Service of Follow-Ups

January 14th, 2010

Categories: Accommodation, Audacity, Customer Service, Follow-Up, Indifference, Luxury, Packaging, Quality Control, Recommendation, Service

Have you ever watched a movie and had to leave early–so you don’t know the ending? I like to know what happens. So here are some follow-ups to four previous posts.

Postal “Service”

Mervyn Kaufman wrote about his excruciating US post office experience in “Service of Ho Hum,” December 8, 2009. The who cares attitude he described struck us in other ways this Christmas, the first year that the postal service lost two packages-one we sent and one destined for us, mailed from the Midwest.

All we have from our lost package is the address and return address ripped from the book mailer packaging and sent us, with a printed form letter postmarked Atlanta, noting that the package had fallen apart and sorry, but the contents [wrapped gifts] were lost. The package, mailed from upstate New York, was slated for New Hampshire.

In addition, a letter with a check in it that we mailed to Brooklyn in mid-December has yet to arrive or be returned, and we hear from a friend who lives in the Midwest that she hasn’t received a bill from a credit card company for the past two months. All this happens as USPS business continues to drop off while staffing doesn’t.

Fur Flying

We left Catherine C’s story in “Service at the High End,” November 23rd, up in the air. Did the furrier find and return her lost coat? No. This is what she reported:

“I got a check from my insurance company, which will duke it out with the furrier.  I had to ask the furrier to give me a refund for the storage, cleaning, and relining of my coat (shouldn’t have had to ask), and I never got any kind of written apology.  I still believe the latter knows what happened to my coat.

“I’ve learned some things that make me question their quality and make me thankful I’m no longer dealing with that firm. I’m glad I didn’t take their offer of a more expensive coat if I paid the difference in value between the new one and my coat.

“I am in the process of having a new coat made at a furrier that was recommended by the style editor of my client, Departures magazine.  It happens to be a close friend’s furrier, too.  And I’ve triangulated and heard only good things.  This furrier stores on premises, which is good.  It’s taken me a little while to get my head around the whole idea of making a coat because there’s an element of faith involved in what it’s going to look like.  It’s starting to come together.  Wish I had it now!” [Catherine wrote this on a frigid day.]

Ring Up a Great Deal

On a cheerier note, I visited the same T-Mobile phone store that was the subject of the January 28, 2009 post, “Good Service is In the Air, Isn’t It?” Last year, I bought a cell phone with charger, earphones and 1,000 hours of service for $130–$10.83/month for 12. The purpose of the visit last week was to renew the account, which I did for $10-there were 700 phone hours left to use. This brings the monthly cost of the phone and service to $5.83-for what I hope will be 24. The charming and efficient young woman helping me had me in and out of the store in minutes.

Cup of Joe from Sam

And Sam in his coffee cart– “Coffee Service with More than a Smile,” December 15, 2009–is as welcoming as ever. His music transitioned this month from seasonal Christmas to energetic music with a Middle Eastern twist. He’s added a variety of cold cereal to his breakfast offerings and his prices remain reasonable–75 cents for a cup of coffee.

We missed him when he left a substitute coffee person to tend his cart on the southeast corner of 44th Street and Third Avenue so he could visit his family in Egypt. The substitute had no interest in any of us–didn’t bother to remember if we took sugar, skim or regular milk and could be sour and rude. He also left each day hours before Sam does.

Do us a big service: Share some follow-ups either from one of our post topics or your life.

6 Responses to “Service of Follow-Ups”

  1. Kay Degenhardt Said:

    Kay Degenhardt just posted this response to the original “Service of Ho Hum” entry and I didn’t want anyone to miss it, so I re-posted it here:

    My local post office is just one of the many reasons I enjoy living up here in Western Mass. While I loved being a New Yorker and miss much about it, can you imagine the surprise I had when I walked into our rather large post office and found all three stations manned.

    And the characteristic ambience follows you right out to the street. One day while out for a walk traffic actually stopped mid-block to let me cross the street. I thought it was because I’m now an older, white-haired women. Ah no. Cars, trucks, busses stop here for everyone.

    And while I think that’s dandy and have learned that this kind of graciousness is – dare I say – pervasive, I’ve had to pay a lot closer attention to my driving. I mean, are you ready to stop here there and everywhere for pedestrians? Frankly, I still find myself gunning it behind slow moving traffic. Guess you can’t take New York outta the girl.

  2. Nancy Farrell Said:

    I’m happy to report that my powder room renovation is complete. It didn’t take 4 months, as the big store had warned, and it didn’t take $5000.00 just for materials either. We passed all inspections and we came in at budget–to the penny. I now know that it pays to frequent small, independently owned stores. Marc and Lori made us feel as if we were important clients. My only complaint is that now the rest of the first floor looks shabby in comparison so we’ll have to have them back to take a look at our kitchen.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You are lucky. We’ve been in small towns where the post office staff is darling, but some of the businesses hire people who aren’t fond of folks whose roots don’t reflect several generations in the area. They are also not thrilled with weekenders unless they are famous or unless their grandparents were weekenders as well.

    Nancy, thanks for this update. Would love to see a photo of the finished project! Kudos to the business that came in on budget and on time. What more fabulous service could you ask for?

  4. Jeremiah Said:


    What a good idea! As a long time follower of your blog, I did want to know what happened about Catherine’s fur coat and what Sam was up to at his coffee cart.

    In the spirit of your most recent post and as a past guest blogger (The Service of Mature Music – May 9, 2009), I’d like to bring your readers up-to-date about what eventually happened to WQXR and what at least one listener did about it.

    As most of the New York-based classical music lovers probably already know, the New York Times, in a complicated transaction, effectively sold the call letters “WQXR” to WNYC, New York’s public radio station which now broadcasts classical music under that name at a less accessible FM frequency, 105.9. Several, but not all, of the defunct station’s broadcast staff were hired by NYC, some on a part time basis while they look for other work.

    Gone is the character and personality the old station had, probably because of the Times ownership, and most of the news broadcasting that I, for one, used to rely upon. Under the new ownership, the amount of time one listens to voices instead of music may be less, but it seems to this listener to be just about the same. The programming may have been brought modestly a little more current and perhaps “popular,” although to my ear the pieces played seem to have become shorter and less ponderous, more Gershwin and Nino Rota and less Mahler.

    In fairness, listener reaction has been both positive and negative, I find the new station bland and a little boring and miss the old station badly, but my opthomolist, who had the new station playing while he was looking at my eyes yesterday, thinks it’s much better.

    Curiously, my loosing my favorite radio station has had a very positive development. I have learned how to find classical music on the computer. There are all sorts of classical music stations which broadcast on the internet, from BBC3 and various other European stations to several that only broadcast on the internet. There are even a few that broadcast just opera non-stop. My favorite, however, which I now listen to almost all day, is WMNR Fine Arts Radio.

    WMNR is an unusual Connecticut public radio station with its own quite distinctive personality. Its broadcasters are all volunteers, not professionals, and I suspect most, if not all of them, are musicians, many possibly with teaching backgrounds. Their commentary is often refreshingly helpful and they don’t talk down to their audience. Each picks his or her own music and what one gets to hear, at least to this listener, is quite varied and interesting. I am especially fond of Doug Fox’s program on opera on Tuesday evenings. It is by far the best opera program I’ve listened to since George Jellinek’s “The Vocal Scene” went off the air at the old WQXR in 2006, and has attracted a following from around the country.

    Doug also has a good suggestion for those of us who are abandoning radio for the computer: Get a good set of speakers and attach them to your computer. It will make all the difference in the quality of the sound that you hear.

    In sum, as George Bernard Shaw would say, “You Never Can Tell.” Perhaps the demise of WQXR was not such a bad thing after all.


  5. Chuck Gehrman Said:

    Re the Service of Follow-Up, here’s the way it should be done.

    I felt I should take the time to express about the exceptional follow thru I had concerning lack of service at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant located at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

    I sent a note to both Wolfgang Puck and Borgata about poor service at one of their elite restaurants. First I received a note from a General Manager expressing his concern that the meal did not live up to my previous visits. He asked for another opportunity and offered a price accommodation as encouragement for my next visit.

    A short time after, I received a note from Borgata’s Executive Office also concerned about my comments and stated that they actually spoke to the Wolfgang Puck General Manager and was aware that he had addressed the issue. If I was not satisfied in the future I should contact the office again.

    I was so pleased with all the comments that I am going back overnight and eating at the restaurant a short time after my last visit.
    Chuck Gehrman

  6. LG Said:

    As a follow up to Service of Transferring Skills, I am happy to report that rude mom in the classroom party story seeked me out in December, offered to come in for the Winter Party and even baked cupcakes complete with holiday decorations for each of the children. I’m still not sure if it was my even-toned response to her complaints or that she was full of holiday cheer but I was glad that the issue is behind us and that the school year is halfway over!

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