Right let’s get this out of the way first. I’m a moaner. I love to complain. In fact I ENJOY it. If something happens to me that I’m not happy about I get relief by having a good ol moan about it to whoever will listen. I moan so much that I don’t even know I’m doing it. And due to some friendly feedback from a friend or two (and himself) I’ve had to rein it in.
Now when I want to complain, I think, do you really need to? Could you look on the bright side? For that reason, I try not to write whingy blog posts. At least not personal ones. Until today. Today is different. Today I feel the need to express something that has been irritating me, in the hope that you too can join in and have a moan about something that’s been annoying you. Let’s call it: Share the Moan, shall we?
(I know of at least one blogger who might join in. How’s your web connection coming along there Lisa from Four Walls Rainy Days?)
My story goes back a few months and is about the finest first world problem you will ever get. It involves my non-relationship with a PR for a brand, who was due to send a product for review. I don’t do many reviews – I’m not a beauty blogger, and I tend to saunter through life, writing about writing, history and my baby. Sometimes products pop up and wave and say ‘try me’ and I do and then I write a piece if I’ve enjoyed it and I and brand are happy.
One day, a notice was put up on a Facebook group I’m a member of about a product available for review for bloggers. The product was something I needed in the run up to an event, so I thought why not? For anonymity purposes let’s call the product ‘donkey socks.’ And let’s call the PR ‘Bill’.
I wrote to Bill.
I am interested in the donkey socks for review.
Here is my address.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Bill wasn’t too long in coming back. He responded the next day.
Are you based in the UK?”
I responded to Bill and told him I lived in Ireland. I could forgive him for this. I hadn’t put Ireland at the end of my address in the first email, so how was he supposed to know where Termonfeckin was in fairness? But I’d scared him off. There was no response. So a few days later, I followed up again.
“Did you get my email Bill, is the review offer for donkey socks open to bloggers in Ireland?”
Bill came back and was apologetic. Yes the review offer was open to bloggers in Ireland. He gave me a link and full instructions to order the product through the site, including instructions on how to get the product sent out by standard delivery.
“Can you please send my your address?” asked Bill.
Jeez, he couldn’t get enough of my address. No problem Bill, I said and emailed it off again. I ordered the product. I let Bill know I had ordered the product. Bill came back to say my order had been processed. All was swell. I was happy. Bill was happy.
And then 24 hours passed. Something happened. Bill made a horrifying discovery. I lived in Ireland.
“We have only just noticed that you are in the republic of Ireland which is outside the UK. There will be a delivery cost of 14-£15 due to this as it counts as shipping internationally. I am sorry about this, would you be open to paying the delivery costs?
Now Bill. Bill, Bill, Bill. The answer there would be no. The other advice would be to READ YOUR BLIMMIN EMAILS and LOOK AT A MAP.
So that was grand, I had a bit of a rant to a few of my Facebook bloggers, just to check that I wasn’t being crazy not wanting to pay delivery costs for a small product review (I mean I’m new to working with brands, so wasn’t completely au fait with the norm). And then I got over it, politely declined Bill’s offer of getting stung on the postal charges and said I’d buy my own donkey socks. In Ireland.
A few weeks later Bill wrote to me again.
“I just wanted to let you know that the donkey socks you requested were sent out to you. Have you received the donkey socks and had a chance to write the review? Please send me a link to the donkey socks review and I will begin social promotion on our end for you.”
Wow, I thought. They’ve seen sense. He’s checked with his superiors. I am now getting the donkey socks and it’s obviously just been delayed in the post.
I double checked with Bill.
“Are you sure, Bill?” I asked.
He forgot to come back to me. So I checked again.
“I’m chasing this for you,” he said.
He asked me to watch the post. So I did.
And then there was nothing. Bill had gone off into the wilderness, clutching my donkey socks. Our event happened, I bought our own donkey socks and everyone was happy. In fact the donkey socks I bought here in Ireland (which is not part of the UK, did you know that, Bill didn’t?) were cheaper than what I would have paid in aforementioned postage.
Again, I had gotten over it. Forgotten about it. These things happen. It’s a tough world in the sale of donkey socks I’m sure.
Until the final email, some short weeks later.
“I just wanted to let you know that the donkey socks requested were sent out to you.
“Have you received and had a chance to write the review? If you are going to be writing the review at a later date. Please just drop me an email to let me know.
Hope to hear from you soon.”
There were no donkey socks. And I had my fill of Bill. So this is the review. This is the link I will be sending him. “Feel free to start the promotion at your end any time soon,” I’ll say. And let’s never, ever talk about donkey socks again.
As a blogger have you had bad experiences with brands? As a non-blogger, what have been your bad customer service experiences? Share the moan. It’ll make you feel better 🙂