We recently hit our 30th wedding anniversary and went away for a long weekend to celebrate.

We had a wonderful trip and stayed in a lovely hotel. We had excellent service and when we left, the concierge assured us that the 50 Euro deposit they had taken on arrival would be reimbursed within three working days.

Sadly it wasn’t.

So I rang and then (as requested) emailed all the information required. The gentleman on the phone told me he would look into it immediately and get back to me.

Sadly he didn’t.

I waited 24 hours and then emailed him again. I got an email a little later saying that I needed to contact the credit card company as it was their error not the hotel's. (Obviously that’s not how they phrased it but that was the gist.)

Now (perhaps irrationally) I am more annoyed that I had to chase them for this information than I am that I haven’t had my money refunded. I understand it’s not their fault and they may have taken them time to find out the problem.

But their lack of response on the day of the problem tells me I’m not important to them. All it would have taken is a call or an email to say they were sorting it and to give them a day or two and I would have felt a valued customer, but they made me ask twice.

If you have customers and want to be considered different then let them know what is happening. Always ring if there is no news or bad news. Don’t make them ask twice. I would rather know that it is still on someone’s to-do list than imagine that they have forgotten about me.

Let me know at questions@partnerswithyou.co.uk if you agree that being left hanging is one of the customer service cardinal sins. Or is there something worse?

  • Sally Hindmarch is a communication skills specialist and runs Partners With You, a company that helps people improve the way they come across at work