As regular readers of this blog will know we had a problem of having no power over Xmas. Now, in the scheme of things with the weather conditions which have been so terrible since Xmas and the floods and disruption that so many businesses and families have endured, 38 hours of no power, pales into insignificance somewhat, BUT it was on Xmas eve and Xmas day and it did effect 181 people, so whilst it wasn’t life changing, life threatening or too traumatic in the big scheme of things, it was a terrible shame for all those guests who had their Xmas meals, stays and events cancelled because of it.
I had written, e mailed and messaged SSE about the Xmas power problems, admittedly along with thousands of other effected people and businesses. On their website they promise to endeavour to deliver 10/10 service at every opportunity. I had no response to my 30th December e mail and so wrote again on 10th January, when I eventually received, days later, a phone message noting that they would respond eventually but they were busy dealing with all the complaints!
I eventually received a letter dated 14th February, almost 8 weeks later and the letter apologised to my family and I for the effect of lack of power over Xmas. There were lots of words of reasons why no further payment was being made unless power was out for 48 hours or more, but a final paragraph explaining that as a goodwill gesture they were sending all those effected with no power on Xmas day a cheque for £75.00.
Actually, I was expecting no monetary recompense as it’s SSE and they are much better at taking customers money rather than ever paying any back to us… but what I did expect was some genuine interest in us as one of their customers. I had expected that they would actually have read my e mail and realise that we were a business and that a letter apologising to me and my family was not acceptable to a business that had to cancel 181 people’s Xmas celebrations- a generic letter that was sent to thousands of households is not the same style of letter that an effected business should have received. It is insulting to me as the business owner and even more so to all my effected guests. As for the paltry sum of £75.00, I am very pleased to donate it to the hotel’s adopted charity, The Rose Road Association, as when, as a business we have lost over £30,000 (albeit the insurance company have made a contribution to our losses) the goodwill gesture SSE have sent does not really feel like one, but even more importantly the fact that they have taken so long to respond, have done so in such a disinterested manner and the lack of communication and interest in their customers when the power failure actually happened suggests that their Customer care is certainly lacking- as a business if we treated guests in such a shoddy manner we would be out of business- shame on you SSE for believing that you are too big, too important and your management hierarchy too arrogant to care about your customers.
I would like to finish on a more positive note and not rant to the very end of this week’s blog… whilst I am disappointed, frustrated and insulted by SSE as a company, I do think their engineers and the people on the ground who were climbing the poles in all weathers, repairing lines and generally getting the network up and running again do a great job- it’s just such a shame that their bosses let them down so spectacularly when dealing with their customers.
Till next week