Via email, reply to 23 Feb email below:
"You dont give a name so, among the huge pile of SpaySA applications that are being processed,
it is pretty difficult to reply..." (My name and often my Cell phone number were at the bottom of the emails, which were part of an email chat history.)
And after I reminded her that we want a refund:
"I had already made the payment for Skeddi to be spayed before I received this email..."
Why is it that Payment took place before the 10th February, and we had to fight to receive any kind of communication by the 23rd/24th Feb? I sent a "friendly reminder" for refund at 7am Monday 27th Feb.
Let this lesson be learned: Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Whether you are a charitable organisation, a NGO, NPO, Church group, CSI project or standard service provider - COMMUNICATE!
If Kitten Action SpaySA's Mandy had just replied via sms or email as she had been doing before payment - there would have been no problem. When a customer makes payment and then feels the need to email/facebook the following, there is a service delivery process issue that needs to be monitored/addressed:
"My Husband made payment this week...
...How long before she has the op? I'm stressing that she'll fall pregnant." 10 Feb 2012 (No Reply)
"Hi Mandy, I've emailed proof of payment and the Spay form through but have had no reply. Please let me know what the next step is?" Kitten Action Fan Page Wall - FACEBOOK - 17 February (No Reply)
"Still no reply from 10 Feb since we made payment. Please reply or refund the R485 by tomorrow, thank you. We need to have our kitten spayed now." Kitten Action Fan Page Wall - FACEBOOK - 23 February (No Reply)
"I made payment of R485 and emailed forms to you on the 10th February (2 weeks ago now) and have not heard back from you via sms or email.
I have emailed repeatedly, sms'd and called and now I feel quite lost.
I have also asked (a friend) to investigate, and you put the phone down on (her).
Please reply to me via email/sms or call before tomorrow or I will have to take this further. I made use of your SpaySA offer because I genuinely need help. If you are unable to assist then please refund asap. So that I am not stuck with a litter of Kittens.
My number is..." 23 Feb 2012
"Just a friendly reminder that we would like the amount of R485 refunded as soon as possible. We do not feel comfortable using Kitten Action SpaySA." 27 Feb 2012
I went from hopeful/thankful/grateful for the service offered to worried, stressed, concerned and fearful that we'd been robbed - for two weeks! That's 14 days of worry and 14 nights lying in bed stressing that my cat would get pregnant.
I also provide free service to people in need, but, I treat them with equal respect and give them full service. The feeling that I got when there finally was communication this weekend was, "we're helping you with a discount so shut up and just be grateful we're even bothering."
Communication is key to having happy clients - whether they be "freebies", "discountee's" or full paying clientelle. In our modern age of Facebook, Cellphones and Email there is absolutely zero excuse for not keeping in touch when someone has purchased a service from you... Especially when you have been communicative *before* payment and fall silent once payment has been made.
Was I expecting too much? Was a quick sms or email reply saying: "Payment received! Should be a week or two." too much to ask?