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


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Melksham - new Tuesday Market
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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