Thursday, November 7, 2013

Customer Service. Hubbard Harvest.

About ten years ago we bought a belt sander from Lidl. Over the years this sander has had a lot of hard use, eventually the belt broke.
 Being so old we didn't hold out much hope of getting the part but we thought we would try anyway, we tried several tool companies and builders merchants  drawing a blank, not wishing to admit defeat and throw away a tool who's motor still seems perfect Simon then phoned Lidl in Dublin, after explaining what the problem was he was put through to another dept. who again took details plus our email address and phone number. Someone would be in contact; how many times have we heard that we thought. Well this time was different, within ten minutes the 'phone rang, a German gentleman asked for the details of the part we were looking for, 'no problem, we have it in stock,' after giving him our email address we waited for the invoice, payment had to be made via Paypal, the invoice arrived within minutes, this was last Friday, the belts arrived yesterday, posted from Germany on Monday. That's what we call service.
This is a German owned supermarket, some people love it, others hate it, we have often bought tools from them, we find they are good quality, and clearly the after service is excellent, other EU countries could learn a lot from them, and maybe they are.
Last Thursday we visited a large DIY super store to buy paint, I also wanted paint pads rather than brushes, they were not to be found in the obvious place so we asked some guy who was tidying up shelves, he did not engage with us in the least, just pointed to where they were, he didn't  speak to us once.  We had decided what colours we wanted and tried to find them, although they were the stores own brand they were not on the shelve so we decided to go with another brand, we would have liked a little advice on which would be the best paint to use on kitchen cupboards, but given the offhand  attitude of the previous assistant decided to muddle through. It wasn't as though the store was busy, the staff out numbered the customers two to one. After leaving the store I noticed that we had been given a leaflet entitled 'How did we do today?' a questionnaire  to fill in on line, in return you get five euro off your next purchases over fifty euro. I duly filled it in. A day later we received a 'phone call from the manager, I told him off our experience he was very apologetic, explaining the staff training etc. He wanted to make amends and said he would be sending us a gift voucher. It arrived today, twenty five euros! We thought may be he would send us a five euro voucher. So, by taking the time to complete their survey we now have thirty euros to spend  in this store. A very good way to make sure we come back.
Another unexpected gift came via the poultry site that I belong to, I was contact by another member, would I like some jam jars? YES please. I'm always short, I had apples waiting to be bottled.  We met up at a local poultry sale, and I am now twelve jars better off. We always ask around when we have unwanted items to get rid of. Corrugated tin has gone to our friend Pat, he will be using it to make pig arks. The leather suite that was in this cottage when we bought it has gone to another friend and her partner who have just moved into a place of their own.
We have also inherited a load of buried builders debris, the latest flower bed contains over two tonnes of very large stones, we will find a use for them,
a pile of old roofing slates, will have to think about them but no doubt we will find a use,
and a buried milk churn. I have been wanting one for ages, this one has certainly seen better days, but I'm still hopeful that I will be able to do something with it and turn it into a planter, maybe not the thing of beauty that I could have made from it if it was in better condition, but I will be able to do something with it.
Most of the Hubbard meat birds have now been processed, just two to go. Their weights ranged from 4lb 11oz to 5lb 14 oz. The larger ones will be portioned up for mid week use, the breast will be left on the carcases to roast for Sunday dinners.
They have been worth while doing and we will probably do them again. We still have more La Bresse to do and one English game fowl cock. We hatched two game fowl, one is a hen which we will keep and cross with the La Bresse, just as an experiment.
I have just finished reading a great book , I normally go through two books a week but this was a book that deserved to be savoured, just like a good meal, I took two weeks to read it, somewhat a marathon for me. For anyone interested in growing their own food and eating local in season produced food this book is a great read. Full of very interesting facts and some great recipes.  Sorry about the photo, for some reason it has not rotated.
The book is called. 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' by Barbara Kingsolver.


  1. Hubby and I have experience time after time some really crappy customer service. We really feel dis-hearten when that happens. It gets to the point that we don't want to go back to those stores were we have experienced poor service.

  2. We used to say nothing, we just didn't return, now however we no longer suffer in silence, it's our money, if they cant give us a good service we go else where. If we had treated our customers the way some shops and services do we would have gone out of business.

  3. Can't wait to see what you do with the churn - we found one on the beach after a storm and have just passed it on to a friend who is going to decorate it for walking sticks.

  4. I had painted one years ago Ian as a planter, but had to leave it behind when we sold up. This one will be a challenge as it's so dented, it needs thought.