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Second to None

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hooker, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. hooker

    hooker
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    We all do enough griping about terrible companies with terrible customer service, but what about the ones that get it right?

    Being in Marketing, I'm really anal about "brand guidelines" and the "customer experience." I have plenty of "good customer experience" stories, but there are two that most recently stick out in my mind.

    Steam Whistle Brewing Company

    About a year ago, I fell in love with this beer. Their Marketing plan is awesome. Their slogan is, "Do one thing really, really well."

    A few months after falling in love with the beer, I picked up at 12 pack at the Beer Store and thought for a hot second that it felt a little light. I let the thought pass, purchased the suitcase, and headed home to put the beer into the beer fridge. I pulled out one of the bottles and after realizing that it was completely empty, also noticed it was missing it's entire bottom. I looked at the box, puzzled that I wouldn't have noticed the damage - but the fucked up part was that the box was fine, the rest of the beer was fine, and the missing bottom wasn't even in the bottom of the 12 pack. Obviously it happened in production somewhere.

    I sent an e-mail to the Production Manager saying something like, "Hey, I love your beer, but Lot #XX might have been a bad batch because <insert above explanation here>."

    The next day I had a response that said something like, "Hey, we're glad you love our beer. Thanks for taking the time to e-mail us. Can you give me a few more details printed on the outside of the box? And can you also give me your address so we can send you vouchers for some free beer."

    A few days later I had vouchers for two free 12 packs, and I was a happy camper. My favorite beer company provided fantastic fucking service - and here I am telling The Internet, after having told the story to a few friends. Turns out good service and free beer exist!

    Amazon.com (Kindle Store)

    My husband and I did a long song and dance about which e-readers we wanted to invest in, before actually "taking the plunge." We finally settled on Kindles, which weren't actually available in Canada at the time. We paid for two Kindles, two leather cases, and some seriously hefty international shipping charges.

    Why? Because my best friend bought the original Kindle and raved about the service. She had three Kindles completely shit the bed on her, and three times Amazon replaced it for her. The fourth time, they told her they thought the problem was probably that the case she'd purchased was causing it to over-heat. So what'd they do? They replaced the Kindle a fourth time, and sent her a $50 credit so she could buy herself a new case.

    Husband and I have had our Kindles for a few months now, and are totally in love with them. Easy to read, light, compact and a battery life that I've never experienced. In those few months, I've "sold" at least ten (probably more) other people on the magic of the Kindle.

    We're always trying to preach to our sales reps that every interaction at every touch point is an opportunity to strengthen or dilute your brand experience. Unfortunately, most companies don't seem to give a shit. It's Marketing basics, and it's so, so simple - yet so many people just don't get it. News of good service travels and if you do things properly, eventually your loyal customers will do a lot of the "selling" dirty work for you.

    Focus: Who have you had top notch service with? Who do you brag about when it comes to the customer experience? Which company just fucking gets it?
     
  2. Aetius

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    They used a lot of lube and went slow did they?
     
  3. bewildered

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    Group has amazing customer service. I got a great deal on some coupons for scuba diving and the business was trying to get me to pay additional money to use the groupon. Groupon contacted the store for me, and then issued a refund because I requested it. I also got to speak with a real live person when I called instead of being shunted from one computerized call system to another.
     
  4. hooker

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    I'll second this. I bought a MacBook, and it wasn't even two weeks old before my dog ate it. The screen was completely fucked and they said it would be $800 to fix it.

    The store manager took pity on me and gave me a brand new computer.
     
  5. Jauntoclock

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    I will third the Apple service. I had one of the last-gen Macbook Pros. It started having some issues where when I opened it, it wouldn't wake up for however long it wanted. Sometimes, hours. So I brought it to the Apple store, and even though everyone in that store is pretty pompous and self-righteous, they were still very nice and tried to help. After they tried to fix it two or three times and they weren't able to replicate a problem, it started happening again, so the next time I brought it in, the manager had a brand new (recent-gen) laptop for me. Granted, when I bought the computer and the AppleCare plan (which I would recommend totally on all the computers you get from them), I would have expected that service from them. I guess the bottom line is that Apple didn't just say, "We can't replicate the problem so your computer doesn't have anything wrong with it." The only stipulation with giving me the new computer was that they asked me to buy AppleCare for it as well, which I was going to ask if I could do anyways.

    Maybe not exactly a story about a company going above and beyond, but they definitely did the right thing.
     
  6. sartirious

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    I'm going to buck the trend here and say Dell. In college I had a Gen 2 XPS laptop that over the course of 4 years had to have the graphics card replaced twice, and the logic board three times. In each instance, Dell had the part rush-shipped to the local tech, who was on the phone with me within 24 hours to set up a time and place to perform the installation. I never had to deal with shipping anything back to the factory or the ridiculous tech-support phone tree.
     
  7. hooker

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    Funny. I just got an e-mail from Amazon Kindle telling me that they're refunding me $91 of the $100 international shipping charges I paid, because they over charged. It's been months. Awesome.
     
  8. Binary

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    I had a company turn shitty service into a positive experience.

    I bought a carbon fiber monopod for my dad for Christmas. It was a $100 monopod, so it's not chump change. This was an excerpt from the email I sent to them on January 3rd after all of the problems:

    I am extremely dissatisfied with the way this transaction has worked out, my shipment shows as shipped as of last thursday but I still have no product, even though shipping was upgraded to overnight. I have left four phone messages with no return calls, my shipment status was clearly either a falsehood or the shipping upgrade did not happen - so either way, I was lied to - and I am on the verge of contacting the Better Business Bureau and Feisol's corporate office to let them know what kind of experience I've had.

    Just to outline:

    - I ordered on Dec. 9 with no indication that the product was out of stock
    - It wasn't until I called a week later to find out where my order was that someone told me the product was out of stock
    - When I called, they said it would be in stock in the next two days, and would go out as an overnight shipment
    - I called again on the 20th, left a message, and got no response
    - I called again on the 23rd, left a message, and got no response
    - I called again on the 27th, upset that my product still had not arrived, and left a message asking for a status update, and stating that I wanted my shipping charges refunded
    - The status of my order was changed shortly after the phone call to "Shipped" but I still hadn't been called back
    - Nobody has called me back, my order shows as shipped on the 27th, but the product has still not arrived even though it was supposed to be shipped overnight
    - I called again yesterday and still have not had my phone call returned

    Their response? Essentially: "You're right. We totally screwed the pooch on this one. We're sorry, we're refunding the entire cost of your order, and please keep the monopod as our gift to you." The guy said they were a new distributor and were still staffing up, but he was not making excuses.

    Unexpected, and in one shot they made me believe they actually wanted to make it right, instead of just apologizing long enough to shut me up. Consequently, I've purchased a tripod from them since, and recommended their tripods to several other people, at least two of whom purchased one.

    I also defended a bike company that I'd bought stuff from to some people who were ignorant of manufacturing/economics/supply chain. Unbeknownst to me, a rep from the company was reading the discussion posts and sent me a bunch of swag, including a couple new products, just as a thanks.
     
  9. zwtipp05

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    I agree with you on the excellent service. I had the following replaced in the course of my 3 year warranty with Dell: Motherboard (3 times), LCD, Hard Drive, Heatsink/Fan (twice), all the external plastic and the keyboard.

    That said, I don't plan on buying another Dell since I found it to be a bit overpriced and the fact that the quality was bad enough that all those things had to be replaced. Great customer service, shitty product.
     
  10. rei

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    I've had horror stories with trying to get service on Dell Inspiron models, but I've found they did everything short of fellatio when helping me fix up my XPS. I was a week out of warranty and completely at fault (my bird ate my keyboard), they still shipped me out a new keyboard and gave me the option of them installing it or me (I did it myself, faster)
     
  11. Kubla Kahn

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    Toyota- I've had my 94' Celica going on ten years it's at 190k miles and is still beasting it. Outside of burning through a clutch and fucking up an alternator when I forgot to screw the oil cap on properly I've had minimal work. They make a solid product.


    My buddy had his older Tacoma recalled and they gave him something ridiculously good for blue book value of the car. He probably could have gotten 8k out of it if he sold it privately but they gave him 15-16k. He bought a new one with that, and maybe 5-6k more. I ended up totaling that one in my DUI wreck. They gave him a brand new Camery as a rental, like 0 miles new. He wanted to try out one with a stick shift and they switched it up no questions asked and had a new one to him the same day. He ended up to a Tundra. Solid solid cars.
     
  12. Nettdata

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    Orvis. I have a fair bit of Orvis fishing gear, and the 2 fly rods of theirs I have came with a lifetime replacement policy. 2 years ago a friend of mine closed the tailgate of my truck and snapped the end off the one rod that I'd had for about 10 years. I called them up, they said "well, we don't make that rod any more, but here are 5 other new, higher-quality/priced rods you can choose from". Yep, they gave me a choice of the rods from the next quality/price level up, and overnighted it to me the next day. No cost to me. All I had to do was send them a piece of the broken rod within 2 weeks. No questions, no fucking around. I highly recommend them. They can be expensive, but the quality and service is worth it.

    Back in the day, the BEST tech support was Sun Microsystems, hands down. A close second were Cisco and F5. HP and Dell blew chunks.
     
  13. mya

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    Nordstrom has won my business for life. I am not a huge shopper, so knowing that I will likely find something that I like in minimum amount of time with very little hassle is worth paying a little bit more. Here is the story about how they won me over. I needed a suit for a couple of job interviews, went to Nordstrom, found a classic style that was cute, well made, and probably too expensive (but everybody needs a go to interview outfit). I am only 5'5" so most things are too long on me. Fortunately Nordstrom's offers free alterations, cool. I needed it the following week, no problem, we'll rush that for you at no charge. So I get the suit, it looks fantastic. I take it home and wear it to my job interview. In the wearing process, it kind of stretched out a little bit, as clothes tend to do sometimes. Obviously, I probably should have gotten a smaller size. So I go back to Nordstrom and talk to them about it. They bring me the smaller size to try on and agree, I should have got the smaller size. Then apologized to me for my inconvenience. Hey - I am the one who decided it fit, not you, but OK, apology accepted. So they say that they will exchange it, even though it has been altered already. Then I tell them that I will need to have the new size altered too, and the kicker is that I have an interview the next day. They did it, no problem. I was shocked (and very pleasantly surprised)

    I have dozens of examples like this about Nordstroms. They haven't disappointed me yet.

    And another favorite is Zappos. You can order something online at 5PM and somehow it is sitting on your porch the next day, just waiting for you. And with free shipping at that!

    I like this thread, btw, a nice balance. People are really quick to point out when they have bad service, but rarely take as much time to talk about the opposite.
     
  14. Harry Coolahan

    Harry Coolahan
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    Just so you guys know, it is Apple's policy to make the first repair to a computer for free, regardless of who is at fault. If the computer is so damaged that they replace it, so be it.

    For some reason, Apple tech support always tries to make it seem like they are doing you a personal favor for doing this.

    I think this is an incredible policy that goes above and beyond the average customer service experience, but I find it strange that Apple employees try to pass this off as if they're going off the radar to help you out.
     
  15. lostalldoubt86

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    There is a local take-out place that has the best customer service around. It's a family business, and everyone in the family works there. Every time I go in, the food is ready, the order is correct, and person behind the register is friendly. Last time I was there, they gave me a free salad because it was new to the menu and they wanted my opinion on how it was.
     
  16. Luke 217

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    They are probably taught to do it. I was in sales for many many years,, and I always reminded a custie of something we did that went above and beyond to satisfy them when they were in need. Not in an over the top way, and in no way grinding it down to a pulp, but people and companies are selfish, and if you keep giving and giving they take it for granted. That's why I withhold cock from the Fiance for two weeks every year. My baby gives me blowjobs whenever I ask. Hows that for customer service?
     
  17. Czechvodkabaron

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    For clothes, I have always gotten very good service at Dillard's. I have found that their selection of men's clothes isn't that great, but when I am shopping for new clothes I will always start looking at Dillard's just because the associates are so friendly and helpful.

    I live in the Atlanta area, and when I go grocery shopping I like to go to Publix. They always make sure that they have enough registers open so the lines don't get backed up. I don't have the same luck at Kroger, and I don't think that I need to mention how the lines are at Wal Mart.
     
  18. suapyg

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    Too drunk for a serious post, this thread is perfect.

    Believe it or not, AT&T. I called them when I had the iPhone 3G, and pointed out to them that I dropped at least 60% of my calls, probably more. A quick look at my records and all the callbacks confirmed it pretty quickly.

    So the guy at AT&T wiped a $150 bill clean, changed my plan to something that still worked for me but was $40 less per month, and then made me eligible for an iPhone 4 six months early. Which, if you're doing the math, he basically just paid for.

    I still think their phone service kind of sucks, but their customer service made me stay.
     
  19. dixiebandit69

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    I know of two automotive companies that I will always do business with, unless they try to fuck me:
    MSD Ignition is the first. I have dealt with them many times, and so have my friends, and they have always replaced or repaired ANY of their electronic equipment for a minimal price, or no charge at all.
    The most I have ever paid is $25, and that was to repair an ignition module that retails at about $200. They didn't charge me for shipping (it was just a fuse that was burned out in the module).

    The other company is AutoMeter, a gauge company. They make top quality stuff, but one time I ordered an electronic speedometer from them, and it would never record an accurate distance. As soon as I would stop the car and start it up again, the odometer would show a different reading.

    I sent it back to the company, and they sent me a new one that hasn't given me any problems.
    Autometer (tm) gauges are the best that you can get, and I have them in my car right now.
     
  20. scootah

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    Here's two imaginary customer conversations. Play match the conversation to the 'do or don't disclose that first failure is a free replacement' decision outcome.

    "Man, I broke my Macbook! I've only had it for a month and one of the kids knocked it off the table"
    "Take it into <particular store> and ask for <guy>. When I broke my Macbook he was fucking AMAZING and replaced mine for FREE!"

    "Man, my Macbook is running a little slow"
    "Fuck it. Throw it at the wall and take it into the store, they'll give you a new one"

    The word of mouth related to Apple's customer service is the biggest part of their brand strength. I think they're over priced and I hate their app policies - but on a service level they are awesome, and they put a lot of effort into keeping that feeling of being awesome without creating the feeling of being suckers.

    completely worth it to mention it here, but IINet practically blow me every time I have to talk to them. They're not even close to the cheapest ADSL provider in Australia - but their customer service is just unparalleled in Australian broadband. Worth every penny.