An apology? No chance…
I just took a call from someone who wants to nominate their friend for a Queen’s honour. Not in itself worth mentioning you may think, given that’s what we do here and we get dozens of calls a day.
But this call was different. Not least because I don’t personally take many initial enquiry type calls. They called for a rant about the fact that we charge a fee for helping people to draft nominations. I think they were expecting me to apologise for that. Needless to say I didn’t.
I calmly pointed out that they can go on to the Government Queen’s honour website, download the nomination form and take care of the process themselves free of charge. Alternatively they can save themselves valuable time and significantly increase their chances of success by appointing us. I proudly pointed out that the average success rate is just 10% and that our success rate is over 50%. I also explained that we spend about 150 hours painstakingly crafting a nomination.
“But it’s just not fair” she exclaimed “No wonder worthy people never get the honours they deserve”. This was like a red rag to a bull to be honest.
The world is full of experts who can help you. Specialist tax accountants, for a fee, can legally minimise your tax liability – is that fair? Home tutors, for a fee, can increase the chances of little Johnny passing his GCSE in Maths – is that fair?
So why should Queen’s honours be any different?
It’s not of course, people just sometimes get frustrated when they have to pay for expert help.
It reminded me a little of the gaggle of Baronesses that had a pop at me a while ago on BBC2’s Daily Politics Show for daring to help worthy people to apply to the House of Lords.
Can you think of any examples of products or services people want but don’t seem to think they should have to pay for?
Anyway, it’s all my fault – perhaps I should stop trying to help people!