“She” has been on a rant lately about customer service. This is an issue that is important to her, because, years ago, She worked as a Customer Service Supervisor. Even though her job was basically in the “complaint department”, She really loved it. There was so much reward when a problem was presented, which could be solved to the consumer’s satisfaction. The real challenge, however, was when a consumer couldn’t get what they wanted, but were still pleased with the way the situation was handled. Her days were long and hectic, but She was fulfilled in knowing She helped when She could, and softened the blow when She couldn’t. She was once told She could “kick someone in the teeth and make him like it” – She took that as a compliment!
Recently, She received notice in the mail that a magazine subscription was about to end.
In order to prevent the magazine from automatically renewing, She had to contact Customer Service and cancel the order. She was given two weeks in which to do so. She immediately made the call and requested the subscription be cancelled.
Then, in the mail came this:
Included was a letter which stated that along with the automatic magazine renewal, there was a free preview of these books. She had so many days, after which She could purchase, or return them. She was not happy! She again called the Customer Service number for the magazine and was told that the books were sent by mistake, but She could keep them.
A few weeks later, an invoice showed up for $50.90. Well, needless to say, this did not go over very well! Again, She called. This time, they said the girl had made a mistake when She was told She could keep the books, and She would have to contact the publisher, Rodale Inc., to resolve the situation. She was given another number to call. After calling that number several times and finding it not in working order, She was pretty frustrated. So, She went on-line to the publisher’s site and found an e-mail address. She drafted a letter outlining the issue and stated that She would be glad to return the items if they would provide the materials to do so. She let them know, in no uncertain terms, She was not willing to pay postage to return items She never requested in the first place. Then, She sat back and waited for a reply, thinking in the back of her mind She wouldn’t get one.
It was a pleasant surprise when She did receive a reply by e-mail which included this statement:
Because of the inconvenience that you have experienced, the billing statement for this order has been cancelled. Please either keep and enjoy the books yourself or donate them to a local library or charity.
You can bet this is one e-mail that She will hang on to for a while, just in case this merry-go-round ride is not over. She feels a little like She has been kicked in the teeth, but didn’t like it at all! The sad thing was that it took three contacts with three different individuals to get this resolution.
You would think a company that is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles would be a little less inclined to cause this much stress and hypertension to a customer! Even though the end result (if it really is the end) is satisfactory, none of it should have ever happened. When these items were sent to The House of 9 Lives unsolicited, they became her problem. She could either expend the time and effort to rectify the situation, or be charged for the items.
Currently, She is dealing with two other issues which involve a Cell Phone Provider and Health Insurance Company. Being a consumer these days is practically a full-time job! Good thing She’s got all that Customer Service experience! Oh well, if she needs my help, I’ll be in my office!