Monday, 11 July 2011

COMMENT: Righting the wrongs

Editor Kitchens & Bathrooms News,
Philippa Turrell
Beko must be breathing a sigh of relief (with News of the World having taken most of the recent headlines), following the national publicity surrounding the safety of some of its fridge freezers.  The figures of 500,000 frost-free fridge freezers, which could pose a fire hazard, made for uncomfortable reading and caused a near meltdown of its customer hotline. There’s nothing quite like an outraged public to create such a reaction. Although I naturally understand the concerns of those consumers involved, and don’t want to make light of the circumstances, it should be pointed out this is a rarity in domestic appliance manufacture.
Malcolm Scott, corporate chair of the Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom Specialists Association (KBSA) comments: “It is clearly regrettable that there is a problem but it must be remembered that this is an isolated incident and with more than 100 million appliances in use in the UK at the moment, it illustrates just how safe modern appliances are.”  
The appliance manufacturer should be proud of dealing with the situation and the way it reacted is testament to the hard work of all its employees. It not only increased the capacity of its call centre by 20 times, employing more staff to man the lines, but increased the capacity to modify the faulty appliance by five times. Beko certainly didn’t hide from its responsibilities but kept all customers up to speed through social media. And it continues to do so.
It should offer a valuable lesson to all, that problems can and do arise in all companies. And before you’re too quick to judge, consider what can happen in your own business. It’s not only the issues that arise but how you deal with them that shows the true marque of a business. And, although I’m fairly confident that Beko didn’t want to deal with the situation, in such an open arena, it should be recognised not criticised for recent actions.

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