It’s really funny when you start to look at things more closely you start to see why some organisations cause themselves issues and become their own worst enemy.  I thought I would share a true (and frustrating) story with you to highlight this point.

I was out on appointments in the city in late September and I used a parking machine to get a ticket. When I got back to my car I was horrified to see a parking ticket on my windscreen and the parking warden busy writing the next car a ticket as well. What shocked me was that I was 2 minutes past the ticket time! So I thought I would have a word and see what the story was and why he been so quick to write a ticket.

I approached the ticket warden and explained that I was unhappy to receive a $40 fine for being 2 minutes past the time on the ticket. He walked over calmly explained to me that it wasn’t for the time it was because the ticket was not visible. Sure enough I looked closely at the windscreen and the ticket had gone from being upright to slipping sideways – but was still readable if you looked closely enough. I told him I was extremely unhappy with his decision and thought he was pushing the boundaries a bit. This was when he produced his ticketing machine and told me he had a photo to prove his case!

Speechless I looked at the photo that he taken of my windscreen showing the sideways ticket when I said to him how come he could get close enough to take the photo but not close to bend over and see the details on the ticket? He realised his mistake and told me to write in and the ticket would be signed off.

So of course I did write in and attached my original parking ticket as proof of purchase and explained the whole situation. To cut a long story short I got the reply from the Council this morning and here it is:


I share this with you for a couple of reasons:

1) They got my name wrong, even though we had emailed each other, they had my car registration etc. this just smacked of lack of care and attention.

2) I was being given a warning??? REALLY – for what? Closing my door too hard and making parking wardens have to bend over to look through the windscreen?

This type of heavy handed, auto generated letter is what causes so many problems for customer service departments that are working so hard with customers and brand damage for the organisation. I urge you to look at what you are sending your customers and if makes your hackles go up like the above letter does mine I recommend you look at rewriting it.