Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Customer Service

I'll admit it, I am hardened when it comes to customer service. I am already prepared for the worst case scenario before it ever starts. The work ethic in America has reached an all-time low. However, sometimes I am so delightfully surprised by wonderful customer service and it gives me a glimmer of hope. I will first share my wonderful experiences and then two jaw-dropping examples that back up my low expectations.

  • We refinanced our house recently. I know we shouldn't have because as we all know the market is in terrible shape and banks have no money to lend. Yet, refinance we did because hubby went to Quicken loans and got a 15 year fixed loan at 4.99%. WOW!! AND IT WAS SOOOOOOOO easy. They have local people to do the appraisal, notarize the close, and their customer service was top-notch. Everything was done after hubby's work hours and I just smile everytime I think of how easy it all was. After all was said and done, we had a refund check which was overnighted to us via UPS(signature required for delivery).
  • This leads me to excellent customer service #2. UPS called me this morning at 8:30 AM with a recorded message to let me know it would be delivered later in the morning and to please call if I missed the delivery and needed to make other arrangements. WOW. My friendly UPS guy showed up about and hour and a half later and the transaction was complete. These two companies use technology to help them create services and then back it up with friendly REAL people. I love it.

Not the two jaw-dropping bad examples. Prepare yourself to be amazed at just how low the average places of business have sunk.
  • We got a Subway gift card for Christmas. Saturday, since I was still in the midst of feeling like crap, my wonderful hubby called to check and see if I had plans for supper. When I bristled (oh yes I did, bristled when he was being all considerate...I'm sorry again, honey!!), he simply stated that he would be glad to run by Subway and get some subs for supper. Then I was all sweet sweet...trying to make up for the bristle. So he did. Then he told me about the sub experience after he got home. One girl was alone working the after work rush which was crazy. He said she was a good worker who was doing her best to handle all of the people waiting in line as expediently as possible. Then, when it came time to pay, he handed her the gift card. "Those don't work. We can't accept them." WHAT!!??? Now my husband is far kinder than I. He simply pulled out some cash, paid and was on his way. BUT I AM LIVID. How does a company not take their gift cards?????????????? She said this had been a problem since before Christmas and it STILL wasn't fixed. I'll bet they didn't tell people that when they bought the cards. LIVID, LIVID. Now, as you digest that and maybe even make some excuses in your head for such a bad business practice-brace yourself.
  • Sam's club sells tires. The tire department closes at 7PM. We arrive last night at 6PM to find only one car ahead of us. YEAH. We made it and there won't be a time crunch for them. Win/Win, right? We purchase 2 tires and then head to the deli to eat pizza and then we shop while hubby listens for his name to be called. Around 7, hubby decides to walk back and check in with them because his name was never called. The garage bays are dark and all is locked up for the night, including....you will never believe it....not in a million years....they couldn't possibly....yes, they did. Our van keys and paperwork are locked up in the tire center for the night. They just LEFT at CLOSING TIME. Erik then had to hunt down the Sam's manager who was mortified they had done such a thing. He went into the garage and looked around for a bit and finally found our keys and paperwork in a desk drawer-not even left out in plain view for him to find. Did they think we would just walk home and come back tomorrow???

I really feel like phone calls are in order to both places to address the lack of customer care involved. ESPECIALLY SAM'S. What would you do??


Sara said...

I always believe that it is beneficial to call. I had a friend that owned a restaurant one time tell me that she wanted to know when something went wrong so she could fix it. But I make it a principle to call when I receive great service as well!

Was it the Subway by McDonald's? We haven't had a good experience there as well.

ShortyMom said...

My husband drives a truck and is on the road more often than not. Last year for Christmas, his step-dad gave him a gift card to Subway so that he could use them in the truck stops. From what I understand they are only good at certain stores and not good at truck stops so it was useless for him. Unfortunately, his step-dad gave him the same thing again this year. So much for ease.

Mia said...

The Sam's thing left me with my mouth hanging open!! WHAT!? There is no excuse for that : (
The Subway thing well it is bad form but I have run into this gift card/coupon thing that has the resturant name on it but it doesn't work at certain stores...i.e. had a free taco card for Taco Bell but it only works at the store that doesn't share space with KFC...whatever!

Anonymous said...

You should email the company....I had a problem at Penney's and they were horrified when I emailed the main people........I was given a nice "fix" and never had anymore problems.

Your tires and service should be taken care of. period. that's insane. you are nicer than me :) I knew that! :)