Have you ever made a complaint about some aspect of your holiday? Don’t get too worried because a lot of people have and in most circumstances the complaints over poor service, dirty rooms and not getting ‘what it says on the tin’ are justified, but then how many of you reading this are nit-pickers, expecting 5 star service yet paying rock bottom prices? Somewhere there has got to a compromise, but in a world where the ‘customer is always right’, spare a thought for the person at whom your complaint is directed.
It’s not unheard of for their pay to be reduced by an amount equal to your complaint if there’s been a financial loss to their employer and in some circumstances they can even lose their job, affecting their family’s welfare.
Sometimes the vitriol doesn’t start until the traveller returns home and posts complaints on sites such as Trip Advisor, allowing no chance for the employee or the travel company to address the complaint.
OK, those are extremes but they’re surprisingly common along with tales of frustration amongst tourism workers and low self-esteem where the difference between the huge effort they make to ensure you enjoy your holiday and your expectations doesn’t ever meet.
Up until now the only redress an employee has had has been to hope that another customer refutes the initial allegations which, thankfully, is often the case.
A typical example comes from Trip Advisor where a restaurant and a member of the waiting staff there in Cyprus were criticised strongly in one post only for the complaint to be refuted in the next by a diner who had been there the same night.
From now on though you’ll have to tread a little more lightly for one disgruntled worker who’s had enough of whinging customers, has set up his own website called HowMayIAssistYou.co.uk where in sections like ‘Guest Say What?’ and ‘Things Do Go Right Sometimes’, travel workers can post their own gripes, even naming and shaming persistent offenders. And it’s not only for travel workers - it’s open to shop assistants, restaurant staff and in fact, anyone in the service industry as well.
The founder, Chris Bowen, intends to expand the site eventually so that staff who have had enough in their current role can find new jobs where the customers are hopefully more considerate and those who think they might need a little help with interpersonal skills can apply for training courses.
So when on holiday next, or enjoying a meal in that little bistro or buying a new frock, think twice before complaining for as the saying goes; you’ll find that what goes around comes around.