I've noticed lately that Chicago was right in singing "Hard To Say I'm Sorry". People just don't seem to want to or are capable of saying those repentive words to smooth out a personal or business situation. Our dear friends who own an antique and vintage furniture shop, had a most distasteful experience lately. They ordered some parts required for repairing lamps. When they arrived, it was apparent that the supplier had sent incorrect items. Trying to undo this simple error was anything but simple or pleasant.
At first, this supplier denied any wrongdoing, even though all concrete evidence proved otherwise. Then our friends were told about a restocking fee for returning said wrong products. When everything seemed ironed out, the promised credit didn't happen. When my friend called enquiring about the delay, the woman who answered the phone was so hostile and angry and lacking in any form of desire to solve the problem. However, my friend was relentless and refused to let this shrill voice have the upper hand. He said that after 15 minutes of very unpleasant back and forth, he got the apology he needed. After that, they both seemed calmer and the business with the credit went through without further fuss or delay.
Was my friend wrong to insist on an apology? Did he NEED that or WANT that or BOTH? I believe if that woman had not apologised and toned down her attitude, the situation may have escalated beyond the scale of the problem. This supplier was in the wrong and for them to respond to their error with blatant rudeness says something about the culture of this company. Without that apology, how could my friends proceed to work with this company? There would be no trust, there would be a giant brick wall between them. It would be difficult to do any business that way. It would be much the same had this been a personal conflict.
Sometimes apologies are needed to get past the bump in the road, not for ego sake.
Let me know what you think about this one...