Electrifying customer service

Dave Woodhall has an all-too-rare experience of a company doing the right thing.

I’ve often said that one of the phrases that have gone out of fashion in recent years is “No, that’s alright” or something similar. You used to hear it a lot from tradesman or shopkeepers – when a minor fault could be fixed with a screwdriver in a couple of minutes or you needed one of a small item. They’d come round, fix whatever minor problem needed fixing, hand over a screw or similar. You’d ask how much you owed them and the magic worls “No, that’s alright” would be uttered. You’d be grateful and think of them next time you needed a bigger job doing, or buying.

These days everything’s about screwing the last penny out of the customer. That two minute job involves a minimum call-out charge, everything comes in sealed packs containing a decade’s supply. Nobody seems to recognise the importance of old-fashioned customer service anymore. But sometimes you realise that there are still some people who make life worthwhile.

Yesterday morning I got too close to a car park ticket machine and in reversing, my wing mirror cover came loose. A bit of Googling told me that fixing it back was an easy enough job. A lifetime of being me meant that it wasn’t. After a few minutes of pushing, twisting and swearing, and expecting the whole unit to break at any minute, I stopped trying to do the easy/hard thing and drove to All Electric Garages in Kings Heath, who I’ve used before. I threw myself on their mercy and five minutes later one of their mechanics (if they’re still called mechanics) came out and proved that it was, indeed, an easy enough job, if you know what you’re doing. I think it took him seven seconds. I’d still be doing it now.

His name’s Chris, he almost ran away when I tried to give him some money for his help and he, and his employees, restored my faith in human nature. Thanks Chris. Thanks All Electric. You definitely are alright.