My girlfriend currently resides way down south in Kent and once or twice a month I make the journey down to see her and her family for a weekend. The weekend just gone was no different, I caught the train down on Friday evening and for pure simplicity (as well as a money saver) I opted to catch a coach back on Sunday.

I've done the journey home by coach two times now and I've found both to be exhausting trips. You're sat down in a cramped space for five and a half hours and when you're on the window side sitting next to someone who insists on sitting their bag on their lap, it's a bit awkward asking them to move so you can stretch your legs. Going on a slight tangent for a moment, on the trip back I watched a lecture by Chip Kidd which is available on iTunes U which I highly recommend. Anyway, back to the story. I arrived home late on Sunday night only to realise in my tired state I managed to leave my newly purchased copy of Designing for the Web by Mark Boulton on the coach. To say I was pissed off at myself was an understatement. By the way I reacted you'd think someone had just robbed me or something. The story goes on...

How not to treat your customers

So the next morning I did as you do when you lose something on a journey which you want back, I phoned the coach company. After a couple of phone calls I managed to track down a number for the depot that my coach was due to arrive at for cleaning, fuel etc. I rang and explained I'd left a book and blah blah blah and the guy seemed understanding and like he genuinely wanted to help. He told me the coach was due in the next hour or so (which turned out to be false) and if I call back I should find out if it's been found. So I waited and called back and was told they weren't sure yet and would have to go check and call me back. I'll save myself some typing and cut it short, this happened again and again throughout the day. By the time I left work, I'd rung the depot 7 or 8 times to be told the same thing! I tried once more and this time got an explanation of the procedure they have to follow and when I'd likely get an answer.

This morning I decided to wait until midday to call, and this time spoke to another new depot employee who said they'd check the lost property and call me back in 15 minutes. He didn't. I waited till after 2pm and called back and this time I managed to get an answer. The book hadn't been handed in. So it'd either been binned or some cleaner had pinched it! I wrote National Express an email telling them how shitty this fiasco has been and then moved on to the next phase of sorting out a replacement book...

How to treat your customers

Payday is coming up fast but it's not quite here yet and the book happens to be more than I can afford at this very minute, so I sent an email to the guys at Five Simple Steps telling them I lost the book and asked if they would reserve me a copy.

I got a reply within a few hours from Robert at Mark Boulton Design saying that not only had he reserved me a copy of the book, he's also sent me a money off coupon too!

Pay attention National Express, this is a shining example how you can make your customers so happy they'll even part with another £25+ for a book they have already in PDF.

Cheers Robert and all at Mark Boulton Design/Five Simple Steps!

UPDATE: I've received my new copy of Five Simple Steps and finished reading it. I've still not had a reply from National Express. Douchebags.