So it’s been a while, eh?

So writes Ellie, who’s working in STL’s Customer Services department. Her opening sentence refers, I think, to the length of time since her last blog post; but it might just as well refer to how long it’s taking STL to get things back together since October’s IT systems upgrade debacle, or to how long it’s taking for deliveries to come through to the shops.

But listen to what Ellie says. If you’re one of the people who has vented at an STL Customer Services person, hang your head in shame… then pick up the phone, forget your pride — pride has no place in Christ’s service — and apologise. Do it now.

So it’s been a while eh?

Life has been a mixture as usual.

Work = horrible. We had a computer system changeover at the end of October and things didn’t exactly go according to plan. It’s annoying when you don’t get the things that you want, but despite the fact that Christian books are not oxygen or food or anything that could really be described as ‘essential’ the reaction of some of the customers has been… unpleasant.

It’s sad really, especially when you consider that the majority of people who I work with aren’t Christians. So now the wonderful witness that they’re experiencing is Christian after Christian shouting, swearing and generally acting like the world has come to end because their books are two days later arriving than normal. To be fair, not everyone is that bad, and some people are really nice and understanding, but sadly it’s the horrible customers who my colleagues remember.

Message for all STL customers – be nicer.

Thanks to Rob, Ellie’s father and a co-worker with Wesley Owen, for bringing this to our attention.

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7 thoughts on “So it’s been a while, eh?

  1. Here’s my comment that I left on her blog

    Dear Elli, sorry you’ve been having a hard time from bookshops – there is no excusing bad behaviour. You’re right books aren’t essential, but to some people their jobs feel pretty essential, Christmas is when businesses make or break and if books only arrived 2 days later it wouldn’t be a problem, for some of us it’s more like 2 months. So when they don’t arrive it’s more break than make. That’s definitely a stress.

    Still, you’re right to call us on our witness and to be grace filled under pressure.

  2. Unfortunately, I can see this happening quite easily. It’s one of the reasons I would hate to work in a ‘Call Centre’- people do find it easier to be nasty when they are dealing on the end of the phone….. We had a customer be quite abrupt on the phone with one of my staff, only to be sooooo nice & ‘Christian’ when she came into pick up the book, and had a real person to face. But that aspect of humna nature can never be a justification. After all, of all people, Christians should understand that ‘for every careless word’ we will need to give an account. And, on the Great Day, I suspect the Judge will be mightily interested in asking questons about those lost tempers and hurt hearts- lost boxes & delayed books will probably not be recorded anywhere…….

    Hopefully our friends at STL will have a chance to regroup, take a much needed break over the Christmas period, and return refreshed to the fray. Every blessing, folks- you have had a huge amount to deal with, and I have a high regard for those in Customer Services have tried their best to help us through this. Much appreciated.

  3. Amazingly, I have also received a 24 hour delivery today! Is this the moment to mention that there is no invoice, only half the delivery has arrived, and that the label on the box relates to an earlier, entirely separate order that I received two days ago?

    I have also received two orders this week that came in 72 hours, with invoices, and were largely correct. This represents a big improvement on where things were … at the moment I would far rather have correct deliveries in 72 hours than chaotic ones in 24 hours.

    I would like to echo Andrew’s comment in his other post – have a good break over Christmas, STL staff (especially customer services). Thanks for all the efforts you have put in to get this sorted.

  4. Yep,

    Like John I thought there was light on the Horizon as I too have just recieved in my first 24 hour deliver (well taking into account the weekend of course) but no it was in fact a false horizon, the sort you get in airplane cockpits just before they crash and burn!
    Why you ask?? well rahter like John the invoice was stuffed up royally and on my favourite red reg topic as well! on my Select Order from the new catalogue!
    Yes you guessed it – every single item charged at full price despite and let me reiterate that DESPITE the fact that on the invoice under Pormo Code it even states:
    CR WINT SA!!
    So okay I could almost let last times go )ok lying to myself there no I couldn’t as after 5 orders and all wrong it was tedious!0 but we could put it down to new system problems.
    This time though – nearly 2 complete months into the new system and on a new promotion!! nope no excuse really possible. It is bad enough that half the listed winter sale products are listed as out of stock again (and that on the first day I can order them in!) and I can’t get an actual answer out of anyone at STLD to put my mind at rest and assure me that these products will be in stock at some point before the promotion ends so I don’t look like I am trying to scam the customers with false and misleading sales promotions! all I get is platitudes and excuses in the gerneic sense.
    So do I think this is getting better – no.
    The question now is can I be persuaded at any point to trust STLD again in any meaningful way or have they just burnt the boats out from under them at a time when they most need to be able to convince me that they are where I need to be spending my money as things get tighter.
    Sorry customer service team – we know its not your fault (and no I did not take any of this out on the team as it’s not their fault, that’s why I am ranting here!) but it isn’t ours or our customers either, and you know what? my customers seem to have absolutely no problem at having a go at me face to face at all or over the phone so I do know exactly how they feel.

  5. oops :0?
    sorry for all the typo’s as you can tell I was a wee bit annoyed and it comes out in motor control issues and bad brain skills.
    Colour me abashed!

  6. Perfectly understandable, Melanie. Thinking of upgrading it to a standalone post: will tidy up for you if I do.

    I’ve had some fun invoices too: I queried carriage charges, ended up with credit notes for the books and only the carriage charges to pay. Very, very tempting to just accept them but conscience wouldn’t let me: now — hopefully! — sorted…

  7. Wow, that post made me think of how I’m being a Christian witness to the people around me. I have on occassion lost my temper because an order was late or I was sent the wrong order from a shop, I guess I need to really think of what would Jesus do if he were in my shoes? I just want to have a heart like His but I must admit, I fail miserably! Thanks for this post!

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