Your reputation relies on your partners’ service as much as your own

Your reputation relies on your partners’ service as much as your own

I have one of those paid-for accounts with all sorts of ‘free’ benefits – you know the sort of thing – free access to airport lounges, discounts on concert tickets and so on; and you know what? Generally, if you work it you do gain some sort of benefit from it. And that’s good because in today’s harsh commercial world when it comes to loyalty programmes we consumers are all looking for something above and beyond money off or cash back, what we really we want are experiential benefits.

So what about my most recent experience?

About three weeks ago (maybe more, the older I get, the more I forget) I had cause to test the elasticity of my phone when dropped from a height of approximately 1 metre onto a hard patio floor. There was none (elasticity that is) and, had it not been for a stick-on screen protector film, my phone would have been rendered useless the moment it hit the deck. As it was, it was still functioning, just, which gave me time to think. That’s when I remembered the ‘free’ phone insurance I get with my bank account and that’s when my experiential benefit began.

Registering the phone, explaining the problem and getting my claim accepted was a breeze – all done online and dead simple, even for me. Until, that is I got to the bit about the replacement phone, which, to all intents and purposes, was an equivalent… but it was white! Now, I’m not exactly young and trendy, ‘getting on a bit, grumpy old git’ are probably better descriptions and white ain’t going to cut it as a replacement for a black phone with me.

So what to do?

I decided to wait until a black one was available and, after numerous emails and phone calls over a couple of weeks, a sparkling new phone was delivered by a very nice chap one week ago today. It took me all weekend to download all the apps and update my contacts but it was worth it (can’t miss out on candy crush for too long after all!).

Or so I thought.

I’m going to cut this ridiculously long story short – the bloody thing didn’t work! It did all the stuff a ‘hand held mobile device’ is supposed to do except allowing me to hold a conversation with someone! Turns out the microphone is faulty but I can’t have a replacement because guess what? They only have white ones in stock! I’m guessing that the proliferation of exclamation marks in this last paragraph might give you some idea of my general exasperation. Everyone has been incredibly polite and understanding but I have to do all the work to ascertain when a black phone will be available.

There are three organisations involved in this, my bank, the insurance provider and the mobile phone company. Apparently I can’t return the phone, have my insurance excess refunded and go out and buy my own phone because – well I didn’t really understand their logic.

But, at the end of the day I’m the one that’s losing out here, yet the service is meant to solve my problem, not create more. You know what, it might be no one’s fault (except mine for being so dopey in the first place) but I’m not happy and I probably won’t use the insurance company or the phone company in the future.

As for my bank? Well I have an unconnected appointment with my Personal Banking Manager in a couple of weeks’ time, so let’s wait and see…