During my playcation ( about which more in a later post) I turned 39. I didn't think 39 was old but today we saw two neighbourhood Policemen. One was still of the age where he hardly picked up his feet and still breathed through his mouth. His colleague still had acne. I know its a cliche but, really! And then there is the grumpiness. Or maybe its justified. Let me run the two scenarios that are really bugging me past you, for your opinions
You will be aware that I have been dissatisfied in the past with a City and Guilds provider which I tend not to name. Well to heck with that. I paid School of Stitched Textiles over £20 to get a certificate saying I had passed the course. After a few weeks I noticed that it had not arrived. I emailed and politely asked them to send it to me, pointing out that they may have overlooked it because, if you remember, I did not exist on their records and therefore my receipt of payment was on the sign up sheet for the diploma course, to which I am not signed up.
Their response: They never post certificates out. I have to drive 28 miles to pick it up in person. But in September when classes start again. On a Sunday. Or if I want it before September I can go midweek ( when of course I am at work). I did enquire why it could not be sent registered post if they were worried about it getting lost. No response to that comment. This is a school who has learners all over the world. How do Australians get their certificate? By post maybe?
I was tempted to point out that this is my certificate and technically they are indulging in the tort ( civil offence) of conversion... but I think I'd rather just tell you the story than try to make them think logically.
Then there is the organisers of Festival of Quilts. I bought tickets for me and a companion for the dancing event. They charge £23 for a buffet and some dancing. Not cheap but it is in the Hilton who do tend to charge on the high side. And it a good night. I also know that cash flow is vital for a business and I believe in supporting businesses who provide what I want. So we booked in advance when tickets come out and paid then.
This week I get an email. If I book now I can get two tickets for the price of one. This did annoy me somewhat. I emailed pointing out that I felt it was very unfair to offer free tickets to latecomers, having had the benefit of our cash for sometime and that it did not encourage early booking.
They emailed stating that they paid the Hilton a set figure for the event based on minimum numbers which they had not achieved. They were therefore likely to make a loss on the event. they were trying to incentivise people to come along. They compared it to buying an item on sale in a shop and finding it on sale later. "That is the nature of a sale."
I don't think that is a logical comparison as, had I bought a jumper I would have been wearing it for the period between purchase and the subsequent sale and therefore benefited from the higher price. Here they have benefited from cash flow but I have not had any benefit at all. As they advertise the numbers of tickets left on their website it is not even as if I had the benefit of booking and knowing I was safe to get a ticket as there was clearly no risk I would not. A better analysis would be an airline where the model is, the prices are cheaper if you book earlier.
They are of course entirely within their rights to offer a promotion like this. But, to my mind promotions like this treat customers with contempt and are entirely counter productive if they wish to encourage customer loyalty, good will and early booking. Or even booking at all next year. Do you agree? Or am I just getting old and grumpy?