When Mum isn’t playing word games with me over the internet or looking things up on Google she spends much of her time doing jigsaw puzzles – complicated ones with thousands of pieces. She has a special board onto which she builds her puzzle having painstakingly sorted out all the corners and straight bits first. She then groups similar colours into piles. Her dining-room table takes on the appearance of a military plotting map. This hobby would drive me absolutely insane but keeps her occupied for hours and provides the rest of the family with easy options when it comes to present buying.
Which I did recently…
Now, Mum likes a challenge but draws the line at those double-sided-plate-of-baked-beans affairs or pictures of wrapped sweets – the kind of puzzles pushed at Christmas in the novelty gift section. And she prefers a Gibsons puzzle – apparently superior in quality they also concentrate on landscapes or scenes with ‘plenty going on.’ So with those criteria in mind I looked for the busiest picture I could find. Perfect – a thousand piece, 19th century stately home in cross section, showing all the rooms – just like a doll’s house.
Mum was thrilled but unfortunately her delight turned to frustration when it became clear that on near completion several pieces needed to finish off the roof just did not fit. She took it apart and tried again several times. She’s nothing if not patient, my Mum. However, it became evident after several fruitless attempts that the pieces left, although similar, were not part of this particular puzzle. She hesitated to tell me as it had been a gift but had to come clean when I asked her if she’d done it yet.
I’ll send them an email, I said, bristling. So I did (polite, naturally), pointing out our problem. I wasn’t expecting anything really but it was worth a shot. The following day I received a reply from Gibson’s customer services, profuse with apologies and instructions for me to send various details back plus the offending pieces whereupon they would not hesitate to replace the whole puzzle. Which I did, by post. After two days, I received a letter back (yes! A letter – not an email!) assuring me that all the details I had sent were exactly what they needed, our puzzle had been ordered and would be with us within a couple of weeks.
So often we receive shoddy service which, because I worked for years in a company which takes the maxim ‘the customer’s always right’ to a whole new level and who’s trading dictum is ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ it always comes as a bit of a surprise when other companies come up trumps. Hurrah for Gibsons, I say.
I did think I’d balance up this post with tales of irritating and/or appalling service but I’ll leave that for another time. Let’s just celebrate the good for a change. Have we received the replacement puzzle, I hear you wondering. Not yet, but I’m keeping the faith.
This post forms the final fifth part of a challenge thrown down by Sherri, over at her Summerhouse. As Sherri herself already changed the rules of the challenge which originally was to post five pictures and five stories on consecutive days (ha! not a chance!), I have taken a much more relaxed attitude. Having to nominate someone to carry on the challenge isn’t fair but I’m pleased to say that Tracy took it upon herself to have a bash. Frankly, even though my approach has probably been far too laid-back, I’m glad it’s all over. Challenges? Pressure? In the summer holidays? Ah well, the end of those is in sight now too. Back to the coal face very soon…