There’s still hope!

Here’s a very happy story from the real world:

When we were on our holiday on the south coast we spent a day in Portsmouth at the Historic Dock Yard. Unfortunately Dane forgot his purse with (too much) money in it, in one of the museum shops there. As we were deliberating our options at home, the phone rang. It was a nice lady from the Surrey Wildlife Trust. She had had a call from a police station in Portsmouth that a purse had been found with a membership card to the Surrey Wildlife Trust in it. On it was Dane’s name, so the lady went on to the membership register, found us and called. She had a name and a number for the PC at the police station. I called the number several times but couldn’t get through. In the meantime we were back home, so I sent an e-mail to the main police station in Portsmouth. I got a reply from another nice lady with the name and phone number for an other PC at the local police station. It turned out that this particular police station is under the MOD (ministry of defence) and thus can’t be found on the Internet or in the phone book. There I spoke to another lady who could confirm that the purse had been found with all contents still in it, but alas, there was no way she could send it by post – not even using some of the money in it. It would have to be picked up by us in person. Portsmouth is quite a distance from here, so I asked if it would still be there around Christmas time, when we were planning to be back. She confirmed that and I resigned myself to being happy that the purse was found at all. It means a lot to Dane – it was bought in the Blue Mountains in Australia and it had a picture of himself and his best friend from Denmark in it.

A few days later the nice lady from the Portsmouth central police station sent me another e-mail to ask if the problem had been solved. I told her yes, but that we’d have to go there and pick it up in person. She thought that was rather annoying and asked if I would mind if she went down there and picked it up herself and then sent it off to me? If I’d mind??? You gotta be kiddin’, I could not believe anybody would be that kind. As it turned out, she could not pick it up, because she wasn’t a PC. So what did this lovely woman do? She got one of the police officers at her station to go and pick it up for her! And then she sent it – registered mail – to us.

Dane was thrilled to bits! And so was I. Isn’t it lovely that there are still people who will go out of their way to do a little something for others?


Customer service


  1. The action of helping or doing work for someone
  2. An act of assistance
  3. Assistance or advice given to customers during and after the sale of goods

And that’s from the dictionary.

Lately I’ve received appallingly bad service and really good service. All online.

Bad first. At an upscale gift shop (IRL) I bought a set of 9 Colour-Change Pens + 1  Magic Pen for Dane. He’d seen something similar advertised on TV, but I don’t want to buy things via TV-shop. Upon arrival home, we promptly try the pens and NOTHING HAPPENS! Not just a tiny winy little bit, but nothing at all. We think we’re probably idiots (don’t say anything) and try with a friend of ours who’s really into craft work and that sort of things. But no, they really don’t work at all.

I wrote a nice and polite e-mail to the company behind the pens, Nothing happened for a week. Wrote again, this time slightly sarcastic, quoting their homepage:

Our customers tend to be fun loving people with a great sense of humour (you’ll need it) and with an unbelievable imagination.

What I wrote was of course that we didn’t realize that we needed that much of a sense of humour… We haven’t heard anything yet.

A while ago I wrote to Liberty to ask whether they stocked a particular line of German porcelain. They already stock 2 other lines by the same manufacturer, so it wouldn’t be at all strange. Did I get a reply? No. But did they have the audacity to put my e-mail on their mailing list? Oh, yes.

 Now good. I ordered stuff from the online bike-shop Chainreaction twice. They ship same day, no hassle, no cost. Goods arrive next day. Order confirmation, shipping confirmation, all neatly in place.  And I regularly order stuff from Ethical Superstore, where I buy organic cleaning supplies and other things. They answer inquiries same day, ship within 48 hours and if something is not in stock, they ship it later without charge. And I sent an inquiry to Homeplug before I actually bought them, to make sure they’d work with Mac. Answer within 24 hours. The goods delivered at my door next day. The best one last: I wrote to a small manufacturer of homeopathic allergy medicine, which we’d bought in Australia. He answered the next day, that unfortunately he couldn’t export his goods to the UK because of the strict rules surrounding natural medicinal products and didn’t know of any similar products available here, but he’d send me some, if I wanted?

On Gretchen’s Happiness-blog I recently read a wonderful story about customer service. You can read it too, i guarantee it will make you smile.