers off the other comeptitors, then open themselves up to the same predation because they don't give a rat's arse about the customer once they've got them.

Now hear this.

As you probably know, I bought a second hand VMoto scooter in November, only had 5000 kilometres on it, lovely little bike. I took it back to where I'd bought it for a few niggling little minor faults and they earned a lot of kudos when they fixed this stuff without a murmur.

I waxed lyrical about the little bike-looking-thing, and was very happy with it until. Almost a month ago. On the way home. It stopped. I took it back to the place I'd bought it and they said that this was larger spare parts, would I like to go direct to the world headquarters for VMoto? This also is good for them - they fixed the two problems I had without a quibble, and instead of being the middleman in the spare parts chain, they put me in touch with the company directly.

VMoto Central took a look at the bike and two working days later finally rang me back: Two spare parts required, one of them major, an hour's labour, $300 thank you. I had to wait until payday to pick it up but I was so happy to have it back, rode off on cloud nine to work that day, until. On the way to work, I noticed that it was a little bit sluggish. Not coming anywhere near the top speed any more. Surging and dieing at medium speeds. And - by far the worst - stalling each time I twisted the throttle open too far too fast... Can't count how many times I nealry got cleaned up by a car behind me that saw my elbow go down and stepped on the gas only to find me stalled.

I got to work, got home that afternoon in peak traffic, and the following morning I took the bike back, along with a very detailed explanation of what was wrong. Stuff they SHOULD have noticed after they replaced those parts. Oh, didn't I mention that I got it back with an extra 30km on the clock? As it was dead as a paperweight when I dropped it off to them, those extra klicks had to have been put on afterwards. You'd think they'd have noticed this, but obviously they rode it using the throttle as an on/off switch...

It's now a week and a half later and I haven't heard a word from them. Yes they loaned me a scooter this time to get me mobile, but it's bigger heavier and slower than the Milan is, and very tiring to ride when you have to do almost 60km a day commuting.

I'm giving them four weeks from when I first dropped the bike in with them, then I'll phone and ask for my scooter back. Once. If they ask me to pay for their stuff-ups, if there's one excuse, or if the thing is still as dangerous when I get it back, I'll be up them with legal backing and a TV crew so fast it will seem like magic to them...

Also, I'll be selling an almost completely rebuilt VMoto Milan jx50 and buying a Honda, or a Yammy, or just about anything but a VMoto if any of the above happens. And I will make it my life's work to collect mine and others' horror stories and post them to blogs and automotive sites and news sites and just anywhere I can, see how long before public opinion pulls back their sales figures to under half...

Can you see how a company can make an enemy of a fan? If you have a business don't let this be you!

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