Clocking Off

I haven’t been in the best of moods for a few days. I started with the sniffles and sneezing of a cold on Friday and by yesterday I was feeling particularly sorry for myself.

I think it may have had something to do with the weather. A cold always feels that much worse when it is raining and the wind is blowing.

So it probably wasn’t the best of times to don my consumer-champion armour. In these online days, we’re encouraged to give our feedback because ‘we really want to hear from you’ but, from experience, the ‘contact us’ page is the most useless on any website.

I recently bought a new radio that you can see above. It wasn’t expensive, but it wasn’t cheap either and it was a Philips, generally considered to be a good make.

Although it looks quite good, the tuning dial is pretty rudimentary and hard to fix on a station without whistles and crackles. And even if you do fine tune it, it isn’t particularly loud, even on full volume.

I decided to do my bit and share my consumer feedback via the manufacturer’s website. This is what they said:

‘I am sorry you are not happy with your purchase all I can suggest is that you try using the radio in different areas in your house it could quite possibly that there is interference from other devices that is causing the tuner to struggle picking up a better signal.’

Setting aside the fact that a decent analogue radio should work wherever it is in the house, they seemed oblivious to the fact that it is a radio alarm, so even if it would work in the kitchen, it wouldn’t be much good at getting me out of bed in the morning.

When I pointed this out, the reply was: “The issues you have mentioned have been duly noted and I will send them to our design team as it is important for customer feedback even in unsatisfactory cases.’

Throughout they were polite and caring without actually having anything constructive to offer. In fact, they were more interested in me completing their customer satisfaction survey ‘as it will help me to improve the service I provide. Thank you for choosing Philips, the home of sense and simplicity’.

I think that last bit was meant to be ironic.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 18th October 2011

    If only you had asked me, I would have advised you to buy a DAB radio with near perfect reception on all main stations. Some of these customer feedback facilities merely provide the illusion that businesses care about what their customers think. On August 18th I ordered a photo-canvas from a company called YouFrame. They took my money immediately but two months later not only has the canvas failed to appear, their responses to my various complaints have been automated and irrelevant.

  • Mr Parrot 18th October 2011

    I did think about a DAB radio as used elsewhere in the house, but a bog standard analogue does the job of waking us up in the morning. Or at least it did until we bought this model.

    I’ve since had an emailed satisfaction survey from Philips which I’ve completed, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Roger Green 18th October 2011

    sorry you’ve been under the weather; me too. didn’t leave the house, or get dressed on Sunday.
    “Customer service” has become an oxymoron too often, with the emphasis on ‘moron’.

  • Mr Parrot 18th October 2011

    I like that Roger, I like it.


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