Thursday, April 12, 2007

Customer Service

There are companies with lousy customer service. They can really put a damper on your day if you let 'em. And then there are companies that just shine. First up, an example of the former. Don't worry, I will share an example of the latter after.

A couple weeks ago, I ordered a computer for Mariko as a college graduation present from Robert & me. This was one of the plans we had for his bonus money this year. So, being the internet shopper that I am, and going through Ebates like I do, I went to to spec out one for her. I wanted to make sure there was a large enough hard drive, fast speeds, programs, etc for a med student. Great. Checked with her on the specs and then put it in my virtual shopping cart and clicked the submit button once. Only once. I've shopped enough online to know that, and move my mouse away to avoid any chance of clicking it twice. Although the one and only time I ever did that years ago, I quickly called the company and they deleted the extra order. I learn quickly from mistakes, and in the 10 years I've shopped online, that mistake only happened that one time. Because I move the dang cursor away from the submit button once I've clicked it... ONCE. After the order went through, I printed the order confirmation page. Within minutes, the order confirmation arrived in my email inbox. One order confirmation for my one computer. (If you are thinking, uh-oh, she's going somewhere with this with the...'only one' 'clicked only once' 'only one confirmation' 'one computer'... yeah.)

Wednesday night I was busy chatting in the weekly Signing Time! chat, while on the phone with Robert, and also doing a gmail chat with Mariko. The shipment confirmation for the computer arrived at my inbox. Yay! I let Mariko know. Yay! Then the shipment confirmation for the computer arrived at my inbox. Curious, but then I have had repeat info come into my inbox, so didn't think much about it. Went about my multi-tasking; Mariko went about her work, Robert & I decided to continue our conversation off the phone and in the Signing Time! chatroom.

Thursday morning I got up, got the kids off to school, then sat down with a cup of coffee and my computer. Check email. Read the shipping confirmation for the computer. Read the other shipping confirmation for the computer. CRAP! They have different order numbers! One is the one I had received the order confirmation for. The other is different. CRAP CRAP! I quickly emailed Lenovo to let them know. This was 9:54am April 5. I checked the shipping tracking number; they were being held by the brokerage for reasons beyond UPS' control. Okay, cool, maybe this is being resolved. I checked my bank account. Nothing has been deducted. Cool.

Friday morning, I check and my account has been deducted for the same amount twice. CRAP! (Ok, I didn't say 'crap' but I'm trying not to use the 'f' word) I call the customer service at Lenovo Not open yet. Wait 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the phone rings and William needs to be picked up from school, so Robert heads out to get him. William is throwing up. Not cool.

I call customer service after 9am, talk to a really nice young man there, except he's telling me that their computer shows 2 orders. I went through my "I've been shopping online for a number of years, I know what I'm doing and I only submitted ONE order and I only received ONE order confirmation!" Then nice young man turns into piss-Kei-off young man when he implies that it's my fault for ordering over their website instead of calling on the phone to order it. WTF? So I calmly explained that if there were two orders, then why did I only receive ONE order confirmation? Hmmmm... no answer. Just the pat answer, "Well, what you need to do is accept both packages, then call our customer service number for the return authorization number and schedule for pickup. When it is back in our warehouse we will credit your account" No supervisor is there to talk to (Good Friday), and every thing I suggest is met with "I'm sorry but the only thing to do is accept both packages.... yada yada yada". Bite me (I didn't say it, but sure wanted to). No, they can't just set one package aside during the import scan and return to their warehouse. The only thing to do is to accept... blah blah blah.

Saturday the 7th at 5:10pm, I received an email response to the one I had sent on Thursday morning. "Please accept delivery for both packages but do not open. Call the telephone number below and we can generate a return authorization number and schedule for pickup." Nice of them to get back to me so soon. And after talking to customer service, all they are willing to do is send me the information to return the extra one and gee, they'll waive the restocking fee!!! I asked them to extend the warranty on the one I did order, but they won't. And I won't the credit back into my account for 8-10 days after UPS picks it back up. That's okay Lenovo. I'll send a letter to the BBB anyway. After all, I am only ONE customer. With friends. And online communities.

A really great example of customer service is this company, Simple Human. Robert ordered a new coffee pod brewer a couple weeks ago after the one we had (a Bunn, which we loved) needed to be shipped back for a replacement. He liked the way the Simple Human Pod Brewer looked. So, it arrived, and I unpacked it, set it up. The box said there was supposed to be an 18-pod sampler included. Unfortunately, it wasn't in there. I told Robert, who sent an email to Simple Human. Within a few hours, they emailed him back, with a thank you for ordering the coffee pod brewer, an apology that the sampler box was missing, and that a replacement would be shipped out. A few short days later, a box arrived. With not one, but two sampler boxes. Their Customer Service really knows how to treat a customer. By the way, the Simple Human Pod Brewer is fantastic! It also uses tea pods, or can just dispense hot water.

Based on their product and their customer service, this is a company we will be ordering from again. I'm looking at this next. The rectangular sensor can. Very cool trash can~ you just put your foot up to the sensor area at the base and it opens and closes smoothly.