Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 31 October 2010

The way to field a complaint

Friday, Saturday, Sunday evenings the BBs tope; other nights we drink vaguely healthful Horlicks and peppermint tea. Recently the Horlicks powder was grey rather than beige and tasted of poorly conceived potato soup. Horlicks sent us a pre-paid envelope. Here are extracts from their reply:

“Our Quality Control Lab states the returned sample was found with a burned and damaged foil seal. The most likely cause is it was burnt during the heat induction stage of packing (at our supplier)… causing a burnt plastic/chemical smell. Precautions have been introduced to avoid such incidences.

“Tests (to check that powder meets strict specifications) include sensory (sic!) where trained analysts taste and comment on odour and appearance. Unfortunately this jar was not detected.

“We do carry out trending of complaints… if these come from the same date code, further investigations are carried out… In this case we set up a cross-functional team who identified the root cause. Improvements identified are now in place.”

This seems a model response. The technical fault is described, the failed checking process acknowledged, and the solution (kicking the supplier’s ass) indicated. It presumes intelligence in the customer. However I shall stick to peppermint tea.

MAD BUT GOOD In Cervantes’ 760-page Don Quixote you lose your place. Dialogue is unseparated from the rest, causing endless paragraphs. Otherwise it’s good stuff:

Sancho: “How will you do for victuals when I am gone?”
The Don: “Never let that trouble thy head. For though I had all the dainties that can feast a luxurious palate, I would feed upon nothing but the herbs and fruits which this wilderness will afford me; for the singularity of my present task consists in fasting, and half-starving myself, and in the performance of other austerities.”