I’m not sure if I witnessed great sales or terrible customer service on the train on Friday. The service to London includes that ubiquitous sales opportunity, the trolley service. The opportunity to lever good money out of a captive audience should never be missed after all. And so we found ourselves presented, repeatedly, with expensive, rubbish coffee and over priced snacks. The woman opposite me ordered a coffee at some point and when she tried to pay it all went wrong. She offered a twenty but the young lady couldn’t change it. A thorough check of the purse revealed no more than 20 pence, leagues away from the purchase price of instant coffee. Eventually she offered to pay by card, that would be fine but she needed to purchase something else to make the minimum fee. The offer to “just charge me the minimum fee” was flatly refused. Eventually the woman selected a chocolate bar and paid by card. As the trolley passed me I checked the prices, a coffee was £2.20, the minimum charge was £2.40. Had the young sales lady just performed the ultimate upsell? Or was this just terrible customer service? For anyone caught in a similar scenario I would like to advise that you’re entitled to reject the goods. At the point that the coffee is produced you have not entered into a contract. If you’re wondering why I didn’t share this advice with the purchaser today then can I suggest that you approach your local solicitors for free advice and see how you get on.
Transferring across town reminded me that we need to educate people on how to use a map. Navigation is a single shot thing done at the start of the journey not a continuously evolving exercise. To travel from one side of a station to the other one must first understand where one wishes to end up, plot a route and then follow it. The signs that we see on our journey confirm that we are indeed on the correct course. When we decorate we select a colour and get on with it, the task would be never ending if we kept stopping to confirm the colour. When you go to the hairdressers you don’t ask her to trial run the left side do you. So why do people feel the need to stop dead in the middle of a rush hour stream when they see a sign? These are not complicated or detailed signs, you are following a bloody colour code how hard can that be? Learn to multi-task and you to will be able to walk and read the signs at the same time. These people are like commuter terrorists, instead of a rucksack they have 4 children fanned out so as to cause maximum disruption. I guess that, in the grand scheme of things, it is better that they use public transport though, imagine them on the roads. 70 MPH up the M1 and they see a sign and stop dead in their tracks to consider whether the route is still correct, they haven’t moved the North, it is still where it was when you planned the route.