One thing that was always instilled in to me as a child was to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and why it is important to use good manners. I would be surprised if my upbringing was unique in that respect, so why is it so rare for people to actually do it nowadays?
This has become much more apparent to me this year since I was featured in the Daily Mail in June of this year. This feature was shared 468 times online and my website received hits from Kazakhstan, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Nigeria and everywhere else you can think of. It gave me fantastic exposure and I now have a much higher profile as a result. The upshot of it is that I received a lot of e-mails and private messages for months afterwards, and I responded to virtually all of them.
However, one individual actually took offence when they asked (without saying please or thank you) if they could send me 49 pages of documents to look at in respect of a new Audi that they were having problems resolving with a garage. I knew of this individual from school as she was 1 year below me and we were connected on Facebook, although I didn’t really know her well enough for her to see me as a free Citizens Advice Bureau service that she was entitled to use free of charge. I politely said that I get messages all the time from people asking for free advice, pointed her to my book with a link saying that the answers are all in there and to just point me to the Chapter she wasn’t sure of if she had any further questions and I’ll happily revisit it.
The upshot of that was that I was blocked and slated. The fact that she has an Audi that cost over £20K and she wasn’t prepared to pay £3.99 to download my book for my advice to resolve it was completely lost on her, and her problem was mine apparently for not offering to sit down for at least 1 hour to wade through a raft of paperwork to see if she had a legitimate case!
The more people think they know you well, the cheekier the response. Another individual told her parents that she would get me involved in resolving an ongoing dispute. I again politely replied in the same vein with a link to my book, which she ignored. Weeks later her Mother texted me (without saying please and thank you) with the whole story and concluded it with ‘kind regards’. I responded by saying that I get messages for free advice every day of my life, I gave her daughter a link to my book, all of your answers are in there and you will find it useful to read. Any further questions, just ask and point me to the Chapter you’re not sure of and I’ll have another look. That was the end of another delightful conversation!
Strangers are often the same, and you are more likely to get a good response from me if you ask politely (and say please and thank you) if you can run something past me? You are less likely to elicit a helpful response if you just ping me a message with your problem with no courtesy or manners and expect me to spend my time (which nobody is paying me for) in helping you resolve your problems.
What is the point in writing a book based on a lifetime of bad experiences to help others if you are going to spend your days resolving people’s problems free of charge? It has taken me many years to get the knowledge, skills and experience to do what I do. If it was easy to smash claims and resolve complaints, everyone would do it. The majority of people don’t, hence why consumer champions like me are around because we do.
Not everything can be found on Google as this motorist found here, and it’s hardly cheeky of me to point you to a book that costs £3.99 as an e-book and £8.99 on paperback for you to use as a source of reference. People have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds with one claim on the Amazon reviews coming in at £23,000, which is more than many people earn in a year. My advice is tried and tested and works every time. If I don’t place any value on my own time, I can’t expect anyone else to.
I run a consumer blog and Facebook page (‘The Complaints Resolver’) and I have helped many people over the years and continue to do so. There are well over 100 blogs on this website with plenty of free advice to access and I happily engage with my followers on my Facebook page by private messages and in public. I use these questions to create blogs to help people like you as I see the same problems time and time again.
I am keen to practice what I preach, and I regularly provide testimonials and mentions on Twitter to praise staff members for providing me with excellent customer service.
I think I have made my point here. If you want to bring out the best in people, just be polite, courteous and show some common sense and good manners. It’s not rocket science!
What do you think? Am I being harsh here or do you agree?