22 October 2012

Customer contact cobblers

Bins left on pavement after being emptied
Two of Mr Mustard's neighbours have been left fuming in the last fortnight because their green bins were not collected. Both of them leave their bins as close to the gate as they can, consistent with getting in and out. In both cases the bins are in full view within 1m of the gate. They both complained and received stupid responses.

Rubbish answer no. 1:

We apologise again for the late response. Unfortunately according to our records there were no problems with your collection. On the Saturday of the 29th Sept 2012 the collection for your area/road portrays no issues reported by the crew.

Mr Mustard's response: The binmen are unlikely to admit having galloped past the gate like Frankel and not noticed the bin due to their unseemly rush to get round the streets and go home.

Incidentally this was the response to the first email sent by the customer and so why the first sentence exists is a mystery. Probably an overdose of cut-and-paste.

Rubbish answer no. 2:

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately we are unable to re-collect your green wheeled waste bin as it was listed as Bin Not Out for the day of collection and the crew are unable to return. However; I have requested your next scheduled collection to be ensured, to avoid another missed collection.
Mr Mustard's response: You cannot re-collect something that you have not collected in the first place. The way in which bins are listed as Bin not out (is it underlined because the customer might be a bit slow on the uptake?) is that the driver of the lorry has a clipboard and he drives along with it sometimes balanced on the steering wheel and ticks a list of which bins have been collected and then probably ticks every other box as Bin not Out so if he makes a mistake it is automatically the customer's fault. As an Advanced Motorist Mr Mustard is not at all keen on the attention of the driver of a lorry being diverted away from the road by an administrative task. Why does the bin need to be listed to be ensured a future collection? surely the fact that the resident puts their bin out should be enough to ensure a collection?
As it happens Mr Mustard saw the bin out the night before collection was due and as this is a terraced house with a small front garden and a very low wall the bin is blindingly obvious to anyone who cares to look for it.
Mr Mustard would be very pleased to receive any further examples of unsatisfactory letters from Barnet Council in respect of collection of any type of bin. These two came from Chief Executive Services although I think that means the Chief Executive's Service.
The council policy approach seems to be you can't prove we didn't take your bin, the crew say no, so the customer is a liar. A most unsatisfactory approach; people don't complain for fun but because there was a problem and not with themselves. Mr Mustard's bin happens to be under video surveillance at all times so any failure to take his bins is backed up with proof. If you are having trouble get your video or phone camera out, complain and demand the service for which you pay plenty of council tax i.e. for immediate collection of the bin.
Yours frugally
Mr Mustard

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