Where customer is the king

by P. Lal

THERE is a postman here with a parcel from Australia,” my wife informed me on the telephone, from the residence, as I sat in the office, waiting for the clock to strike the lunch hours.

“Is he asking for charges?” I asked her.

“None,” she assured me and waited for instructions.

“Take delivery, I am coming,” I said to her.

Sydney Tower

I had been to Australia and New Zealand on an official trip. While in Sydney (Australia), I visited the Sydney Tower, the tourists’ delight, soaring 305 metres above the ground.

A glass replica of the tower showcased in a souvenir shop at the observation deck (250 metres) caught my fancy and I ordered one for Aus $ 61.50. The saleswoman at the counter handed over to me a packed piece; I accepted the same without insistence on opening the case and showing the content.

I brought the packet to the hotel and threw it in, among the other purchases.

From Sydney, I flew to Auckland, thence to Kuala Lumpur, and finally to New Delhi. The next day, I travelled to Chandigarh by road.

As I unpacked the luggage and opened the velvet lined plywood box containing the replica, my face fell, for the piece de resistance was lying therein broken in two.

I surmised that there was a possibility, though a meagre one, that the piece might have been broken even before I took delivery.

I called the Souvenir World Australia, the shop from where I had made the purchase and asked for a replacement. Within 10 minutes, Jenny Armstrong, their administration manager, sent an e-mail at my office ID, advising me to provide the receipt number, the code, description and the price of the item. I gave the details to the computer operator of my office who e-mailed the information to Jenny on my behalf, I emphasised in the complaint the fact that I had accepted the sealed packet without actually checking the content.

The receipt of the e-mail complaint was received almost in no time.

Four days later I sent a reminder. Prompt came the reply on February 7: “I have forwarded your enquiry to the relevant department. I will chase them up immediately.”

Then some days later, when I reached home on my wife’s call, I found that she had already opened the packet; there lay on the table a new replica of Sydney Tower glistening in the light of the chandelier above. There was a letter too, from the Souvenir World Australia: “Sorry for the inconvenience. Sending new Crystal Tower. Thanks.”

They had paid Aus $ 19.50 for postage too. No questions were asked before providing the replacement. They even didn’t ask for the return of the original broken piece.

Meanwhile, I had joined the broken pieces with quickfix and put the repaired replica on the mantel in the drawing room; from a distance one could not make out the defect. With the arrival of the replacement, I had now two (I still have)!

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