We're pretty accomplished but definitely not psychic

It struck me that the last few blogs I’ve written have been ever so serious and grown up. So this one is a little more ‘Carry on Camping’ than ‘it’s a Wonderful Life’….

Over the years we’ve taken a few calls, answered the odd email and acted the role of Hercule Poirot on more than one occasion.  So, we’ve collaborated with our colleagues in the boat licensing team and used some of our experiences to create this list of our favourite advice:

  • If you’re not sure what your customer number is when you call us then you could try to remember your boat index number, postcode or, at the very least, your name.  It really does make everything from that point on an awful lot easier.
  • We’re pretty accomplished but we’re definitely not psychic. If you move house please tell us and preferably before we post you your renewal or discs. 
  • When you give us your new address please remember to tell us who you are.  Unfortunately e-mail addresses like ‘boater@xxxxxxxx.com’ (don’t try it – I just made it up) wouldn’t give even MI5 much to go on.
  • Likewise, if you call and leave us a voicemail please please PLEASE tell us who you are.  Whilst we would love to be on first name terms with all our customers remember that we have about 35,000 boat owning customers alone and to be able to do this would give even Derren Brown some trouble.   
  • We’re very likely to contact you about the boat you sold last year if you haven’t told us that you’ve sold it (see point 2 above).
  • If we ask you to repeat something on the phone it’s usually because we can’t hear you very well, not because it amuses us.  Remember that you’re probably using a mobile phone on your boat in an area with poor reception.
  • If you’re cross about something you don’t need to write in bold red capital letters.  We’re very good at recognising this for ourselves, even without such obvious indicators.  

When you complete any of our forms…

  • The sign and date boxes are for the date you signed the form rather than your date of birth, the date you got your boat or when you last blackened it’s bottom (you get the idea!).
  • Sometimes we ask for your customer number or Index number. You probably have one.  If you don’t just leave this bit blank, now is not the time to get creative…
  • On the bottom of the form the ‘Date of Issue’ relates to when this version of the form was published – not the date we posted it to you. (attached photo relates)
  • if you’re unfortunate enough to have you paperwork eaten by your dog, run over by a bicycle or dropped into the canal then please don’t feel like you’ve got to complete it and send it back.  We really don’t mind sending you out another copy.  In fact, we’d prefer it.

As I was writing this an enormous bouquet of beautiful flowers arrived for one of my colleagues here in the office. Through red cheeks and a rather embarrassed smile she’s just told me that they’re from a customer who she spent a great deal of time helping. Of course she didn’t expect them and we’ve all made the obligatory jokes, but I can see that she’s genuinely touched. I can only imagine how thankful for her help the customer was before they took the trouble to arrange this lovely surprise!  What a super way to start the afternoon…      

Last date edited: 24 May 2013

About this blog

Sarina Young

Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!  

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