I moved into a new flat recently so I had to get some furniture and set up internet and TV. As you know there are many choices to make, and it’s difficult because they all promise the best, perfect, service. But is it?

No. They all turned up on time, they all used the technology (mobile phones simply) to let me know that everything was in hand and I essentially got what I wanted But not one of them was perfect.

BT tested the lines and made sure the broadband was OK. But when it came to BT sports, corporate speak took over: “That’s a self-install product”. What? So I self- installed it and discovered that the picture was fuzzy. I checked the cables, even spent a fiver replacing the one cable they don’t supply (there’s always one thing that isn’t included), and still it’s dodgy. I haven’t had the energy to tell them yet since I spent 3 hours on Sunday just setting up the account. I’m sure they will attempt to tell me that I’m wrong. But why would I ring them up and take time to deal with this? I’ve never heard of Munchhausen’s by proxy with respect to goods: have you ever met or heard of someone making their things “ill” so as to get some attention? Neither have I. But ‘they’ seem to think that we do.

John Lewis had the items in stock and delivered within a week. Great. Only the warehouse must have had the sideboard so long that the corner had lost the will to live – there was a crack in the veneer, and the drawers had warped so that they don’t open properly. The delivery chaps (at John Lewis they’re chaps not men aren’t they?) took photos and said that customer services would be in touch later that day. That was 5 days ago….

And Furniture Village were in danger of sinking without trace. Having promised the goods in 10 days they became out of stock the minute after I placed the order. And the salesman disappeared. Enter Barbara, who I had bought something from before, very successfully, who had been promoted to accounts , where she can’t use her skills to serve customers. She said the goods would be here on the 22nd, so I rang on the 21st and explained the position and that I would be available to receive the goods on 24th. They duly arrived.

So, as WealthBeing says, you don’t need to be perfect to succeed but you do need flexible systems and a culture that realises when it’s done it wrong and needs to fix it. And often A needs B to be the one to fix A’s mistake, so you need the right culture where everyone understands that that helps us all.

Which of these companies do you think has got it right?