Monday, January 17, 2011

A Refreshing Change

In the month of December, I was starting to get really frustrated with customer service at a number of places. I hadn't experienced blatantly bad service before-- at least not repeatedly.  In fact, the last customer service experience that I had had was with Shutterfly, and they were great to work with.  But December was different. I experienced poor customer service from one company after another, and it was starting to get to me.

Many of the Pottery Barn gifts that we received for our wedding are breaking or discolored. I can deal with green towels that are now part yellow, but when our hinged lamp snapped in half in the middle of the night, I was annoyed that PB wouldn't do anything about it. 

Then, I rush ordered a Christmas present from Neiman Marcus that was supposed to arrive the Wednesday before Christmas. When it wasn't there on Friday, I contacted their customer service. The item wasn't going to ship until January 7. I was frustrated that they didn't indicate that before I was contacting them on Christmas Eve. They didn't even apologize or admit that it was inconvenient. All I got was an offer to cancel the order, and I accepted it. I expected more from them.

H&R Block did our taxes for the last two years, and this last year they lost all of our files. I had copies of everything, thank goodness, but still-- those are important and sensitive documents for them to just lose. They didn't give us a discount or do anything special. Just a "we'll call you if we find them after tax season." It's now approaching a year later, and we haven't received a call. I went on H&R Block's website, and I can't find a single customer service contact method. Once again... frustrating!

But then...

I went online to use our Land's End Canvas groupon that we bought back in the summer. When our order arrived, I discovered that I needed new sizes. I called their customer service and got a person within two rings. She was pleasant, and we could understand each other. She sent the replacement items out with free shipping, and returns can either be done in store at a Sears or sent back using the prepaid shipping labels that arrive with the replacements. 

The day after I called, the mailman delivered this...

Do you see what I see? A handwritten and hand addressed card from Land's End. Have you ever received a handwritten note from a company like that? I was impressed, and it was a refreshing change. Do you know what else I was impressed by? This:

Look how many ways you can contact their customer service. You can video chat with them, instant message them, call them, or have them call you. 

Ahhh. It feels good! Now PB, H&R Block, and Neimans... you all need to catch up! Especially you, H&R Block.


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