A far-from-poultry complaint


My best guess is that we all have letters of complaint we’ve drafted and rehearsed in our heads for yonks, after being the victims of poor customer service.

I reckon you’d know the ones. Get to my age and you have quite a few of them.

All indignantly penned in the mind, visualised on a mental computer screen or imaginary piece of paper with quill at the ready and inkpot full but never spelt out, never put into action. All fulmination and no follow-through.

Some of mine over the years are probably too embarrassing to recount. I mean, really, when in your early 20s you buy a penis-enlargement vacuum tube and pump for close to $200 you’re entitled to see some clearly visible results, right?

Even an extra inch would have meant a 50 per cent improvement and I then wouldn’t have wasted hours dreaming and scheming to complain about being short-changed! Instead of harbouring a gripe for ages, with some action instead of agro, some hustle instead of hot air, I perhaps could have gotten redress that left me with a firm grip on the matter at hand.

But you know what? I’ve finally gotten around to not only dreaming up my indignant response to a recent purchase that … ah … also came up well short of expectations – very short – but I’ve this time I’ve finally done something about it!

Here’s a letter I’m just about to email off to my local Bunnings Warehouse, the famous one with the giant prawn out front and where quality, fit-for-purpose products should be just the beginning.

I’ll let you know the result. That’s if I actually get around to sending it. With my track record, I’m not entirely confident.

Don Gordon-Brown


The Manager
Bunnings, Ballina.

Dear Sir/Madam

Some time ago, my wife and I purchased from your store for $262 a timber chook house called the Manor House.

And the other night, a fox peeled the structure’s wire door up, as Bill Lawry might say, as clean as a whistle, and took off with our lovely little bantam and the four chicks, then about three weeks old that she had patiently hatched from fertilised eggs and was proudly bringing up as her own.

The image here clearly shows the results of the fox’s efforts. We’re fairly confident she peeled the wire up in bugger all time and with no trouble at all. It’s a shame we didn’t have CCTV to see whether it used its claws or its teeth. Or maybe just before wolfing down our bantam and chicks, she huffed and she puffed and simply blew it open.

I reckon this fox couldn’t have had an easier job if she had opposable thumbs and the overnight key to a local KFC outlet.

We say “she” because our neighbour a few days later trapped and killed a vixen who had also been whittling away at his chook numbers of late.

So here’s our beef. We reckon that we had every right as customers to believe that a wooden chook house with several wired sections would keep our poultry safe from whatever it is out there in the Australian bush that might want to cause them harm. Pythons, for example. Foxes too.

Indeed, the outside of the flatpack of the manor house – or as my wife and I now call it, the Death House – clearly boasted that the structure protected its feathered friends “from the elements”.

Now, your lawyers and the manufacturer’s legal eagles can rustle up some fancy definitions of what “from the elements” means but all we will do from our end is remind you both that there was a time when the customer was always right. Were we right to assume it would do its job?

So, what do you reckon? Agree with us that we deserve a refund and we’ll send you our proof of purchase and our bank details. We’d like to do it this way because now that the Death House has been assembled, we have no way of bringing it back to your store in our small car. Maybe you could pick it up? I guess we’ll find someway of getting it back to you if you insist but as age pensioners that will involve throwing good money after bad.

We’d also suggest that as a priority you advise the manufacturer to stick a “Will not protect against foxes” warning label on the flatpacks of their various chookhouse models as a matter of urgency for all stock in store or already made.

And then demand as the seller of their various chookhouse product that they use a thicker, stronger wire attached with screws rather than staples; whatever needs to be done that makes them fox proof.

And then put the damn price up accordingly. We would have gladly paid more if it meant we still had our lovely little bantam and her chicks.

We await your response.

Don and Carol

Etc, bloody, etc.