Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Say the Magic Word

As some of you know, we had a bit of a problem with the tour guide on our recent trip to Ireland. If you’re new to my blog or just don’t remember, you can read about it here. Normally I’m the one who writes letters of complaint but this time Rick decided he wanted to write to the President of the tour company expressing our displeasure with the tour guide. We both signed the letter and mailed it along with the tour company questionnaires just over a week ago.

We were both out yesterday (me – shopping; Rick – golfing) and he beat me home. He found a package on our front porch and, when he opened it, he found a letter from the President of the tour company PLUS two boxes from the Waterford Crystal Company each containing two beautiful wine goblets made at the Waterford factory in Ireland. Imagine our surprise! The letter expressed the President’s sincere regrets for the problems we experienced on our tour and assured us he would see to it that steps were taken to prevent this from happening again. We can only hope.

Now, when I write letters of complaint, all I ever get is a phone call from some junior executive who apologizes for my inconvenience. This is Rick’s first letter and he gets beautiful wine goblets as a sign of the company’s desire to please the customer. What’s wrong with this picture? Rick is sure that the reason we now have these four beautiful goblets is that he actually managed to use the word “hubris” in his letter. He figures the President read the word and realized he was not dealing with some yokel but with someone with education and perhaps some money to book a future tour.

Our only question...if "hubris" got us these wine goblets, what magic word would have gotten us our much desired Waterford Crystal punch bowl?


rosemary said...

On the other end of the spectrum, Twit might work.

Lynn said...

I am having Rick write all of my future letters of complaint.

only oldest said...

The magic word to get the punch bowl is "MONEY"

Patti said...

bravo, Rick!

Beautiful wine glasses, those.

Michele said...

Wow... pretty impressive.

Susie said...

It's nice to know that a company cares about keeping your business.
(You can get your punch bowl on your next trip)

Lynne said...

The goblets are beautiful!

I've written plenty of letters about bad service and such. I find if you're polite and not over-emotional and huffy, you get better results. But I've never gotten anything back as nice as those goblets. I must be writing to the wrong people.

Irene said...

Thanks for the tip! I'm making sure to include the term HUBRIS on my next complaint letter. ;p

I am enjoying your blog. Keep at it!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

note to self: use the word "hubris".

second note to self: better find out what it means first!

smiles, bee

Renee said...

I've found that it really depends on what the complaint is about and what kind of company you are dealing with. If it is a company that does a great deal of low-end business where there are a lot of complaints you normally don't get much or in one case we were told "you were lucky you got anything." How's that for customer service?

But on something like your tour where you spent a lot of money to go and the company made quite a bit off of you they are really hoping that if you do this again that you'll choose their company and so this tour guide's Hubris is something that they are really embarased by. They know you'll choose anyone but them. And therefore they're gonna bend over backwards to get your business again...and hope like crazy your friends hear how nice they were to you also.

Now about the punch bowl...hummm I'm thinking it was wayyy more than the goblets that they get a discount for. ;)

Those are beautiful!

MyUtopia said...

Wow! See it pays to "complain" : ) Congrats on the crystal!

Midlife Mom said...

I'm calling Rick when I have a complaint that needs a letter!!! The only thing I've ever gotten was a coupon for a free can of corn! heehee! BTW what does hubris mean??????

the moose buyer said...

I would like to know in what context Rick used the word hubris. I am assuming he accused the guide of having over confidence in her ability and that's why she wanted more money.

PEA said...

Wow, all I get is coupons if I write a complaint letter! lol I have no idea what "hubris" means but maybe I should start using it???? hehe xox

Linda said...

Gee, sounds like your husband needs to write all future letters of complaint (no offense meant to you, of course!). Do you think maybe it might be because men aren't usually the ones who write the letters? Though now that I think about it, you both signed it so how they have known a man wrote it? Hmmm ... curious ...

Joan said...

Rosemary: TWIT is one of my favorite and most used words. :~)

Lynn: I absolutely volunteer him.

Only oldest: Hmmm...MONEY...nope, never heard that word.

Patti: Even though we dont drink wine, I'm sure I'll find some use for them.

Michele: You bet I'm impressed.

Susie: Punch bowl is definitely next trip...I need to save my pennies (oops, Euros) now.

Lynne: You and me both. I'm always so polite and professional but still no gifts.

Irene: Thanks for stopping by.

Empress bee: I had an idea what it means but I still looked it up.

Renee: I'm sure they got a great deal on those goblets but, for us, they were freeeeeee!!!

Myutopia: We complained to make things better for the next tour group but the crystal is a nice addition.

Midlife mom: As a retired librarian, I'm not allowed to give you the definition. I'm professionally required to tell you to "look it up." :~)

The moose buyer: I'll let you read the letter next time we see'll be impressed.

Pea: I don't even get coupons when I write my letters of complaint...I must be doing something wrong.

Linda: I have no problem turning over the responsibility of complaint letter writing to the hubby. Believe me, it would be a relief.

patches said...

Maybe lawsuit=punchbowl.

I'm glad to see going through the proper channels can pay off.

Joan said...

Patches: The only problem with a lawsuit is that it would probably cost just a wee bit more than the punch bowl itself! :~)

Natalie said...

That's great! I too have had mixed results from "complaint" letters. I found that asking for specific remuneration or compensation worked best, but I would never have thought to request crystal! :)

Those goblets are beautiful, lucky you!

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Mike P.