We've all met professional complainers I'm sure. Those people who will always find fault in everything, or who are so used to complaining about everything that it becomes a habit.
We get them here in the tourist industry of course. They complain about the flights, hotel accommodation, food, etc etc. Sometimes there is justification and matters have to be dealt with, but often it's just petty moaning for the sake of it. I once mentioned in a blog post how some tourists in Antalya complained to their hotel manager about the early morning call to prayer from the mosque, and requested that it be "switched off"...how do you deal with that kind of complaint?
Yesterday morning we arrived at the hamam and made the decision to close the business. There are no more new customers at the hotel, and it's time to call it a day. As we were busy packing up, a young girl came down to the hamam. She and her friend had the full packet of treatments earlier this week. I remembered her because she and her friend haggled over the price. I reduced it slightly but they weren't satisfied so Mr A did it for half price. The treatments usually take around an hour in total..at the most an hour and 15 minutes.
The girls first complained that the sauna was too hot. They then complained that the water in the hamam wasn't hot enough. At the end of their massages (Mr A did one and Turan the other) they said that they felt they were being rushed...in fact their treatments lasted almost 2 hours. To pacify them we explained that they had in fact had longer than normal, but if they were not satisfied they could return later in the day and we would give them another face mask and massage on the house. They didn't return.
So when this girl appeared yesterday morning, she said that her friend had a bruise under her eye and that Mr A had caused this when he massaged her face. I know that this is impossible. He doesn't massage underneath the eyes because it is a sensitive area. The girl insisted that it was his fault. Mr A asked where the girl was, and could her friend bring her to the hamam so that we could have a look. "Oh she's too upset to come here" replied the girl......oh right! The moaning and complaining went on for some time, and finally Mr A, actually feeling pretty stressed anyway at having to close up the business, finally snapped. He raised his voice and said that he could not accept that he had injured this girl and without seeing for ourselves, why should we believe what she was saying. The girl then became very insulting and said she was disgusted at our attitude and would not be spoken to in this manner. Mr A apologised for raising his voice, and said he would refund the "injured" girl's money as a gesture of goodwill. The girl said she thought they should both get a refund (even though she had been perfectly happy with her treatment). OK...said Mr A we will refund your money as well.
The girl wanted the refund in English sterling and I explained that I didn't have any on me at that time, but had some at home, that we were leaving yesterday but would ensure that the money was returned as soon as possible. I said it may be in the evening (last night) but I couldn't promise because we were off on a long road trip but that it would be returned before they left the hotel. She still muttered on about our attitude and let slip that they were getting used to this, having had a similar experience with a waiter in Gumbet on another occasion where they had complained about the service....oh do you see what I see here?
We packed up and took our things back to the house, and then set off for Manisa. With a couple of stops it took us 4 hours. During this time, the moaning girl had cornered Turan before he left and got him to ring me on my mobile so that she could talk to me. She moaned again about the situation and asked when I would be there with her money. I explained again. She then rang another 3 times saying the same thing. Each time I explained that we would make sure they had their money before the end of their holiday.
We found the factory in Manisa and negotiated a good price for some stock for Mr A's selling business. The guy we dealt with speaks excellent English, a bonus for me, because I can now deal with ordering and delivery of stock and leave Mr A free to sell.
Then we set off on the long journey home. We stopped after an hour and as Mr A was getting back into the car he leaned on his seat and it collapsed. Funnily enough we had just been talking about how overweight he is and that he needs to start dieting...this incident confirmed it! As we were trying to fix the seat, the bloody girl rang yet again. I told her that we were stuck trying to fix our car and that it was unlikely Mr A or I would be able to return to the hotel last night. "A likely story" she said "I could have told you this morning that you had no intention of refunding our money". I asked her if she was accusing me of lying and she said yes. I had the call on speakerphone. Mr A heard every word. He took the phone from me and said to the girl "Madam it is very clear to me that you have accused me of something I didn't do. You are now accusing my wife of being a liar. We have done all we can to please you but it's not enough. I believe this is just an attempt to get your money back and that you are not being honest with me. I have now decided that I am not refunding your money...not one penny. So I'm afraid you will just have to live with it"
Not entirely satisfactory of course. I would rather this hadn't happened on our last day of business. It's left a bitter taste. Mr A is upset by it all, particularly because no-one...all season...has ever complained. Quite the opposite. We have had much praise for the treatments from very satisfied customers.
Unable to fix the seat, Mr A had to drive with it propped up by the boxes of stock. we'll need to get it fixed today. We finally arrived home just after midnight, fed the dogs and immediately fell asleep.
So today is the first day of our next adventure!