Service of “Sorry About That” or Blah Blah Blah

August 14th, 2023

Categories: Apology, Retail

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As I write this, I’m humming the song “Show Me” from My Fair Lady, where Eliza sings to the love besotted Freddy:

“Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?
Don’t talk of stars Burning above; If you’re in love,
Show me! Tell me no dreams
Filled with desire. If you’re on fire,
Show me! Here we are together in the middle of the night!
Don’t talk of spring! Just hold me tight!”

The lyrics—the first lines especially–apply to many, but thank goodness not all, businesses.

It wasn’t so long ago that the manager of a restaurant raced to give me his card when a waiter spilled cream on my wool jacket. He wanted me to give him the dry cleaning bill. Just the other day a waiter gifted my friend her dessert because of a misunderstanding.

By the way, I dislike the words “Sorry about that**.” But in the next examples there were no apologies–not even this obnoxious one. [**The expression falls in the same irritating category as “No problem,” in response to “thank you” which drives me nuts when employees have completed their jobs.]

I told Deb Wright about the tweets I received from Tina at Best Buy for the TV purchase debacle I wrote about August 3rd. I’d posted highlights of the mess on the social media platform.

At first Tina offered assistance—but there was nothing more to do. She asked for basic information—my name, phone number, email and order number and for more details but she couldn’t link to my blog as it was against company policy, so I had to send screen shots. [More of my time spent.]

She then wrote: “I’ve had an opportunity to read your message along with your blog. I appreciate you sending this information our way. With the details of your experience and the feedback you have provided, I can see that there are some hits and misses that needed to be brought to our attention. Please note that I have documented this into our corporate system to be reviewed by the appropriate teams.”

I’ve read this and previous tweets a few times and didn’t see the word SORRY anywhere.

The wording reminded Deb of a response she received from her complaint for a far more dire circumstance than the wasted time and countless communications and appointment ball droppings by Best Buy. The night before she was to go to the rehab place—the hospital was, in her words, kicking her out after a knee replacement –the insurance company announced that it refused to pay. She lives alone, her bedroom is upstairs, recovery requires strong pain meds and she’d been to the rehab place after her first knee replacement and knew how crucial this step was. Deb texted: “After many communications, I got the same response you did: ‘we are documenting your complaint and it will get our full attention.’ Bah! Humbug!”

The insurance company is lucky Deb didn’t hurt herself or sue for the anxiety its decision caused.

Can you share examples of nonentity responses with no sorry attached from corporations or organizations when they have dropped the ball? Why do you think this is?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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6 Responses to “Service of “Sorry About That” or Blah Blah Blah”

  1. Martha Tepper Takayama Said:

    I don’t think Xfinity has ever responded to overcharges or incrrease in charges withot specifying that they would occur because a contract would be coming to an end. I don’t think they ever apologize for terrible non-working service. Anyway half the time the verbal communications are incredibly unintelligible due to the speakers lack of English and the terrible communication services!!! I am so tired of anybody and everybody sayin “Yes” or “I understand” or “I know” for ghastly frustrating time-wasting errors in scheduling, completing a task not sending a response etc. Responses to complaints and errors whether verbal or written tend to be in perfunctory meaningless language. It is self-delusion to think any issue, mistake or complaint will ever be addressed. I have been amazed to find out that the Better Business Bureau gives amazingly high ratings to companies like Barkan thatnon-manages my buildings despite inumerable complaints and calls to various government agencies at various levels.
    Corporate America is never sorry for anything!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    I have had to train myself not to apologize as often as I do. Friends have admonished me about doing so for years. When I don’t—and I realize there was no need to—I silently pat myself on the back.

    Some have told me organizations and companies don’t apologize for fear of being sued. I think they should worry about lawsuits before messing up!

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Fashionable expressions may be annoying, but it’s language on the move. New and “improved” stock phrases will continue to appear until a given society becomes extinct. Some are more creative than others. Were we to return to the planet several centuries from now, we stand to have difficulty communicating with existing inhabitants. Were Chaucer to appear in today’s London, he would probably do well taking English classes!

  4. Dawn Gour Said:

    I am guessing some industries like restaurants use “sorry about that” more often than others, whereas other customer service folks say something like “sorry for the inconvenience”

    Some corporate folks don’t think they owe anyone an apology and explain the misunderstanding of their process, procedures, and policies for the hiccups. I don’t think anyone walks around knowing the policies and procedures of banks, cable companies, or other service providers. Some of us have had to learn things the hard way about what’s acceptable and not acceptable.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Dawn,

    I hear “sorry about that” in retail [we don’t have your color or size]; in transportation [those trains are not running today]; as the elevator door slams shut in front of me; when the post office has lost a package………..and on and on.

    Small businesses cannot conduct themselves the way some giant corporations do that’s for sure or most wouldn’t last long.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Loved the Chaucer reference. Smiled envisioning him in English Speaking Class.

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