In the middle of Frankie Boyle’s Guardian column, where he compares Boris to a malevolent baked Alaska, he maintains that no one in the UK is doing a decent job. He’s absolutely fucking right. We stopped at Keele services on the way home from Birmingham on Wednesday. I know, in hindsight it’s a level of stupid on a par with the bloke who told the Beatles that they were shit, or the committee that brought us mocktails, but you know… coffee. We had passed a Costa/M&S combo at Stafford, in favour of the holy grail of Waitrose/Starbucks. The Waitrose sandwich had black slimy rocket and chopped and shaped ham… the coffee had no coffee in it. How the fuck do we get crap customer service in a recession?
Also, Marks and Spencer women’s clothes. This is a tale of fucking woe, as first world problems go anyway. Six pairs of women’s trousers, all the same size but a mixture of regular and long. All different lengths with only two pairs falling within M&S own tolerance. A right first time of 30%, which is piss poor. 85% is getting there, with 95% being pretty damned good. After an email string where M&S executive office failed to either apologise or admit they had a quality issue, I’m forced to conclude that M&S let their customers carry out their QC function. They did, eventually, apologise… but only after I shamed them into it.
So, customer service always improves in a recession, and this consistent lack of anyone seemingly giving a flying fuck in many of our customer facing businesses is proof that the Tory austerity con wasn’t in any way a cure for a recession, it was a robbery, moving public assists into private ownership.