July 27, 2004, 9:31 p.m.

Pathetic service

Maybe I am too headstrong, but I have found that QoS (Quality of Service) - in this country at least - is absolutely pathetic.

As an example, take my car. I took it in for a service about three weeks ago. For the service I mentioned that I experienced an intermittent vibration when the car is idling. They duly jotted this down and said they'll have a look (my car is still under guarantee). That afternoon (after I phoned them - they forgot to phone me) they informed me that they had to order some parts (cannot remember what exactly) since they did not have it in stock and that was causing the vibrations. As I am a quite understanding person, I accepted this and booked my car for the next week.

Come the following week, I took my car in and later that afternoon I received a call that it was ready and all fixed. Happy about this I drove through to Pretoria and picked up my car. I barely drove 10 meters when I immediately realised the window was not working anymore - at least the automatic mode where you push the button for a second and it keeps moving until it is either closed or open. I had to keep the button depressed. I took it back only to hear the technician make a comment about the window being like that when he worked on it this morning. So I asked him whether he implied I broke it? He just mumbled.

After waiting for almost an hour they came back saying they can't fix it and will call headoffice to find a solution.

Today I realised the idling vibrations has not been fixed at all, and that I now have a new problem plus my original one.

I can carry on like this about many other instances too, the question however is why has this become such a problem? Today I experienced the complete opposite. My Miele gas hob has a iron cover, and it exploded from the heat. I took it to their service centre, and within 10 minutes I had a new cover replacing the broken one, with the service person telling me this was never supposed to have happened. No questions, no forms, nothing. Just brilliant service. Couldn't everyone be like this?