1 EAGLETON NOTES: How to Deal With a Mistake

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

How to Deal With a Mistake

Well that's made my day.

When I arrived home last week I received a 'Failure to Attend' letter from the hospital.

I had received a phone call on my answering machine after the hospital appointments department had closed on a Friday evening and I left the Island on the Saturday morning before the letter arrived. The appointment was for the Monday - eight days ago.  I rang and left a message on their answering machine saying that I couldn't attend.

After I got home a week ago today I checked that they had received the message and that was confirmed and a new appointment sent. Obviously the 'Failure to Attend' letter was simply a glitch but it did mean a stain on my impeccable record. Being an Edwards these things matter: like not being late. It's just how we are.

So I wrote a very reasonable letter to get the matter off my chest and get the record put straight. After all the ladies (are there any men there?) in the department are always incredibly helpful and pleasant.

I've just had a phone call to admit the glitch, thank me for my feedback, say that my record had been put straight and apologise. So, of course, I was delighted.

If only, if only all organisations would react in that way. A mistake but an even happier customer at the end of it. 

28 comments:

  1. Isn't it life-affirming when people are pleasant and a helpful and friendly? What a good experience to have.

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    1. Thanks Fi. I've been reading your last post but I haven't commented yet. There's a lot to contemplate.

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  3. It might be coincidence but I recently found someone at the screening clinic called me back right away when I said I couldn't reschedule an appointment online. She seemed to know just what to do. Encouraging! I am glad your record is now straight once more.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. Yes there are lots of very helpful and pleasant people out there but usually we only hear the complaints.

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  4. Blessed be those who realise that a simple apology is often lot more efficient than elaborate explanations of how it all came to happen in the first place :)

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    1. Absolutely Monica. That's what I was hoping would happen but, if truth be told, I didn't expect such an excellent response. Many could learn from the lady's approach.

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  5. I think not too many people today want to own up to a mistake.Happy it got taken care of so pleasantly.

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    1. Norma we live in a culture of blame and defence. It's a great shame. I always found the best way to disarm a complainant when they were justified was simply to say they were right and apologise.

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  6. That's a very pleasant way to do business. Nowadays everybody wants to do the blame game and avoid taking esponsibiliy

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    1. Yes Red isn't that exactly the problem.

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  7. A good ending...with both parties left happy.

    I had problems with my internet connect from Friday through to Monday which incurred a number of phone conversations with "they who know all about these things". When the problem was finally solved on Monday afternoon by the technician sent to attend to problem (he had been booked, by Telstra to come on Wednesday - today, but he arrived a couple of days earlier, which suited me just fine)...I rang Telstra (Australia's largest telecommunication and media company) who have their call centre etc., based in the Philippines or Indonesia or, perhaps, Timbuktu...and I thanked them for their prompt, courteous service.

    It doesn't cost much, if anything, to be nice. :)

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    1. Absolutely Lee. Many people don't say thank you often enough and apologise even less frequently.

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  8. This was no doubt a very good experience of the type that comes our way too rarely.
    The last apology I had from a company or organization was when our trains were more than 1 hour late each way on our trip to an from Mölln. The Deutsche Bahn has a rule that passengers can claim a partial refund when their journey is delayed 60 minutes or more, which was the case for us. I had a refund of 25 % of the ticket price, which was quite a substantial sum for the four of us travelling together, and a letter with an apology. Of course it was all prepared and standard, not personal, but at least they did something about it.

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    1. Meike I accept that many apologies from organisations will be automatically generated but at least they are apologies.

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  9. Ranks alongside the apology I got from the Inland Revenue !

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    1. Absolutely Marcel. I mentioned that at the LOTSW lunch today.

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  10. Customer? Hospitals used to call us patients! But maybe when you go to hospital you buy lots of stuff from the hospital shop - a furry gonk, a copy of "The Sun", a "Twix", a potted meat sandwich - so that would make you more of a customer than a patient I guess.

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    1. Ah the furry gonk. YP I abhor the term customer in relation to hospital patients as much as you apparently do. On this occasion for some reason I decided to conform to the current trend.

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  11. Nicely done. Sometimes it is good to set the record straight.

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  12. I'm happy you were pardoned. Most magnanimous of them.

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    1. Adrian apologies cost nothing (when they are due) but can gain so much.

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  13. So happy that you are happy with the outcome....I know exactly what you mean about staining your impeccable record...I'm a stickler for these things too.

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    1. Virginia we are very alike in that respect.

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  14. "a stain on my impeccable record" ~ do they actually keep a record of these 'stains' on their system?

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    1. Carol they do keep records. That was the hospital and I don't know what their attendance figures are but this afternoon I was talking to someone in our medical practice and she said that the number of no-shows in a month is in three figures and the lost time equates to the salary of a GP for the month. I know it was a serious problem in The Family's dental practice in NZ but that actually meant downtime when the dentist was not earning. There it was relatively straightforward to refuse to see a persistent offender.

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