My Grandad Charlie is relatively tech savvy – he loves his big screen TV and surround sound, he has an impressive music system in his ‘den’ and is forever using apps and online banking on his tablet.
At the grand age of 84, he is still very much ‘with it’.
One morning he wanted to watch the previous night’s boxing on catch up but was disappointed to discover that the device did not seem to be switching on. His usual “go to” for electrical advice would be myself, but I was unavailable when he called.
So, he took himself to the place of purchase, a successful and reputable high street electronics chain; he had been a loyal customer for years. Upon entering he met a very hospitable and friendly customer service adviser and asked for some assistance – with a cross between Michael Caine and Smiler from Last of the Summer Wine in your head and you will have a good idea as to the style of my Grandad’s voice.
‘Hello, I wondered if you could help me. I’ve been having trouble with my tablet, and I can’t seem to turn it back on – do you have any advice.’
The CSA proceeded to take a look at the tablet
‘Unfortunately, the motherboard seems to be corrupt.’
Grandad, perturbed at hearing the dreaded word ‘corrupt’ (in this age of online scams and hacking), suddenly panicked!
‘Oh that is terrible, is there any way of sorting it?’
‘You can repair it, but it may cost a lot of money to fix the problem.’
What does my Grandad do in this situation?
He buys a replacement tablet….
…on the advice of the CSA.
Later that evening I gave him a call in response to the message he has left for me. He still had his old tablet; so I asked him to hold down the top and middle button on the pad itself.
Low and behold, the system rebooted, and the item was back to normal!
So – the CSA that ‘advised’ him did not carry our a system reset – the one thing that 99% of tech-minded people would try and he got himself a £200 sale.
Now, I am a very calm individual, but this made me livid; Grandad refused to take the item back as he ‘didn’t want to get anybody into trouble’. (Top man from a human standpoint).
If this act by the CSA isn’t taking advantage of the vulnerable, I don’t know what is.
My Grandad is active, able and can look after himself.
He required a moment of help and was reduced a vulnerable state. He didn’t work for 50 years to be manipulated by somebody from whom he was seeking advice.
At Blue Sky, we work together with businesses to highlight nuances when identifying a vulnerable customer.
Vulnerability is stereotyped by age and physical attributes – but anybody can be categorised in this way.
We also work to prevent such moments as those experienced by my Grandad from taking place.
Sort it out ‘high street retailer’.
Be more human!