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Aibu - Why is everyone you deal with these days an arsecovering rule stickler?

(27 Posts)
HandbagCrab Fri 28-Apr-17 11:04:07

Lots of things have happened lately where we've had to complain. I'm not a natural complainer but sometimes it needs to be done. No one apologises anymore for your inconvenience, hurt feelings, time wasted, missing money etc etc. It's all arsecovering with no apology (presumably so they're not admitting fault) and repeating rule technicalities from some kind of list without considering we're human beings.

I make mistakes and I apologise, other people/ companies/ organisations cock up and it all seems to be mealy mouthed excuses and passive aggression.

Aibu to think the world is going to die a slow death behind swathes of bureaucracy and inflexibility? Why do organisations do this and train their staff to behave this way?

BelleTheSheepdog Fri 28-Apr-17 11:06:14


stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 28-Apr-17 11:06:26

are with Vitality fyckingarseholecunts so called healthcare? I had it (what you describe) this week, HATE them

no apology, just excuses and blame

DJBaggySmalls Fri 28-Apr-17 11:07:01

You can blame people who threaten to sue at the drop of a hat, combined with a culture of fear over losing your job.

BelleTheSheepdog Fri 28-Apr-17 11:07:20

Housing association here.

ProudBadMum Fri 28-Apr-17 11:07:58

If you apologise you are admitting guilt and then can be sued.

The where there's a blame there's a claim bullshit is the reason.

We are trained at work to apologise in a way without accepting blame due to this.

BelleTheSheepdog Fri 28-Apr-17 11:09:17

At least when the council ran housing there was a councillor to approach. Now there appears to be zero accountability. Whilst the organisation appears to award itself all sorts of nonsensical gold stars. It's getting Stalinist!

Laiste Fri 28-Apr-17 11:21:28

DJBaggySmalls - You can blame people who threaten to sue at the drop of a hat, combined with a culture of fear over losing your job.

Yep. I was going to say this. Plus so many people at work these days are underpaid, under trained and under pressure to do about 3 people's work due to under staffing. There's literally no time nor incentive to 'care' or pretend that you do.

harderandharder2breathe Fri 28-Apr-17 11:22:15

Well I very often speak to customers who refuse to admit they're wrong so it goes both ways.

Fwiw the company I work for (financial services) is very good at admitting when we're wrong, apologising and putting it right.

I would much rather it was our fault when someone is complaining, because then I can fix it. But if it's not our fault there's nothing I can do. I would never choose to have that conversation argument with customers, I don't know why they think I would rather argue than fix the problem

HandbagCrab Fri 28-Apr-17 11:24:46

"Oh yes Mrs Crab, I can hear you're unhappy with our shower of shit but if you refer back to page 832 of the agreement it clearly states that we aren't liable under the Act of Arseholes 1993" etc etc

proud I'm glad I've not had to train how to say this bullshit, I feel for you.

I've had this from a range of culprits- no one can afford to sue the buggers anyway, just say sorry!

Laiste Fri 28-Apr-17 11:28:35

It's a great shame. For years i worked in high end retail and was taught that the customer was always right. The premise was that no, they probably weren't right at all (and we were obviously hmm about a lot of them) but if they come to you with a complaint you apologise profusely and put it right and they walk away feeling good about themselves and most importantly will feel good about the brand and come back to you again one day.

A policy of a smile, a refund and an apology no matter what makes more money than it looses.

HandbagCrab Fri 28-Apr-17 11:30:52

harder I've recently lost hundreds through a technical error from a financial company. But they've investigated themselves and decided I lost too much money for a simple refund but not enough money to have warranted informing that they were taking it before they did. So I can have nothing. Yey.

Mulledwine1 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:34:32


I often think rather than trying to justify the unjustifiable, why don't you just apologise, say you'll take it up with your manager, and get a rubbish process changed?

harderandharder2breathe Fri 28-Apr-17 11:45:20

handbag I can't pretend to speak for all financial services companies and their policies obviously.
but legally if you're not happy with how they resolved your complaint you can refer to the financial ombudsman

HandbagCrab Fri 28-Apr-17 11:54:00

I appreciate you trying to help harder The financial ombudsman is happy that they have investigated themselves correctly and in the appropriate time frame. Hundreds is lots to me and nothing to a billion pound international bank but they don't give a shit. Their technicality was hidden in a page near the end of lengthy t and c so we didn't see it but I thought, naively, that banks weren't supposed to do that kind of thing anymore and had to be clear about potential charges etc. It makes me want to live off grid in a yurt and stuff what I have left in my mattress.

MephistophelesApprentice Fri 28-Apr-17 12:12:44

A policy of a smile, a refund and an apology no matter what makes more money than it looses.

Ha, no. The organisation we worked for tried to run itself like this and almost went bankrupt. More than half of what we ended up refunding as against terms and conditions (less than a page to read, no small print) and the rest were actively fraudulent. Show weakness for a moment and you'll get taken to the cleaners.

Now I have to rigidly defend the rules and actively step on anyone trying to make an exception 'just this once'. Because it's never once, and as soon as you let them get away with profiting from their own error they, and everyone they tell, will be at you like piranha.

BadKnee Fri 28-Apr-17 15:33:17

I agree with Baggy . Blame culture.

I see it on here all the time. Posters told to complain to PALS if the nurse was a bit brusque or to the shop if a delivery man seems a bit rude.
I hate it. All the complaining to managers, insisting on this and that. How many times do people forgive a mistake instead of bleating about it on Social media, publishing horrific "reviews" or revenge tweets. There is only the defence of covering one's arse.

BadKnee Fri 28-Apr-17 15:37:28

I also agree that people will profit, take a mile etc. Again how many times do we get people being encouraged to keep items they haven't paid for, dodge a train fare, lie to an employer or a school to keep a kids off. The days of fair play have long gone.

I have stood behind people at M and S who are returning clothes that have clearly been worn and simply thinking that if they shout enough they will get what they want.

A smile and an apology - good luck with that

Meekonsandwich Fri 28-Apr-17 20:33:37

I was trained in retail you never accept blame you just say "Im sorry you feel that way" and tell them what you can do to put it right.

To be honest you get so sick and tired of being screamed at by people who are being wholly unreasonable and know that if they tantrum they'll get what they want, that if you do get a genuine customer who is upset and isn't trying to swindle something for free, they don't really get taken seriously.

There any so many chancers who write to head office absolute shit like:
"I bought these shoes and I wore them to a party and now theyre scuffed (yeah right) that's NOT acceptable. I want my money back and I want a new pair for free and I want them posted at your expense my home address because I was on holiday when I came to your store and live miles away! I also trust my petrol money will be refunded as I wasted my time and money buying your rubbish product."

I kid you not, folders and folders of complaints like this.

So yeah, we do look extra closely at the dress you "washed once and a hole appeared!" Because we've had 10 people that day try to bring back dresses that they wore on a night out, got foundation on, stink of perfume and ripped to get their money back.

Sorry it's like this, but blame the fraudsters!

harderandharder2breathe Fri 28-Apr-17 21:01:34

handbag I'm really sorry you had such a shitty response

You're right that financial companies are supposed to be clear about charges these days, in surprised they got away with burying it in the T&Cs. I'm always told in my job not to hide behind T&Cs!

harderandharder2breathe Fri 28-Apr-17 21:02:45

*i'm surprised not in

BadKnee Fri 28-Apr-17 21:04:31

Agree Meekon - and it spoils it for everyone. And Twitter , Tripadvisor make it worse.

So the rules change. If most people play fair then the retailer can play fair too if not then the retailer just has to cover his arse. as does anyone, from financial institution to hospital to schoolteacher to , well, anybody really.

If I make a mistake I'd like to be able say "I'm sorry, let me sort that out for you. It won't happen again. I was an idiot but I have learnt my lesson there" - but if I do that you might then run delightedly to the papers and the lawyers and then I lose my job and the company loses money, and reputation.

There was a story on here concerning a radiographer doing a scan who told a mother her baby was "fine" with a happy smile. The mother was going to make a formal complaint, (egged on by many here), as she had "chosen not to have" a test for Downs etc so by a so by telling her her baby was fine at a routine scan the HCP was violating her choice. What can you do??

Asmoto Fri 28-Apr-17 21:05:40

YANBU - but I agree with pps that the blame lies with the 'compensation culture' and people who see a minor error by a service provider as a sort of blank cheque. The 'sad faces' have ruined it for those with genuine complaints.

Haffiana Fri 28-Apr-17 21:12:32

I think it starts with kids at school. You can't tell a small child off without a parent storming into the school complaining that their PC has been upset by being told off. So the kids never get to move on by learning to apologise - they learn instead to try to manipulate the facts so that they appear always to be in the right.

Iris65 Fri 28-Apr-17 21:18:47

My default position is that unless you are dealing with the owner of an independent business we are all suffering under the yoke of capitalism. Employers are driving down pay, worsening conditions and increasing workloads in a desperate race to the bottom to 'stay competitive'.
The poor sods who deal with customers or have made a mistake because they haven't time to take a pee let alone check what they are doing bear the brunt.
They have to arsecover because their job is on the line and there is very little protection for them. Your 'just this once..' 'Oh but it doesn't make sense...' turns into an investigation and a reprimand once word gets out.
For this reason I try and be as reasonable as I can be. If I have to complain I ask for the relevant name/address/department and keep it all as business like as possible. No one gains from face to face conflict.

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