Every now and again we're taken by surprise. In a world of rudeness, and big companies who don't seem to care for their customers - well, I never.
At the beginning of April we responded to what looked like an excellent deal from Virgin Media on a new mobile phone for Elaine. When the phone arrived, we couldn't use it to get on the internet, for whatever reason. Just very slow access, I think. But at the time I thought I was doing something wrong and we'd sort it. As a result, we let the fourteen-day 'cooling off' period go by.
But it turned out I was wrong; the internet access on this model was very slow, and there was nothing anyone was going to be able to do to change it. So I phoned Virgin, and they said - quite reasonably - that the 14 days had passed and there was nothing they could do. Frustrating - but fair enough; that is (after all) what their contract said. My bad, as they say.
Still, I thought it was worth another try. I found an address to write to in Trowbridge, and wrote what I hoped was a nice letter explaining my problem and asked them to reconsider: would they change the handset for a different type that I already knew well and was satisfied with?
Almost immediately (if you allow for the Bank Holidays) I got a call from a delightful-sounding young lady who identified herself as Chrissie from Virgin Media. She told me that the folks I'd already spoken to at Virgin were right (I knew that). Still, on this occasion they were prepared to help (I've been with VM for a good long while). Not only did Chrissie give us what we asked for, but also (tell no-one, OK?) she gave us more than we'd asked for. She offered us a better phone - the one we wanted - or (if we preferred) just to cancel the contract.
Less than 24 hours later, a new phone arrived; it's all set up now, doing exactly what we want it to do and we're delighted.
I tell you, I'm sticking with Virgin. If you want good customer service, they're the folks to go to.
If I knew how to get hold of Richard Branson, I'd be telling him, too.
Well done, that company!