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  1. #1
    Join Date
    16th August 04
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    Scotweb Service Complaints? Please read this first! :-)

    We've had a few people using these columns to voice their complaints about our customer services. We do value this feedback. (There's usually lessons to learn from any service failure - almost always we'll not just seek to solve the customer's problems, but also try to investigate and resolve the underlying causes, for long-term service improvement.) But do please read the ADVICE below first, and you may also find some of the following background information helpful too...


    BACKGROUND

    Firstly, it may help to understand that purchasing authentic heritage goods is not the same as ordering Korean electronics. Our suppliers are typically small artisan producers, or slightly larger businesses who are themselves dependent on often-unpredictable supply chains. We select producers who provide wonderful work, but a few are as much creative artists as as business professionals. Or for example, a single person's illness can cause delays, with no certainty about date revisions. It's our job to do our best to provide a reliable and trustworthy face for this not-always-clockwork production base. Plus of course there's regrettably inevitable human fallibility - yes, we do make mistakes too.

    But we're not always in the wrong either. Customers used to modern consumer industries do not always 'align' perfectly with the authentic traditions we honour. From our point of view it can be virtually impossible to convince an individual who believes they have received the "wrong" tartan that in fact the huge variations in tartan colour shades from one weaver or batch to another are normal and that yes, "weathered green" does in fact look brown, or that the "imperfection" in their product is a sign of its being made by a craftsman rather than a robot. As a business we mostly side with authentic tradition, and do our best to translate this openly and accurately for those less familiar with the idiosyncracies of heritage goods. But sometimes, sadly, once a customer has convinced themselves that they are right and we are in the wrong, there will be little we can say to turn this perception around. You know what? This hurts.

    We deal with many thousands of orders. We try our hardest to provide accurate and truthful information, and the best quality products. And we continue to invest heavily in developing robust technical systems and business procedures to ensure things generally go smoothly. I doubt there's anyone else in the industry that gives all new customer service a full month's initial training before they deal with customers, followed by routine ongoing training and team sessions to improve service delivery. Our business model is based on 'walking the walk', and actually delivering the sort of service that so many companies just talk about. So for example, one of the key things they are regularly appraised on is to see issues through customers' eyes, and to try to help as if helping a friend. This includes giving the most truthful information available, rather than ever to cover up problems with corporate evasion. But in a situation of uncertainty (see above) definite answers are not always possible. We understand how easy it is to hear honest advice like "we expect" or "we hope" as a firm promise, and then to feel outraged when this 'guarantee' isn't kept. But from this side of the fence, we can only keep trying to say it as we see it.

    To cut a long story short, and without wanting to sound complacent for a moment, it's inevitable that amongst our volume of orders there's going to be a few that don't work out as well as we'd want. Our policy in these circumstances is firstly to do our best to resolve the customer's issues to their satisfaction. Then to fix any underlying causes. Bearing this in mind, please note the following points...


    ADVICE

    You may well be fuming, and desperate to share your frustration with the world. But before complaining here, may I make a couple of requests?

    Firstly, have you actually brought your problem to the attention of Scotweb's management yet? We'd really appreciate and advise this in the first instance, since in most cases we can and will do our utmost to resolve things to your satisfaction. Every email we send out includes a special email address (complaints@) that goes direct to the retail management team, and is copied to myself. This is the best route to use. You can also phone in (free from the UK or North America) and ask to speak to the manager. But we prefer email as this way there's a full record of all the details and issues.

    Note that our systems always send an automatic instant email acknowledgement, so if you don't get this, your message probably didn't reach us - check the address you're using. And please check your spam filters before complaining about not receiving replies - this problem outwith our control accounts for the great majority of such issues.

    You can also PM me directly from this board, particularly if you're still unhappy after using the 'complaints@' email address. But I am not always around, and cannot guarantee as quick a response that way.

    Secondly, please provide a clear order reference (preferably our order number) particularly if you're complaining on this board. If we're to be able to investigate, we need to know who you are!

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Nick Fiddes; 27th March 09 at 08:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    1st December 06
    Location
    Conyers, Georgia
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    Scotweb announcement extra comment

    Nick, thanks for the advice.

    I tend to forget in this modern, instant gratification world that making a proper kilt is still very labor intensive, human act. You make a good point: it's not like ordering Asian electronics that are produced in large quantities.

    I hope that things go well for you and your concern. I can say that I have had nothing but excellent service from your company, and this an ocean away.
    Jim Killman
    Philosopher, Teacher of English and Math, Soldier of Fortune, Bon Vivant, Heart Transplant Recipient, Knight of St. Andrew (among other knighthoods)
    Freedom is not free, but the US Marine Corps will pay most of your share.

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