Thursday, 27 September 2012

I'll pay you to be my friend!

Imagine my surprise this morning on seeing a hastily put-up poster at Hampton Court Station advertising that 1-7th October is National Customer Service week, and asking me to nominate someone from South West Trains as my champion of customer service.  (I was in a rush, so didn't have time to grab a picture of this, but will try do so on my way home tonight, likely only slightly hampered by the drinks I'm intending to have with a friend after work.)

South West Trains advises me that
"During this time we want to give you the opportunity to nominate a member of South West Trains staff, who you believe gives you exceptional customer service and makes a difference to you and your journey."
Quite an opportunity indeed.  But in a move perhaps signalling how little recognition their employees are likely to get (not necessarily thanks to them, but thanks to the general ineptitude of their employer), South West Trains has indicated it is prepared to pay for your votes with some rather poor bribery:
"All passengers who send nominations will enter a prize draw. There are 5 pairs of 1st Class tickets available to be won."
So, as well as the opportunity to nominate a South West Trains employee, I also get the opportunity to enter a bog-standard prize draw and receive unwanted corporate communications forever more.  Luck is indeed on my side today.  Still, I'm dubious as to whether even this will be enough, so if you want to enter by writing by 12th October, your odds of winning might actually be fairly good.

Never having seen one of these heroic South West Trains customer service representatives (and I'm not being sarcastic there: it must take heroic courage to stand daily in the face of the levels customer ire South West Trains must generate), I am at a bit of a loss as to how I would do this, were I in any way so inclined.  As it happens I'm not: four minute delay on that train's arrival in Waterloo this morning, leading to me taking a later connecting tube, which seemed to run on time, for a total of 5 minutes' delay and £12.50.

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