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    NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
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    For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report - A bi-weekly podcast for professional communicators from Neville Hobson, ABC, and Shel Holtz, ABC.

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« The Hobson and Holtz Report - Podcast #64: September 1, 2005 | Main | Technorati's new Blog Finder beta »

02 September 2005



Try living in Spain where customer service is something that...doesn't happen...period and where no-one (in the large corporations at least) takes responsibility...period. It's only just been passed into law that banks have to take responsibility when someone's account is hacked! Up to now banks could say: "Tough luck if you've been robbed through no fault of your own." Now they can't. And, we don't call Telefonica Telechronica for nothing.

But then we do have great weather, great food, passable wine and a very friendly nation of people who really know how to enjoy life.


UPC, KPN - take your pick... utterly useless.

My all time favourite example of this was my colleague calling UPC to complain that the cable guy hadn't turned up *for the third time*.

He wasn't getting anywhere with his "customer service" rep and so asked to speak to her manager, at which stage she replied "Sir, I don't like the tone of your voice, I'm ending this call" and hung up on him..! Unbelievable.

And it isn't only these two big utility companies: customer service in Amsterdam is more or less universally atrocious. The basic attitude seems to be that the customer is an inconvenience.

I love visiting England!


Heh! Dennis, I'd expect it if it was in Spain, actually ;) And the wine, of course.

Nice tale, Ben. Reality in my experience generally: the notion of customer service as it would be understood in countries like, say, the US or the UK, is a foreign notion here. And it's not only foreigners like me who believe such things - you should hear what my Dutch friends have to say on the subject when they get going. KPN and UPC usually enter such conversations.

And let's not even mention Albert Hein in the same breath as 'customer service'...


How may people in the street lost service at the same time? If it was just the one house, waiting a week doesn't seem unreasonable.

You could hardly expect same day service.



What I expect, Wally, is the service they said they would deliver, ie, the cable guy showing up when they said he would and returning the phone call they said they would.

Whether those things were in three days, five, or the same day, I don't really care. In either case, they didn't keep their promise.

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