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Taking a knock over Santa

You will note a rare gap yesterday.

Sunday's Santa trip was a great success ... or so I thought. But a message to return a phone call yesterday, and I find myself speaking to a lady who I can only describe as "irate" saying that the trip had been "total and utter chaos", and a ripoff. My personal view is that £17.00 for her group of three, as against £14.25 which the train fare alone would have cost, was good value. The child got a present, everyone got a minced pie and a drink, we had Santa, we had the Town Crier ... and we had the sundry expenses to cover. Everyone gave their time for free ...

I'll admit it - I am not used to dealing with complaints; they upset me greatly. And they are very rare indeed in what we do. So I'm really knocked for a loop by this one. I'm comforted by the fact that everyone else seems to have had a good time, with several unsolicited "thank you" emails following from the cheerful faces who left the train at both Melksham and Trowbridge.

But one specific point that the lady raised is an interesting one that I'll share with you from "behind the scenes". The train that we travel on is a lengthened public service train, and on a couple of occasions in the past, children traveling with 'members of the public' have been disappointed that although Father Christmas is on the train, they haven't been able to get a present from him. So we have taken to having a handful of extra presents available in case, and to 'eating' the cost of them within the trip. Our lady got wind of this, and felt that this extra was not something we should do ... in fact she wants her money back as "my child could have got a present free". I disagree, but will be refunding her money from my personal pocket - I stand by our policy of Santa having a few presents spare for other children who happen to be around; I would not want to be party to spoiling the myth of Christmas. P.S. There weren't any other children on the train this year anyway!
(written 2009-12-08, updated 2009-12-10)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G501 - Well House Consultants - Customer Service
  [4232] Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy - (2013-12-30)
  [4078] Train works for me! - (2013-05-02)
  [4077] Palty or Parliamentary? - (2013-04-30)
  [3835] The Information age - not yet truly with us? - (2012-08-12)
  [3808] Can you put names to faces? - (2012-07-19)
  [3378] New product - ensuring that supply matches demand - (2011-08-03)
  [3294] It's not just about the jam in the sandwich - (2011-05-19)
  [3271] The importance of feedback - (2011-04-30)
  [3103] Thank you - and Happy Christmas - (2010-12-24)
  [3073] Customer Service - the boundary - (2010-11-27)
  [2961] Initial handling of phone calls and walk in visitors - (2010-09-19)
  [2880] Getting in touch - Please allow me to see you when you are online - (2010-07-21)
  [2650] Getting a phone line changed ... - (2010-02-25)
  [2258] Questions I have been asked on answering the phone - (2009-06-26)
  [2236] Alumni - revisiting and supporting the old University - (2009-06-13)
  [2124] Building down expectations - (2009-04-09)
  [2102] What do people think of our Apache httpd / Tomcat course? - (2009-03-24)
  [2049] Why Choose Well House Consultants for your course? - (2009-02-20)
  [2015] Service Excellence Awards - (2009-01-30)
  [1991] Rules for a King - (2009-01-13)
  [1985] Learning to program as a part of your job - (2009-01-10)
  [1835] 23:30 bookings and midnight checkins - (2008-10-12)
  [1637] Providing exceptional service - and carrying on doing so. - (2008-05-09)
  [1606] Sheep Shearers, Marathon Runners and Ocean Sailors - (2008-04-09)
  [1516] Pictures you can use - for free - from our library - (2008-01-23)
  [1446] An answer to a student asking 'Help' - (2007-11-27)
  [1434] Market survey - to learn, to prove a point, or to sell your product? - (2007-11-17)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1262] Keep in touch with PHP, Perl, Python and old friends too - (2007-07-09)
  [1046] Bounce, bounce, bounce - (2007-01-20)
  [1007] Friends and family - (2006-12-25)
  [966] CSL, KISS and RTFM - (2006-12-05)
  [961] Products that our customers want more of - (2006-12-03)
  [944] Just ******* Google it - (2006-11-25)
  [852] Eventful evening - a lesson in looking after contacts - (2006-09-02)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [725] Better communication - (2006-05-19)
  [717] A customer service company - (2006-05-11)
  [650] A person of few words - (2006-03-18)
  [628] Active Learning - (2006-02-28)
  [621] And the staff put the icing on the cake - (2006-02-23)
  [609] Been on a course, but still not got it? - (2006-02-16)
  [569] Instructions for bright people - (2006-01-19)
  [566] May all your screw-ups be big ones - (2006-01-16)
  [552] Keeping Customers Informed - (2006-01-02)
  [482] Different ways of selling - (2005-11-01)
  [440] Upgrade! - (2005-09-09)
  [393] Trainer answers phone - (2005-07-28)
  [350] Want to be one better - (2005-06-17)
  [327] How far should our support go - (2005-05-28)
  [265] Business practise, 2005 style - (2005-04-03)
  [233] Giving customers best value - (2005-03-02)
  [195] Customer service - examples to warn us - (2005-01-30)
  [189] Tuesdays and Fridays - (2005-01-25)
  [150] Confession - (2004-12-13)
  [126] Feedback shows the tip of an iceberg - (2004-11-22)
  [91] On line every 24 hours - (2004-10-17)
  [72] On Customer Service - (2004-10-03)


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Some other Articles
And now for some posts a bit more technical
Five guests, three groups, one car
Analysing Google arrivals by country of origin
Melksham - new Tuesday Market
Taking a knock over Santa
Santa Special, 2009
Melksham Christmas Lights
Flying tonight
A reluctance to move from old shoes to new
Using JSPs, Tag Libraries, Java Beans, Tomcat in one short example
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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