P is for PO’d at the PO

Sorry… kind of crass, but I just HAD to do it.  Forgive me.

A lot of people complain about the US Postal Service.  They cite lost packages and letters, lousy service, and a myriad of other things.  Let me tell you.  I hate summer.  We have the nicest postal gal on the planet.  She is a hard worker and a great gal.  But in summer, she keeps a cold bottle of water in the mail bag.  Yep.  ALL my stuff arrives wet.  Every. Day.  Hate it.

Today, a friend of mine and I were recalling an instance where the post office delivered her package (sent by me) to Sierra Trading Company instead of to her house.  Here’s where it gets interesting.  She called the company (not the post office calling to correct it for her– she had to do it) to find out how to get it.  They informed her that it could be weeks before it was found (i.e. no one was going to look, but when they ran across it they’d give it back).  How generous of them.  I have always been a bit irked at their lack of concern for company reputation.  Honestly, if I was told that a package to someone else was received by my company, I’d be digging through every thing that we had until I found it.  That day.  And I’d drive it over myself.  Why?  CUSTOMER SERVICE.  They’d remember me.  They’d remember me doing the Post Office’s job for them.  And they just might say, “hmmm I think I’ll order from those helpful guys.  I know their customer service is top notch.”

Here’s the killer.  My opinion of Sierra Trading Company’s customer service was definitely negatively affected by something that wasn’t even their fault.  What I don’t understand is why I put up with that kind of bad service, week after week, year after year, from the post office.

I mean think about it.  The Post Office mis-delivers a package and I am irked.  I am.  Really.  But… when the innocent party doesn’t extend excellent customer service to someone who isn’t a customer, I’m ready to consider never doing business with them.  WHY am I not willing to make that same sacrifice for the post office?

If you go to your local post office and complain about a lost letter or package, you are likely to get the equivalent of, “Tuff luck, lady.  NEXT!”  Seriously.  I know there are exceptions.  We actually have a decent place here who will go above what they consider to be the “call of duty” to search for what they don’t think they have to.  It irritates me.  I paid you to deliver something.  It isn’t there.  You delivered it elsewhere.  WHY isn’t the postal guy digging through the warehouse for that package and making it right?

I don’t think it’s going to change, either.  Have you ever seen Larkrise to Candleford?    Let me tell you; the days of that kind of commitment to mail service is LONG gone.

I have to decide if (at least in so much as I can) I am going to continue to support our postal service.  It might be time to take every bit of my mail service that I can to Fed Ex or UPS.  Can I give up all USPS? No.  Sometimes you HAVE to mail a letter.  It’d be cost prohibitive to mail every single piece of stuff in a package.  But that which I can…

Time to figure out the costs…  If nothing else, so that I’m not a hypocrite about this stuff anymore.  I wonder if I’ll have the guts to make the break…

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Gotta Love My Dentist…

So, today we hear the UPS truck arrive.  You know the sound… rumbling of an engine, squeal of brakes, thud of his feet as he lands on the truck step and then the rap, rap, rap on the door as he jogs back to the truck and you hear the gears grind just before he drives away.  Yeah.  That truck.  Those sounds.

We go outside and there’s this little box.  It’s about the size of 3 or 4 stacked supermarket sized novels.  You know… Nora Roberts and V.C. Andrews size.  The box says Mrs. Fields.  Now, we did order cookies or dough or something for some local school fundraiser recently but

1.  It was too soon to get it.

and

2.  It was too small for what we ordered.

So, I opened it up and read the envelope inside.

In it, on stationary from my Dental Office it says

Dear Chautona,

Thank you for the confidence and trust you have placed with us during your recent visit to Desert Sky Dental Group.

Please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude.  We realize you have many choices for dental health care, and we thank you for choosing us.  We appreciate your business and look forward to caring for your dental needs in the years to come.

Sincerely,

Desert Sky Dental Group & Orthodontics

Aside from the obvious– I’m not going to have a lot of dental needs in the years to come (this is probably why they don’t like to do dentures.  It’s a job killer)– I thought it was a nice gesture.  I mean, cookies are safe for someone who can’t get cavities anymore, right?

In a day when customer service and appreciation is lacking in so many areas, I thought it was nice to see a different side of the coin.  Then again, maybe it’s just because we spent eight thousand dollars there.  Yeah.  That’s probably it.  I’ll take the cookies, though.  Thought you oughtta know.

Comment Cards~

Have you ever received a comment card in the mail with a request that you fill it out?  You know, you go to a hotel, a restaurant, or as in my case, a new dental office and before you know what happens, a little postage paid card arrives asking for input?  I got one of those a week ago from my new dental office.  They asked for a 1-5 rating from everything from ease of making an appointment, to staff professionalism and friendliness, to wait time.  It wasn’t a lengthy card… only eight or ten questions.  However, at the bottom it gave you a bit of space to write any suggestions for improvement.

I wrote.  With the frustration we had over the wording of their registration and patient information forms, I suggested that they remove or amend the “could be pregnant” from the forms.  To answer them honestly, any woman of childbearing years, with an intact uterus, who is actively engaging in activities that could cause pregnancy has the possibility of pregnancy no matter how unlikely.  I am signing something that states what I say is 100% true.  I can’t lie.  So, I have to say it’s possible even if I’m on the pill!  (Take a breath… I’m not taking oral contraceptives… this is just a point…. breathe…  breathe…)

I got a call the other day.  The office manager wanted to talk to me about that wording, apologized for the inconvenience and frustration, and asked for wording suggestions that might have made me feel more comfortable about signing it etc.  A simple change from “Are you pregnant or could you be/is there a possibility you are” to “Are you pregnant or do you think you might be?” is a huge difference but more what they’re trying to know.  I don’t know if they’ll change it, but for the first time ever, someone read the card, took it to heart, and tried to do something about it.  I appreciate that.

I love my new dentist!  Odd to say that I have a dentist when I don’t have any teeth though.  Very odd.