Amazing to think how new media has licenced a strain of informality in
customer relations which would have been inconceivable not too many
years ago ( Sir, I was disappointed to learn...). I can recall an "old
school" bus traffic manager who right up until his early retirement in
the mid-1980s used to sign off his written replies to all complaints
with the phrase "Assuring you of our best attention at all times."
This gave an unwittingly humorous dimension to those responses where
the complainant was given short shrift in the body of the text. More
recently I had a boss who inadvertently caused confusion with an email
"away from my desk" message. An aggrieved punter messaged back
"Customer Services! Hah!" I'm afraid he had a point.
Standing at the counter at Poundstretchers today (or some similarly
Elderly Customers: We would like a refund.
I almost went away to get more washing up liquid so that I could hear
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