An item I sent in the post was damaged recently and I popped onto the Royal Mail website to see if there was somebody I could mouth off to. It all seemed very friendly and easy to use, and I quickly located a customer complaints form. “Aha!” I thought, “an online form – this should be quick and simple.”
So I filled in all the relevant boxes, typed in my polite complaint, scrolled up and down the page to see if I’d missed anything, then clicked on the “Next” icon, imagining that it would submit my form to the nice people at Royal Mail.
But no. The next page was exactly the same, but with the added instruction “please print off this form and post it to:…”
Now, I can understand that Royal Mail like posting things and maybe it seems natural enough to them. But I can’t help feeling that I’ve been duped. It’s not so much that the supposedly simple online form had suddenly turned into a process of printing something out on my paper, affixing a stamp worth 32p and all the effort of actually going out and posting it. No, it’s more the feeling that their customer complaints form is little more than a thinly disguised piece of self-promotion.
It’s a complaints form that ends by telling you to go out and use the service that you’re complaining about. They make a 32p profit every time somebody complains. Imagine if you went into Mothercare to complain and just as you’d finished making your complaint they sold you a rattle. It’s just like that.
I’m almost tempted to print off another form complaining about the system and claiming back my 32p.