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Old 27.03.2012, 21:48
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Response to outrageous customer service

This is a question mostly for those who have lived in the country for a while.
If a particular company treats you like crap, what is an acceptable response in Switzerland? Do the Suisse just silently walk away or can you go all Kung Fu on the bastards? I am fed up with a particular building supply company in Vaud and am seriously considering telling them in plain English what I think about them. However, I live in a small town where everyone knows each other and don't want to overstep the limits but am very reluctant to let things slide.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 27.03.2012, 22:10
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

Hi

Are you new here?

I would say you are, am I correct?

I mean service is generally poor to very poor here in Switzerland. If you start complaining it will soon be a full time job-

It is far better to enjoy the positive things about Switzerland. I mean you are probably here for the money like most foreigners so enjoy the cash.
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Old 27.03.2012, 22:10
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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This is a question mostly for those who have lived in the country for a while.
If a particular company treats you like crap, what is an acceptable response in Switzerland? Do the Suisse just silently walk away or can you go all Kung Fu on the bastards? I am fed up with a particular building supply company in Vaud and am seriously considering telling them in plain English what I think about them. However, I live in a small town where everyone knows each other and don't want to overstep the limits but am very reluctant to let things slide.

Any advice would be appreciated!
If you know who is responsible for the situation at hand, you can

- give him a call and tell him (calmly, please!) that you find his ways unacceptable and expect to be treated differently in the future
- tell him that if things don't change, you'll contact his boss
- write to his boss

Best thing is to calm down before approaching the offending person/his boss or whoever.
The most important thing is to stay calm and stick to the facts. Don't rise. Dont shout, make out of line threats or go ballistic.

Choose your battles.
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Old 27.03.2012, 22:20
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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I mean service is generally poor to very poor here in Switzerland. If you start complaining it will soon be a full time job-
...
Depends a little bit upon your definition of a service. Many (not all) things that in many english-speaking-countries are called "service" the average European calls them crap.


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I mean you are probably here for the money like most foreigners so enjoy the cash.
No comment on that.


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If a particular company treats you like crap, what is an acceptable response in Switzerland? Do the Suisse just silently walk away or can you go all Kung Fu on the bastards?
...
My philosophy is: Keep your nukes for when you're really threatened or in real danger. Otherwise this weapon may become harmless and inflational.


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However, I live in a small town where everyone knows each other and don't want to overstep the limits but am very reluctant to let things slide.
...
Shouldn't influence your behavior or mentality.


cheers
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Old 27.03.2012, 22:26
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

Quote:
If you know who is responsible for the situation at hand, you can

- give him a call and tell him (calmly, please!) that you find his ways unacceptable and expect to be treated differently in the future
- tell him that if things don't change, you'll contact his boss
- write to his boss

Best thing is to calm down before approaching the offending person/his boss or whoever.
The most important thing is to stay calm and stick to the facts. Don't rise. Dont shout, make out of line threats or go ballistic.

Choose your battles.
Well the thing is, I at first decided to be a good citizen and spoke to a gentleman I know who is good friends with the owner of the company, asking him to intervene on my behalf. And the owner blew him off and told him things will happen when they happen! So, now I am out of bullets, except to go nuts. Which is very tempting!!
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Old 27.03.2012, 22:38
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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Well the thing is, I at first decided to be a good citizen and spoke to a gentleman I know who is good friends with the owner of the company, asking him to intervene on my behalf. And the owner blew him off and told him things will happen when they happen! So, now I am out of bullets, except to go nuts. Which is very tempting!!
Might seem so to you, but going nuts won't get you anywhere.
Staying calm and backing out of the situation is (in my experience) often more satisfying than confrontation.

Why didn't you talk to the company owner directly? That way, if he had ranted at you, you could have told him that you disagree with (whatever it is he did), said goodbye and walk away. End of story. The way things were handled (with your friend asking the boss to intervene), you'll probably be wondering "what would've happened, if..." until you actually go and speak with the boss.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 27.03.2012 at 23:10.
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Old 28.03.2012, 00:14
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

are you sure you want to do it in plain English ?
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Old 28.03.2012, 00:46
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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This is a question mostly for those who have lived in the country for a while.
If a particular company treats you like crap, what is an acceptable response in Switzerland? Do the Suisse just silently walk away or can you go all Kung Fu on the bastards? I am fed up with a particular building supply company in Vaud and am seriously considering telling them in plain English what I think about them. However, I live in a small town where everyone knows each other and don't want to overstep the limits but am very reluctant to let things slide.

Any advice would be appreciated!

The usual way is that you look for a competitioner who is a bit better. In regard to monopolistic state bodies, you can write protest letters. After my beloved granddad in Schaffhausen died, his collection of carbon copies of protest letters written between 1906 and 1955 were in a cardbox until dad took it over. There were more than 500 of them.

Back to your thing. There are many building supply companies on the market. Your changing to another company may contribute .....
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Old 28.03.2012, 01:15
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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The usual way is that you look for a competitioner who is a bit better. In regard to monopolistic state bodies, you can write protest letters. After my beloved granddad in Schaffhausen died, his collection of carbon copies of protest letters written between 1906 and 1955 were in a cardbox until dad took it over. There were more than 500 of them.

Back to your thing. There are many building supply companies on the market. Your changing to another company may contribute .....
Good advice but hard to do when half your bathroom is already in and the other half is lost somewhere in space
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Old 28.03.2012, 09:51
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Good advice but hard to do when half your bathroom is already in and the other half is lost somewhere in space
Why didn't you mention this (as a matter of fact, why didn't you describe the situation in its entirety) in your first post? Giving information piece by piece rarely gets me the answers I'm looking for...
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Old 28.03.2012, 13:06
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

Sorry, I guess I was just looking for generic advice on how to handle bad service. It would have been more helpful to describe the whole thing but did not think it would make a difference
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Old 28.03.2012, 13:17
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

Please note:

The Swiss are fantastic complainers:

First they complain to their family members about the poor service.
Then they complain to their neighbours about the poor service.
Then the neighbours tell the other neighbours about the poor service.
Then the company starts getting a bad reputation for poor service.
Then, finally, someone actually forwards the complaint to the company manager/owner who might not even know there was a problem.

Please change the system and complain directly to the company manager in order to give him a chance to correct the situation. If this fails, then you can follow the Swiss way of complaining, which can ruin a company.
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Old 28.03.2012, 13:48
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

I don't think generic advice applies, because every situation is different.

For bad service/misdeeds by governmental agencies, the post office, etc., like in any other country, there's nothing you can do about it. It's the guvmint

For bad service by companies, retailers, vendors, etc., I would say to go the direct route and complain to them. Stick to the facts and don't attack them personally. You could say "I've paid or I'm being charged X amount of money and I am disappointed with the delivery, level of service," etc., whatever it is. Tell them you expect them to right the situation and discuss how they intend to do so or in the future you will have to take your trade elsewhere.

I have had situations like that here, and I found that matters were resolved to my satisfaction by taking this approach.


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Sorry, I guess I was just looking for generic advice on how to handle bad service. It would have been more helpful to describe the whole thing but did not think it would make a difference
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Last edited by latigresse; 28.03.2012 at 14:44.
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Old 28.03.2012, 13:59
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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Please note:

The Swiss are fantastic complainers:

First they complain to their family members about the poor service.
Then they complain to their neighbours about the poor service.
Then the neighbours tell the other neighbours about the poor service.
Then the company starts getting a bad reputation for poor service.
Then, finally, someone actually forwards the complaint to the company manager/owner who might not even know there was a problem.

Please change the system and complain directly to the company manager in order to give him a chance to correct the situation. If this fails, then you can follow the Swiss way of complaining, which can ruin a company.
You missed a line:

Then they write an open complaint on an anonymous internet forum about the poor service.
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Old 28.03.2012, 14:39
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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This is a question mostly for those who have lived in the country for a while.
If a particular company treats you like crap, what is an acceptable response in Switzerland? Do the Suisse just silently walk away or can you go all Kung Fu on the bastards? I am fed up with a particular building supply company in Vaud and am seriously considering telling them in plain English what I think about them. However, I live in a small town where everyone knows each other and don't want to overstep the limits but am very reluctant to let things slide.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Assuming, as in normal in CH, that you haven't paid him yet, or at least not in full, - payment becomes due when the job is finished in the time and quality according to the agreement and the offer accepted. Should this be difficult (for whatever reason) a simple and reasonable demand by registered letter to give him a further opportunity to meet the agreed requirements within a sensible time limit will settle your problems.
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Old 28.03.2012, 14:42
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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Please note:

The Swiss are fantastic complainers:

First they complain to their family members about the poor service.
Then they complain to their neighbours about the poor service.
Then the neighbours tell the other neighbours about the poor service.
Then the company starts getting a bad reputation for poor service.
Then, finally, someone actually forwards the complaint to the company manager/owner who might not even know there was a problem.

Please change the system and complain directly to the company manager in order to give him a chance to correct the situation. If this fails, then you can follow the Swiss way of complaining, which can ruin a company.
Yet they're all still in business because they're usually the only company that provides the service/product within a sensible range and the owner is the second cousin's brother of the town mayor and thus, no real consequences shall impact the 45 year old history of this incumbent institution.
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Old 28.03.2012, 14:57
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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I mean service is generally poor to very poor here in Switzerland. If you start complaining it will soon be a full time job-
You have obviously never been to the Netherlands, as much as I love the country their customer service is world renowned, for SUCKING BIG TIME!

I once complained about something, was not rude, and the customer representative told me to shut up!
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Old 28.03.2012, 15:08
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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You have obviously never been to the Netherlands, as much as I love the country their customer service is world renowned, for SUCKING BIG TIME!
That's what the prostitutes in Amsterdam are meant to do - doh!
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Old 28.03.2012, 23:01
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

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Yet they're all still in business because they're usually the only company that provides the service/product within a sensible range and the owner is the second cousin's brother of the town mayor and thus, no real consequences shall impact the 45 year old history of this incumbent institution.
They are not "all" still in business, but in fact many a company no longer is in business due to lacking service standards. In retailing, in the transportation business, in the travel business and in construction, there are heaps of companies within a close range.

There may of course be some corruption around some city-presidents, but the city presidents to not have the power to give out commands, as the Ministers of the City are directly elected by the people and do not depend on her presidential highness

Far more important, at least in villages and in smaller towns, is for a company owner to have a high rank in the army and to be a member of the officers-club, or to be an "elevated" member of a political party. But also a rank in the Kegel-Club, the Fussball-Club or a local Schützenverein can be helpful
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Old 29.03.2012, 07:06
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Re: Response to outrageous customer service

Am I they only one wondering why exactly the OP ist complaining, or am I missing something? He wrote that only half of his bathroom is finished. Is this due to the work ethics of the contractor or due to delivery problems? And most importantly, did the OP ask the contractor why the work hasn't been finished yet?
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