Mainfreight . . . My Heroes!

Who else but Mainfreight goes to this degree of effort to pad up a used boardroom table?

Is Mainfreight a pretty special company, or what?

A company with the ultimate “can do” ethos, Mainfreight continues to get a thumbs up all the way from this customer.

A couple of months ago, I needed a newly-imported, super-sized, delicate electronic printer whiteboard to make its way from a small town in the North Island, to my new videoconferencing studio in the lower half of the South Island.

The catch was I needed it to get from Point A to Point B . . . overnight. For which it had to go from said small east coast town in the North Island, up to Auckland, back down to the interisland ferry and across Cook Strait, and on down towards the bottom of the South Island . . . all within 24 hours.

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Supplier of the Month (Decade?)


I’ve written a good number of glowing articles about great companies giving awesome service, but this one takes the cake.

Heartbreakingly, today, I broke the exquisite and rare art deco glass pane in the front door of my 1936 villa.

Now, I live in a regional town where, for some reason, reliable tradies that give timely service can be as rare as my broken art deco glass pane . . . and when you get a good supplier on your team, you do everything in your power to keep him there.

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When the Ultimate Commodity Purchase
Becomes An Awesome Experience

Question: When is a shipping container not just a shipping container?

Answer: When it comes with the extraordinary service levels of Dunedin’s Royal Wolf sales office.

Recently I’ve been experiencing a home and office storage crisis. Earlier this week, I decided to solve it with the purchase of a 20-foot shipping container.

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‘It’s the Putting It Right that Counts’

Recently, my professional world was turned upside down and inside out when a household-name removalist company lost (among numerous other items) a series of large plastic crates containing the in-progress manuscripts of a number of my books and other professional works.

Stunned at the way in which the matter was handled (or rather, not handled) by the company’s management on both sides of the move (i.e. Australia and New Zealand), I set about the exercise of gaining insights into the removalist industry.

My enquiries around the New Zealand sector led me to industry icon Errol Gardiner – the Chairman of one of the country’s largest household relocation enterprises, New Zealand Van Lines. 

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From New Zealand's 'The Main Report':

Don’t Let Frontline Staff Do This

According to the editorial team of ‘The Main Report’ (New Zealand’s long-standing “business newsletter”), an organisation’s frontline staff should NEVER make any of these three statements to a customer:

  • “It’s our policy.” The purpose of this is to simply to shut someone down, TMR’s editors say.
  • “There’s nothing I can do.” There’s always something you can do, they challenge.
  • “It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility.” Your customer has a relationship with you, not your supplier, the editors point out.




I am the world’s worst traveller. I hate being subject to the noise of neighbouring room occupants, I detest having to sleep anywhere else but in my own bed, and I have an uncompromising need for cleanliness.

I also like a bit of luxury when I travel . . . my justification being that, if I’m forced to leave the comfort of my own environment, I at least want the same appointments that I have in my home.

These requirements and sensitivities in mind, staying at a “bed and breakfast” is a risky proposition . . . but, on the odd occasion that it does pay off, it does so in spades.

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Jarno Lehtinen (left) and Jacob Phillips (right), frontline staff at the highly recommendable Cod & Lobster Brasserie at the “top of Trafalgar”, the bars-and-eateries end of
Nelson’s main street.

Regular TPOC readers will know that a business doesn’t have to be or do anything particularly earth-shattering to appear as a “Getting It Right” story on this blog. Sometimes, it’s just an unexpectedly strong customer service ethos that gets me waxing lyrical.

Such is the case as a result of stopping into the Cod & Lobster Brasserie in Nelson this week for a nightcap.

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Wendy (left) and Tracy (right), the competent, creative and friendly front-of-store team at Ballantynes Showcase Jewellers in Oamaru, in New Zealand’s deep south.

It’s always nice to find a small business where the mindset doesn’t see the size of the smile and the quality of the service dictated by the scale of the sale.

I found such a mindset when I returned to my “writer’s cave” in the small regional town of Oamaru, in New Zealand’s South Island.

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This NZ Customs Call Centre Operator Is Proficiency Personified


Here’s how you handle a (potential) customer complaint very, very well.

This morning, a package containing three bottles of nutritional supplements arrived at my house by courier.

I pulled out my scissors to avail myself of the parcel’s contents, to find – lo and behold – said scissors were redundant. Someone had done the job for me:  The parcel was already opened. Someone had ripped into it and hadn’t even taken the time to re-seal it.

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Great Save, Spark!


Here’s the original article relating to the below post. You’ll want to read it to set the necessary context for the outcome I’ve written about in this piece.

In a nutshell, I was lamenting the infuriating “uncontactability” of large telecommunications corporations.

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