Dear Roker Report,
I’m sending this message to see if you would want to try and get in touch with the club regarding the poor standard of customer service that they currently provide.
I have seen numerous people on Twitter complaining, and I have experienced it too. Starting before the season began, I have been trying to organise a seat change for a few games, as I am recovering from a broken leg.
Unfortunately, I have had one reply from around nine emails, and it directed me to the accessibility and disability page, which advise me to send an email, which I already had done.
I personally feel it is something that definitely needs addressing and you could be well-placed to get in touch, get a response, and find out why so many fans are currently going through this.
Trying to talk to someone from the club is impossible these days. I imagine that it could be costing the club, and will definitely have a knock-on effect going forward.
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi mate. I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues in trying to make contact with the club - it’s something we hear about time and time again, from fans such as yourself, who don’t feel that they are receiving a satisfactory level of customer service. It is extremely disheartening, and is simply not the way that a club of Sunderland’s stature should be operating.
We’ve attempted to bang the drum on this issue, and will continue to do so wherever possible.
It is true that people who raise such points are often accused of ‘moaning for the sake of moaning’, but when things are not being done properly and the fans are left feeling frustrated, remaining silent is not an option.
Dear Roker Report,
Why is Sunderland’s ticket office and club shop hardly ever open?
To make matters worse, people who have problems can’t get in touch because the phone line just plays music forever and then cuts out, and they don’t always reply to emails. On top of that, the ticket office is only open for three days, from 10:00am until 1:00pm. What sort of hours are those?
Also, I know numerous people whose cards weren’t activated, and they couldn't get into the stadium.
Some didn’t get sorted until half time, others did not get sorted not at all, and some fans who received new season cards discovered that people had been in their seats for years.
Some of these people haven’t been able to get in touch with anyone at the club and are waiting on the ticket office opening. In the club shop, there have been no home socks since stock arrived, so kids wanting a full strip can’t have it, and now most sizes of all strips are all but gone already.
Is anyone running this ship on a full time basis?
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Unfortunately, this is another familiar story. Issues with the ticket office have been occurring all summer, and the club seems no nearer to finding a solution. It is obvious that departments such as this one have been cut to the bone, and the end result is confusion and annoyance.
Regarding the club shop, it is well-documented that many clubs in the UK have had issues with supplies, but it has been particularly noticeable at Sunderland this summer. The shop, like the ticket office, is being run with minimal expenditure, and it shows.
Fundamentally, the club’s retail, administration and fan engagement are simply not at the level they should be. Running a Championship club with a lower league off-field infrastructure is not acceptable and it must be brought up to scratch as soon as possible.
Dear Roker Report,
I have two points that I would like to make, and the first concerns Ellis Simms.
He enjoyed a great debut, scoring two goals, and you couldn’t ask for more from him, but what about his body language?
I can’t work out if he’s a Kenwyne Jones-type player, who could be a real handful on his day but so laid back he’s horizontal, or a Will Grigg-type striker, who would rather be anywhere but Sunderland. Time will tell!
My second point concerns our kit.
We have played two games against teams who wore a Hummel kit. After all of the issues we’ve endured from Nike and Adidas, isn’t it time we sent a clear message to the club that it is time to get Hummel back on board?
I can’t recall us ever having a bad Hummel strip, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen another team in a bad one either. They are the king of football kits by a country mile!
What do you think?
Ed’s Note [Phil]: In response to the question about Ellis Simms, when I watched him against Bristol City, I got the impression that he is a very motivated, dynamic young footballer who is relishing the chance to play for Sunderland,
The comparison to Kenwyne Jones may not be a bad one, and hopefully he can turn in many more performances like we saw on Saturday.
Regarding Hummel, I must admit that I have never been particularly attracted to their kits.
When I started following Sunderland back in 1995/1996, we had already switched to Avec, and then came some classic designs from ASICS and Nike, so I don’t have the same fondness for Hummel as many fans.
A new kit manufacturer is certainly needed, however, and a return to bespoke shirts would be welcome!