On Customer Service

Shade could not believe her eyes. Here was salt she had just bought from the market less than an hour ago. As she was refilling her salt holder, she noticed dark particles falling along with the salt powder. Further investigation revealed the dark particles to be dead flies and rat faeces! she needed a witness, so she quickly called Funke her sister.

“Funke! Funke o! You need to see this!”

“What is it?” Funke’s voice echoed to the kitchen from the room where she had been watching her favourite TV channel.

“Just come.” Shade yelled back.

Funke arrived the kitchen, where Shade gestured for her to see the dead flies and rat faeces that were contained in the salt. Funke’s eyes bulged at the sight.

“This is nasty,” she said. “Have you checked the expiry date?”

“I just did,” was Shade’s reply. “It has not expired. It was manufactured a few months ago. What do you make of this?”

“Ah, you have to take it back to the woman you bought it from at the market na. Wetin you wan do again?”

“But Funke, you know I don’t like trouble. What if the market woman refuses to change it? I no get power to fight anybody o!”

Which kin nonsense be that? Oya, let me dress up. We are going to that market together.”

Shade and Funke arrived the stall at the market where Shade had bought the salt. Because Shade was the timid of the two, Funke decided to speak.

“Madam welldone o. How market?” Funke greeted perfunctorily.

“Ah, my customers…” She saw the look on the faces of Shade and Funke and immediately discerned that something was wrong “Any problem?”

This was Funke’s cue. “Yes o, My sister come buy salt from you not too long ago. Shey you remember?”

The woman nodded. “Yes na. How I go forget my customer?”

Funke continued, taking out the bag containing the salt “See wetin we see inside the salt o. Na im we talk say make we bring am back quick, quick make you change am. You see say this one no good abi?”

The woman peered into the salt bag and placed her hands on her chest in shock. “Oghene o!” Then looking at both customers, she said, “But you know say no be my fault. As I buy am na im I take sell am. Na from the producer this one take happen. If I change am wetin be my gain? I get three pikin for school….”

Shade spoke up this time. “She’s right you know, it’s not her fault Funke. After all, the salt was sealed when I bought it. Let’s see if there’s a customer care line on the packet so we can call and complain.”

Funke searched the label on the packet, spotted the customer care line and immediately placed a call through. Soon a customer care representative picked the call.

“Hello, my name is Joy. Thank you for calling Chef salt customer care line. How may I help you?”

“Hi. My name is Funke and I just bought Chef salt only to find it filled with dead flies and rat faeces!”

“Oh, we are sorry. Please we will get in touch with you in 24 hours with a solution to the problem.”

“Ok then. I will expect your call. Goodbye.” Funke cut the call. Turning to Shade she said, “I guess we have no choice but to buy another brand of salt.”

Shade nodded. “God knows I am never using this yeye Chef salt again. Madam, give us another salt abeg make we dey go.

With relief washed all over her face, the market woman gave them a different brand which they paid for and left.

The next afternoon, Funke received a phone call. It was the Chef salt representative. She remembered the phone number from the day before. She quickly called Shade, picked up the phone and placed it on speaker.

“Hello?” Funke answered.

“This is Joy from Chef customer care. I am calling regarding a complaint made by you yesterday as regards our salt.”


“Please I’d like to have your house address.”

At this, Shade shook her head and Funke responded, “Why do you want my house address?”

“To replace the salt.” was Joy’s answer.

“I refuse to give you my house address for security reasons, and I don’t intend to use your salt anymore so there is no need for you to replace it. I only alerted you to the situation so that you know what to do to stop producing unhygienic salt, and probably call back that entire batch.”

Joy’s tone suddenly turned hostile. “Look madam, you have to give us your house address. Besides if you refuse to use our salt again, other Nigerians will use it. If you like go to places, you could even be a lawyer or journalist for all I care, you can’t stop us from doing business. Our salt is still the best in this nation”. Then she banged the phone.

Funke and Shade were in utter shock. They could not believe the sudden turn of the conversation. Funke being hot-headed decided to call back immediately. Joy picked up again and Funke went into a rage. “Hello, do you not have respect?” She blurted. “How dare you speak that way to me? I called to complain about your product and you insult me?”

Joy responded, “Please, please, please. Who do you  think you are? You want to spoil the name of this company but you will not succeed. You are nothing but a shameless woman looking to cause trouble. You will never succeed, you hear me? Our salt is the best and you can go and die if you don’t like it.” She banged the phone again.

Shade only shook her head in dismay. “This country…see lawlessness…is this how a customer care representative ought to speak? Are they going to just get away with this, while innocent Nigerians keep consuming this unhygienically produced salt, endangering their health and lives?”

Funke only stormed out of the house in anger, cursing and saying “They will not get away with it. I swear they won’t! How can the innocent be harassed by the guilty? What rubbish!”

What do you think guys? Please leave your comments and don’t forget to like and share and spread the word regarding many customer observations that go unattended by these companies. Enough is enough.

This is based on a true story.

7 thoughts on “On Customer Service

  1. Hummmmm dis country is full of lawlessness; since it happened in Nigeria. Even uglier situations have been experienced with d victims languishing. Lets’ hope tins wud be better.


  2. Can’t help but smile…poor Shade. I personally dnt think its abt Nigerian lawlessness. i tink its d case of employing unqualified persons for such sensitive jobs. I doubt if a Bank’s customer care personnel or Communication employees would behave like that.


    • Capsid, you will be shocked how many such “unqualified” people occupy sensitive positions. I personally have been treated rudely by a bank operative before…he must have been upset by something before I came in and so I bore the brunt of his anger. LOL.


  3. Fine piece! At first I thought it was too fictitious( who bothers about salt??) until you mentioned that it was based on a true life story. I have no doubts such bizzare ”care” takes place in Nigeria. There are supposed to be agencies fighting such things but as with other government agencies, they don’t work.


    • Wemimo, this actually happened to my aunt’s friend! Hence it is basically a true story. I just changed names and altered the name of the salt a bit. Anyone who reads it will get a sense of the brand of salt involved. It is shocking to say the least. And thanks for following!!!


  4. Nice piece Maureen, this attitude can be found in every sector of the Nigerian economy even in hospitals. I think the level of hardship in the country, put most people in a “survival mode” hence the attitude.


Please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s