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AIBU to expect someone to be a bit more patient

(23 Posts)
stabbytheunicorn Wed 13-Jul-16 15:27:20

I have a voluntary role in an interest group and my role is to process new members, as well as my manage the current membership lists. This means chasing for renewals, and removing those that don't wish to renew as well as tracking payments made etc.

This is done in my own time and I try to be as quick as possible with getting things sent out to new members to do with their membership. Two weeks ago a chap joined and paid the membership fee. 2 days later he put a hold on the money as he hadn't had a reply. It was my fault, I was busy, I apologised explained it's done in my spare time etc etc. The guy seemed OK after I explained but by the time it was sorted a week had passed so I emailed him passwords and log in details and said I'd put his documents together at the weekend. Well I posted everything off yesterday but had dated his membership from the date the money was released so he's only been waiting a week although 2 from filling out the application.

Anyway today he posts on the related fb page with a snippy message saying "where is my PACK"

I'm really fed up with people expecting everything instantaneously. I have a job, a family, commitments, a life ffs so is it really too much to expect people people to wait a week or so. OK it's officially 2 weeks since he applied to join, but within 48 hours he had put a hold on the fee he paid, and they day he finally released it was the day I put as his joining day, which is 7 days ago.

I'm not precious. Happy to be told 7 days is too long if you really think it is but remember this is something I do in my spare time and I'm not sat at my PC with my fingers poised ready to jump on any new application as it lands.

Just looking to offload really as I'm close to jacking it all in between people like him, and those members that join for a year but ignore emails about renewing. Fair enough you don't want to stay, it a least email me back and say thanks but no thanks.

IceBeing Wed 13-Jul-16 15:30:12

Given you had already told him it was spare time voluntary role you were fulfilling YANBU.

Perhaps email back asking if he wants to chip in with the work load if he thinks the wait was unacceptable?

Creatureofthenight Wed 13-Jul-16 15:30:19

Can a message be put on website/form/email - just a line to say this is a volunteer post so new memberships can take up to x days to process ?

RubbleBubble00 Wed 13-Jul-16 15:30:59

Perhaps on the payment screen put that your pack will arrive within 28 days to avoid this

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 13-Jul-16 15:31:51

Two weeks is too long. If you don't have time to do it then yes, jack it in.

I notice at the end you're having a whinge about people not replying to your emails, even though your rant is about someone getting stroppy about your lack of response?

RubbleBubble00 Wed 13-Jul-16 15:33:02

And say that log in details will be emailed within a week and say your membership will start when you receive your log in details. Giving time frames should stop people chasing you

EchidnaPorcupine Wed 13-Jul-16 15:37:49

Agree with above suggestions - you need to manage expectations. make it v clear what timeframe you can do process to and stick to that.

It's not the Conservative Party you volunteer for is it? wink

stabbytheunicorn Wed 13-Jul-16 15:45:13


He had a response, I said I'd do his documents at the weekend and post them, which I did, yesterday. I missed his initial contact as I was busy with working, forfilling other obligations, dealing with a family loss, attending a funeral so yeah that went under my radar but I was over apologetic to him and short of sacrificing my first born there wasnt much more I could have done.

His membership was back dated to reflect this, and I emailed everything that could be so he could have access to the website.

My job is very busy this time of year, I only work term time so you can probably guess what industry it might be. And July is busy time of year.

Maybe I will jack it in as feel like sometimes it's not worth the hassle. Trouble is no one else puts themselves forward so you really think if you don't volunteer again who will do it instead.

stabbytheunicorn Wed 13-Jul-16 15:55:53

Ha bigtrouble Nope not a political group.

Snowflakes1122 Wed 13-Jul-16 15:57:33


Arfarfanarf Wed 13-Jul-16 16:00:39

People do expect things they have paid for to be dealt with quickly.

What you need to do is manage expectations.

You can expect to receive acknowledgement within 7 days of payment
You can expect to receive your pack within 14 days (or 21 days or whatever is absolutely the longest it could possibly take)

If people know how long it is going to take, then they won't get stroppy if it takes that long but they will be pleased if it actually all gets done sooner.

practy Wed 13-Jul-16 16:05:52

It is annoying when you are doing something like this voluntarily. The reality is that if you were being paid to do it, the cost would be much more for individual members.

turnaroundbrighteyes Wed 13-Jul-16 16:09:10

Agree with the above. Plus set up an auto-responder for new members so that they instantly get a reply saying "Thank you for your membership application. It will be processed withing 28 days and start on the day your membership pack is sent out to you. If we need any more information we will be in touch."

One less job for you to do and it means you can process them when convenient.

Plus, lots of places have a long turnaround time so, in that way, being a volunteer is irrelevant so long as they know they are in the queue and how long the queue is. I suspect you may have over apologised and made him think he was now your top priority, then get annoyed all other again when his membership wasnt rushed through ;-)

traveladdict Wed 13-Jul-16 17:13:04

Membership should start the day they receive their pack/login details. Otherwise they're paying for something they're not receiving.
Agree with pp about auto replies and managing response time expectations.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 13-Jul-16 17:49:31

I agree with the above.

Under promise and then you'll always over deliver - NEVER the other way round!

stabbytheunicorn Wed 13-Jul-16 17:54:33

Membership can't start on the day they receive their packs as details have to be inputting on the system and they need an official joining date for membership cards. It would be impossible to do this unless every membership was back-dated to allow for me to print the necessary gubbins and get them posted off. It would be an administrative nightmare.

I like the idea of setting a time on when to expect gubbins to arrive. I've toyed with the idea of having two set days each month, say 12th to be posted by 14th and 28th to be posted by the 30th. That way no matter when you join you'll only have to wait 2 weeks for gubbins. Electronic things can be sent after 1st contact.

Would that work or is that unreasonable. Some months I can literally get a new member every 3 days and others only 1 or 2 a month and it's hard to keep on top of the busier months without feeling like it's all I do in my spare time.

Arfarfanarf Wed 13-Jul-16 18:11:31

I think that's reasonable.
Most people are absolutrly fine with a short wait like that.
What people dont like is not knowing whats going on

Sneeze182 Wed 13-Jul-16 18:29:05

Ya nbu. People are dicks and no matter what you do there will always be one. Well done for volunteering.

EsmeraldaEllaBella Wed 13-Jul-16 19:50:31

I wouldn't complicate things with dates, just say within 28days and that covers you and is q standard around of time to wait so should set their expectations right.

Mysterycat23 Wed 13-Jul-16 20:41:45

I have worked for 2 large membership bodies in the UK doing membership processing and a wait of 2 weeks is absolutely normal. Especially at busy times of year. Both of those bodies however have plenty of warning messages and FAQs etc in the email auto responder and also on the website and all the joining forms etc. Stating every application is reviewed by staff and giving a timeframe "if you have not received your welcome within X working days please get in touch". To be honest the customer service aspect is always frustrating, some people always want instant responses no matter how much you try to set a reasonable expectation of the time it will take to respond. Can you set up an email auto responder or send a placeholder email to each new member "thank you for your application, it will be processed shortly and you will hear from us in X working days" ?

Mysterycat23 Wed 13-Jul-16 20:47:06

I see plenty of responses also suggesting fixed time frames and setting expectations, sorry to duplicate yes agree!

Now I think about it both my employers had info on the website and joining forms about how the joining date was linked to the date membership would start, so yes I think good idea to give out your mailing schedule so members know when to expect mailings.

turnaroundbrighteyes Thu 14-Jul-16 14:41:52

I wouldnt complicate it by fixed dates it would just give you extra stress you dont need if something came up that week. An autoresponder stating within x days should set expectations and reassure customers that their order has been received.

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