I is for Irritated (A – Z challenge)

Dealing with Poor Customer Service

This is taken from the email that I just sent to Fietsenwinkel.nl

Dear Sir/Madam,

For the record:

  1. irritation
    art by:  Irritated Audrey

    Last week, Monday – June 4th – around 11:00 am, I called Fietsenwinkel by phone and explainedmy problem: My electric part of the bike – the part that switches speeds – was not working properly. It turns on, and allows me to ride only in ‘eco’ gear. I would like to change electric speeds, of course, so I wanted this fixed.I was told it would take 48 hours to get a response from the bike store or from Fietsenwinkel.

  2. On Wednesday afternoon, when I had not yet heard from your company, I called again, and was told that you are handing my request and it’s very busy this time of year.At this time (and by email), I indicated that my email had changed and is now: aXXXX@ziggo.nl

  3. On Friday afternoon, 8 June, I called again and this time was told that an email had been sent to me (to the wrong/ previous email address) and that I should contact Parnassus bike store.

  4. I contacted the bike store and spoke to a nice young man who said that I could bring in my bike “when I wanted, either Saturday, Sunday or Monday.” Because it was my birthday on Sunday, I was thinking of bringing it in on Monday, but we didn’t make a specific appointment, which the guy said was fine. He told me to come in at my convenience.

  5. On Sunday (my birthday – June 10th), I was contacted by a very angry sounding man from Parnassus bikes, who asked why I missed my appointment on Saturday. I explained to him that we hadn’t made a specific appointment and he replied that ‘this was not how things worked in his shop’. Afterwards, when I tried to make an appointment – he said I could not come on Monday, but rather on Tuesday or Wednesday. (But I work those days, as a teacher, so I asked if it was possible to bring in the bike on Monday after all), and he said that I was very inflexible and that if it’s ‘only Monday then on Monday the 18th.’ By this time, I was feeling a little bit chastened, like I was a bad child…’

  6. Then — in this same conversation – i mentioned to him that it was a problem with the electric part of the bike, because he mentioned ‘versnelling (gears)’ – but i said – it’s NOT the versnelling – it’s the electricity part of the bike, where you change gears/speeds from Eco mode to Turbo, Sport, etc. (as I wrote in my email to Fietsenwinkel).
    This caused the man at Parnassus to get even more angry at me – that I didn’t know the difference between a ‘versnelling (gear)’ and ‘ondersteuning (support).’ Now, It’s true that my Masters in Business Admin did not give me this knowledge – and so I don’t think it’s fair that I need to know the exact terms for what is going wrong with my bike, is it? However, because I apparently got the name of the problem wrong, he said I cannot bring in my bike until he contacts Fietsenwinkel and a new appointment is made ‘for the right thing – for the ondersteuning’.

  7. Today I received an email from Fietsenwinkel asking my I missed my appointment at Parnassus bikes -and can I call them to make an appointment….!!!

Right now, after the very rude way this man from Parnassus bikes spoke to me on the phone yesterday, I really don’t feel like letting him take care of my bike.

I still have the problem with the ondersteuning – where the Electric part will not shift from Eco to Sport/ Turbo etc.

Can I have the mobile technician come to my house to fix it? I live on the border of Amsterdam and Amstelveen – postcode xxxx.

I look forward to your quick reply.


As a side note, I have to mention that yesterday (my birthday), I had woken up to a mega migraine (probably due to the interesting mix of drinks I had at my surprise party the night before), and this conversation with the condescending bike guy did nothing to improve the state of my health. I therefore tried very hard to keep the discussion to a minimum and to get off the phone as quickly as possible, but he was hell bent on making sure I knew how many mistakes I had made – namely:

  • Not knowing to explain properly difference between a problem with the gear and the ‘electric support system,’
  • Not showing up for an appointment that I didn’t really know I had made,
  • Not being flexible with my time, because as a University Lecturer, I should appreciate that when the bike guys says ‘come on Tuesday’ – then I should cancel my classes,
  • I also made the mistake of asking if I could get my yearly service appointment done at the same time and didn’t I know that I have to ask the online shop that sold me my e-bike for that – and not ask him directly? Duh!

This whole conversation was done in my very best Dutch (which even after 17 years of living here, is not the greatest in the world), and a day later, thinking about this, I am still shaking, and quite upset thinking that this is how I started my birthday, yesterday.

Irritation should lead to Action

After my yoga retreat, which you may have read about it my last post about Happiness, I noticed that I had spent 5 whole days with no irritation whatsoever, even though there were a few (minor) things that could have caused me to lose my patience.

What I am deciding now to take ‘home’ with me from this bike incident – is not to give up, but to know that if something can be changed, it should be. I’m pretty sure this is not a case of accepting what cannot be changed.

This is why I wrote the letter of complaint, and why I’m not going to settle for a one year old e-bike that refuses to change speed!

What do you do when you get irritated?

  • Get even?
  • Get a better result?
  • Get into a fetal position?

Have a beautiful June, summer and get on your bikes!
(like I will soon be doing!)


2 thoughts on “I is for Irritated (A – Z challenge)

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