Customer Service Done Right

Different customer service at a local restaurant named Lure. We stopped last night to have a drink and when Sue lifted her glass off the table, the bottom of the glass fell out and the entire drink poured on the table and onto Sue’s lap. We grabbed the waitress who immediately got some napkins and we mopped up. She apologized and ordered another drink right away.

Within a couple minutes the manager came over and apologized profusely. He asked if we needed her clothes dry cleaned and if we were staying in the hotel. He also asked if we were planning on ordering. We declined the dry cleaning and remarked that we had only stopped in for a drink. Without hesitation he made it right and offered three rounds of drinks as an apology. A very nice gesture indeed.

After our drinks, and as we were packing up he came back, apologized again, hoped we would visit again some time, then wished us good evening.

Here was something that happened somewhat out of their control, and without hesitation or prompting by us, he made it right. I estimate that six drinks would have easily been $50. The garage door company fought me over $5 that they over charged me for.

Customer Service Denied

Terrible customer service experience. On Monday we had some servicing done on our garage door. The gentlemen that did the work were excellent and I am happy with what they did. They created an invoice and asked how I wanted to pay. I used my credit card, so they whipped out an imprint machine, filled it out, swiped my card and handed it to me to sign (the total was $89.25).

The next day the charge went through for $94.50. I was a little confused about the difference, so I waited a day, then called the company. I was talking with what I think was the office manager, and explained the situation. Her reply was that she had left me a voicemail explaining that their serviceman charged me the wrong rate ($85 per hour vs $90 per hour). I explained that nobody quoted me an hourly rate, and all I knew was that I owed the $89.25. That is what I signed for on the credit card slip. She seemed to get rather angry and tried to explain that their hourly rate hadn’t been $85 for a couple years and that I should have been charged $90.

At this point I was starting to get pretty angry as well. This business, which I felt was a local business, that we had dealt with in the past was being very aggressive over a $5 mistake that someone made. She eventually asked me if I wanted the $5.25 returned to my card, which I replied ‘yes’ to. As I was giving my credit card number to her, I was getting more and more incredulous over this. Credit card companies have agreements in place and they broke that by charging me more than the slip I signed said. I called them as a courtesy to fix the problem (and I was curious what happened). Instead they soured my experience over $5. Instead of calling them I could have called Mastercard and disputed the charge. This company would have had to then look up the slip and send it to Mastercard, and still would have had to refund me money (as well as incurring the dreaded chargeback).

In my mind, what should have happened is they apologize for the mistake, refund the money, and let me know that next time the hourly rate will be at least 90. I would have left happy, instead of angry and pissed off over a stupid $5.25 surcharge.

After the call ended, I checked my voicemail and there was a message letting me know that the serviceman had charged me the wrong rate and asked me to let them know if they could send the amended amount through on my credit card. They didn’t call back, didn’t wait for confirmation, and were combative about fixing their mistake. Terrible customer service.

Batteries Squirrely

Last week I needed to buy some batteries for my flash, and for some other things in the house. From years ago I remembered that Radio Shack was the cheapest place. They got renamed a while ago to The Source.

With kids in tow I entered The Source location closest to our house. I found the batteries I needed and waited for my turn to pay. I waited way too long considering there were multiple staffers, multiple tills, and only one person in front of me paying for something.

As the guy was ringing my purchase in, he saw the double packs of 9V batteries I had and mentioned that the single packs were on sale 2 for 1. Would have saved me time if there was a sign saying that.

With the new packs in hand he rang them in then asked for my email address. Uhh, no. I don’t need to be spammed by them. He didn’t even let me know what they would do with it.

Then he asked me who my mobile provider was and what my monthly bill was. WTF? I had 3 packs of batteries to by and you are trying to upsell me to a cellphone? I cut him off and told him just the batteries. If I had been looking at other technology, had a few other items, then maybe I could cut him some slack. Instead I had batteries and two kids who were going a little squirrely in an electronics store. Think for a second next time would you?

Scratch that. There likely won’t be a next time.

Shrunk Color

Sometimes it pays to ask.

Quite a few months ago I bought from Sport Check, a long sleeve shirt made by Columbia. I liked the shirt, it fit well, and was very comfortable. The first time it was washed, it went through in cold water and was hung to dry. I didn’t want it to shrink, yet that is exactly what happened. The sleeves shrunk several inches, and the chest area shrunk too. I could not wear the shirt at all any more.

I thought I might as well contact their warranty department and see if there was anything they could do for me. I was told to send the shirt in with a description of what was wrong. They would take a look at it and make a determination if this was warranty worthy.

I took a chance and sent the shirt in. The shirt had originally cost me $30 and the shipping was an additional $12. I didn’t hear anything from Columbia for a while, and was just about to follow up with them when a package arrived. They sent me a brand new shirt. Sure it was a different color, but it fit well.

I commend Columbia on replacing the shirt, but it would have been great to get a heads up that a new shirt was coming my way. For them to keep me in the dark is a little strange, especially since my communications with them had all been via email.

Hopefully this new $42 shirt will last longer than the first one.

Missing Resources

This past month I went over on my data plan for my cell phone. It cost me an extra $20 + tax. I was caught off guard by this overage since Telus is supposed to send me a text message when I am around 75% of my data usage, then again and 90%, and last month I did not receive those messages.

I called Telus today to ask about the missing messages, and to find out if I can get more details about my data usage.

The Telus rep said “Telus does not guarantee that you will receive those text messages”. The reasoning was due to network congestion, and or routing issues. Hello? Telus is in the business of sending text messages. If it doesn’t send for some reason (say network congestion), send it a little later. They are a telephone company and should easily be able to guarantee sending of a simple text message. Ludicrous.

The rep also mentioned that their website tells me how much data I have used. The big problem there is that they have rolled out a new version of their site and it is ridiculously slow, and sometimes doesn’t load, or doesn’t respond. Nice. I can also call them to find out where I am with my usage. Maybe I should call them every day to check. Nothing like wasting precious/expensive resources to get their attention.

Incidentally, all their website says about the text messages is:

Some plans are not eligible to receive TELUS Data Usage Notifications. Enabling TELUS Data Usage Notifications may not work for your plan.

Then I asked about getting more details on my data usage. I was hoping that if I could find out the urls that were being loaded most often, then I can figure out what apps I was overusing and scale back accordingly. The rep said that all the details are on their site, yet when I checked yesterday, the most detail I could get was a date and time, a size, and how much it cost.

time 		item 		amount 	details 
4:32:51 PM 	190 Kilobytes 	$0.00 	AirCard 

The rep said they don’t have the ability to track this information. Yeah, right. This means there is no way I can double check with any certainty that their billing system is accurate. I have to trust them on this, and when they can’t reliably send a simple text message, why should I trust them on something more complex like tracking data usage?

Service Food

Unlike my dealing with BlockBuster last week I had an awesome customer service experience today.

I stopped at Bosley’s to get some food for Yoshi. I found the kind of food that I wanted, but they only had the 15 pound bag. I grabbed one and took it to the front counter and asked if they had any larger bags in the back.

The clerk poked around a bit then when she came out she grabbed another 15 pound bag. She apologized for not having any 30 pound bags in stock, then offered two 15 pounders for the price of a 30 pound. Sold!

This actually allowed me to refresh the food bag we have in our earthquake kit, so that was an added bonus.

Blockbuster Bad

Soon after I got my new cellphone and phone number, I started getting calls from @Blockbuster informing me of overdue movies. These calls were destined for the previous owner of the number since I rarely rent from @Blockbuster any more.

This morning I called to get this fixed up. I called at a few minutes before 10 and the person that answered sounded cheery enough. It sounded like the store was already open. When I started to explain the issue she cut me off saying she couldn’t help me because the store wasn’t open yet.

I was dumbfounded. I was a little speechless.

I verified that she couldn’t help me and she said yes. She needed to get the store ready. I asked if the fact that I am a customer made a difference and she said no. She couldn’t help me because the store wasn’t open yet.

Not being totally coherent I said something to the effect that “That is pretty bad.”, and she actually said no it wasn’t! I hung up after that since I didn’t want to deal with her any more.

After 10am I called another @Blockbuster to get the number removed and the guy that answered took care of it in under 2 minutes, and even let me know that I may get another call within the next couple days since their system updates are a little slow.

The helpful guy spent less time on the phone with me than the argumentative lady. Nice.

I haven’t rented from @Blockbuster in a while, and I think I will continue that trend.

Bottles Replacement

I had to make a quick post about some excellent customer service I received. We bought some water bottles for the kids at London Drugs. The brand was Innate-Gear.

These are stainless steel bottles that the kids can easily use. The only problem was that we somehow lost the little silicone valve piece from a few of them. We had three unusable bottles kicking around, so I thought maybe I should do something about that.

I went to their website and emailed about buying new valves. They sold replacement lids, but that would have meant recycling the old lids which were perfectly fine.

The lady that responded was very understandable, and sent us three replacement valves for free. This was awesome. Something I hadn’t noticed was that the bottle design had changed, and the valves for version 2 don’t fit in version 1 bottles. I’m hoping that I can get some more valves for those ones, or I can buy replacement lids barring that.

Anyway, the point was Innate-Gear has made me happy as a customer by simply mailing me some replacement parts for free.