Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sometimes They Get It Right...

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten my war against poor customer service. However in this war it is always good to pay homage to my allies, the ones who actually want my business.

The Housekeeper:

Keep in mind that, a lot of times, good customer service comes out of mistakes. It's not about getting it right all the time. It's about how you clean it up. For instance, I ordered a bucket load of cloth diapers from Diva Diapers as described in a previous post. My order arrived yesterday sans my free gifts. Clearly this was not going to work for the "guru of thrift." After all I chose this store because of the free gifts and added discounts. Granted I'd rather talk to someone in person, but given this is a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) store, I opted for a quick email to Carolann.

Here is her response (sent less than 24 hours later):

"Hello, Hillary! I am so sorry we forgot your gifts. We are away
visiting family and had some help packing orders. I apologize for
this. We will ship out your 2 free gifts today. Thank you for
bringing this to my attention."

Perfect. She addressed my concerns, took responsibility and fixed the problem. This is a company I'll do business with again. Great deals and customer service...can't go wrong there.

Doesn't Hurt to Ask:

The good thing about a bad economy is that there are always deals to be had. And when you can't find one, ask! Of course I have a few examples.

1. I happen to like No Nonsense bras, and can only find them on their website. Because of this I subscribe to their email list where they send out sales and specials all the time. I kept waiting for a free shipping or a small discount to come across, but all of their sales were for stockings or underwear. Sucky! So I replied to one of the notices and simply asked if they were going to be running a sale on their bras anytime soon. Seriously, the next day, they sent out a notice that the bras were 50% off. Totally didn't expect that, but I jumped on it and now have several new bras to get my through this "larger" era of my life (and I didn't have to spend a lot). No Nonsense listened to me as a customer and went above and beyond to make me happy. Sounds a little like a certain Bible story, doesn't it?

2. Since making the switch to cloth diapers, I'm contemplating using cloth wipes as well. They are environmentally friendly and just seem to make more sense. Just throw it all in the wash, instead of one thing in the trash (totally should make flushable wipes) and one in the laundry. It's not like they are that expensive, but shipping normally does me in. So while I was on Twitter this morning, I sent a tweet to @diapershops and asked if they would be putting wipes on sale/free shipping anytime soon. She immediately tweeted back with a code, WIPES, for free shipping on my entire order when I bought wipes. Again, what great customer service, and it turns out that there were others that were wanting the same thing. My question and her willingness to make accommodations for little me probably brought her two or three extra orders.

3. This one didn't turn out so good. I was searching for a popcorn machine for camp. Now we're not talking a small $40 machine you get at Costco. We were looking to spend about $500. I'd done my research and had found the best deal including shipping at Webstaurant.com. Before I completed my sale, I saw this little space for a coupon code. So I googled to see if I could find one. There weren't any current offers. Remembering my experience with No Nonsense, I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. I clicked on their web chat function and asked the guy if he had any current codes that just might help me pinch a penny. You know what he tells me, "Our prices are already so low that we can't give further discounts." A simple "no" would have sufficed. He didn't have to sugar coat it with a lot of crap he didn't mean. However, that being said, I still placed the order. For what I found, they did have the best deal with low shipping. I might not have agreed with the way he handled my question, but to be honest, he probably couldn't do anything for me and in his mind, he was saying the right thing. You can't win them all.

A Battle Lost:

Speaking of not winning: About 2 years ago, Neil and I purchased a home theater system from Philips (probably closer to a year and a half actually). Our children decided it would fun to play Candyland with the DVD player. Needless to say, it lost. Neil took it apart and decided that we might be able to salvage it if we could just replace the DVD-rom, so he called up Philips that sent him on a wild goose chase ending with a "I'm sorry but we don't carry those parts anymore." Seriously? You don't carry parts for an item you just sold a little over a year ago? Ladies and gentleman, this is not the way to run a business. Do you know what this says to me? It says that they can't/won't stand behind their products. Do they just scrap the parts once they stop selling the product? I get that it was our fault it broke, but now we're stuck with a $300 item that is completely useless. They have crossed over to the enemy side as we will no longer purchase Philip's products. Why would I want to reward a company that doesn't stand behind their products? You might say that it's normal for a company to do this, but I beg to differ. Did you know that Pampered Chef carries replacement parts for items it discontinued 8 years ago? Just saying, that's all.

1 comment:

Manuel Lopez said...

Great reviews Hillary. You could probably make a living doing these for other mothers looking for good companies.