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More service exasperation

A common theme amongst our elderly Rusters is exasperation with those purporting to provide a service.

I certainly experienced this with Addison Lee the courier and chauffeur company.

In October I booked a car from Fulham to Brighton dropping off my godson in Wimbledon. It was booked via the app and payment was taken by my credit card.

I then found out that the driver had charged me for a return journey which I never made back to Wimbledon.

Worse, they took the higher payment for the non-existent journey and this was only refunded on the 5th November. I resolved in future to make any booking over the phone and pay in cash. As the driver had been late I was offered a£ £10 discount on my next trip.

The person at Addison Lee said this could only be done via the internet. I find this delegation to the internet equally exasperating.

In the morning I had to renew my holiday insurance. I called to find out the office hours only to be informed these were on the website. The time it took to inform me of this in the pre-recorded message they could have given me the hours there and then.

We often hear retailers and service providers bleat about it being an un-level field as a high street presence attracts — unlike an internet company – business rates and rent.

There is a challenge here. Work out what the internet does not do: there is no shopping experience, the product may disappoint, you have to wait in for delivery, returning it is irksome. Yet retailers do not rise to the challenge.

A person of 65 would have spent 2/3rd of his life with no internet nor mobile.

Why not set up a dedicated personal line for the oldies?

On booking a future airline reservation which was never confirmed I called up the airline later and the helpful person explained how I could easily save substantially as I did not need that class of fare as my dates were fixed.

But back to Addison Lee. After I put down the phone, not prepared to hang on any longer to speak to manager about the £10 discount, I received a generic email offer from them offering £20 discount on a trip over Xmas provided I imagine I booked it through the internet.

About Gerald Ingolby

Formerly a consumer journalist on radio and television, in 2002 Gerald published a thriller novel featuring a campaigning editor who was wrongly accused and jailed for fraud. He now runs a website devoted to consumer news. More Posts