Little things mean a lot

I often hear from people who are owed thousands of dollars because of corporate errors and malfeasance. But I’ve come to conclude that the dollar value of a complaint isn’t as big a deal as the principle involved.

Those with just a small amount of money at stake can be equally, if not more, outraged at how they’re treated. They can become frustrated — to the point of obsession — when companies ignore them. And a corporate failure to communicate drives customers to the media.

Companies have to listen and respond to ordinary people without fobbing them off on third-party call centres. Otherwise, they will continue to get a bad rap for service, which can damage their reputations and their share prices.

Here are a few laments that came my way today, including a Tim Hortons story that took just a few hours to resolve.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

13 thoughts on “Little things mean a lot”

  1. Re SD and TD’s “cancellation charge”, this is yet another reason to use their 1% rebate card instead. At least with that card you don’t lose any accumulated rebate (even if you may have to wait a while to get it.)

    From TD’s Ts and Cs, “If the Account is in good standing and the Primary Cardholder ends the Agreement, we will pay any remaining Rebate the next February.”

  2. That Tim Horton’s story is something isn’t it? In my view, it seems as though we see an increasing amount of poor customer service in virtually all aspects of business.

    As an example, I spent one full hour today trying to get my Sirius radio account cleared up. I had recently purchased a new Ford truck, and because it came with a free six-month radio subscription, I wanted to call them to suspend my normal yearly subscription until my vehicle purchase subscription had finished.

    After virtually scouring every area of on their website, I finally found a telephone number. One hour and two representatives later, my mission had been completed.

    But when I completed my call, I was left to ask myself, “Is it reasonable for me to wait THAT long as a Sirius customer?”

    At any rate, I think the Tim Horton’s story is representative of what we see happening in our society and in business in general, and sometimes it’s only when people speak out and do something about it when things get rectified.

    Nice thread!

  3. Another thing that tends to bother me is when you are trying to contact an organization to speak with ‘a real human’ and you just can’t find the zero (0) option! Way too often there is a myriad of options for the consumer to deal with.

    It’s almost as though there is an anticipation that the customer will give up, hang up the phone, and suck it up.

  4. I was recently laid off from Tabi International (store St.Jacobs Ont) and received my final pay cheque which did not include all of my vacation pay-apparently being held back because they are in the throes of bankruptcy. According to the manager of the store other employees are owed hundreds/thousands of dollars in vacation pay and cannot get it. Is this legal? Can Tabi withhold earned vacation or payment of it?

  5. I bought a present for my mother at Tabi for Christmas. We exchanged it because it didn’t fit her, and in the process, Tabi wouldn’t give me the extra money, they would only give me a gift card. I tried to use the gift card today, but they said they aren’t accepting gift cards because they are in bankruptcy. This was my money that they won’t return to me. Are they allowed to do this? This doesn’t seem like it’s fair or even legal to me. If this is legal, I will be very careful not to trust businesses in the future to fulfill their monetary commitments.

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