This article follows on from my last article which asked that we don't doggedly follow procedures. That we review and refine them based on the value they provide rather than slavishly adhering to them.
In this article, I want to discourage hiding behind procedures that actively cause customers harm.
We've all had it.
A level of customer care, which to us, borders on the unbelievable.
A level where you can't help but think that they are actively out to cause you distress.
And for me, that is currently TUI.
TUI describes itself as "the world's number one tourism group"; and I know them from having booked many holidays with them over the years.
I'll not go into full details; but my frustration comes from TUI's instance to hide behind procedures when it has come to the refund of a cancelled holiday.
As I understand the UK rules; TUI should have refunded the money 14 days after cancellation.
Yet 5 months later, we are still without the refund.
TUI have provided a laundry list of procedures why. None of which, I believe, excuse TUI from their 14 day refund responsibility.
I have repeatedly asked TUI to confirm the legal basis under which they feel it is correct to withhold the refund. And, to date, they have refused to answer that question - rather referring to varying internal procedures they "have to follow".
So far my argument of "internal procedures do not excuse legal responsibility" has fallen of deaf ears.
A search of Facebook soon shows that this is far from an exceptional case.
If I'm being uncharitable, I could understand that it would be beneficial for TUI to hold on to refunds for as long as possible. TUI are in a sector that has been hard hit by the pandemic - and it remains to be seen if they will weather the storm.
But even then, I can't condone what appears to be an organisation hiding behind "procedures" to avoid their legal responsibilities (as I understand them).
We certainly shouldn't be using our "procedures" to cause harm to our customers.
As I say, I'm sure we all have similar experiences with top brands - but in these difficult times, let's not add to it.
Let's all be a little less TUI.
During September, I'm running a short survey to establish UK Executive's attitude towards custom software development survey.
Does it return ROI? Does keep pace with business? Is it difficult to recruit or retain staff? Does it have sufficient quality? Is it predicable?
I'd welcome any participation or sharing of the survey.
Please have your say here
In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.
I take the third oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:
"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will produce, with each release, a quick, sure, and repeatable proof that every element of the code works as it should."
All the best and stay safe