Had a problem with an accessory for a radio I own and can’t say enough about the online help I got from the manufacturer. Wonderful folks but all of us missed the obvious and then there’s a little lesson in all this for the retail store.
I’m not naming names as really this could happen to anyone and I want to share the story more than do a beat up.
So here’s how it went. One of my buddies said he was going to buy the accessory so I said please pick one up for me and I’ll pay you for it. No problem.
Eager to play with my new accessory I plugged it in and nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip.
Thinking this an opportune time to replace the old HP computer I bought a new I7 2600 PC hand-built by the boys at Tiger Direct. This sucker’s got more fire power than North Korea and causes the provincial power grid to dip when I turn it on.
It made running my Ham Radio software an amazing new experience as the CPU now runs at less than 5% as opposed to 20-25% on the old machine when I fire everything up.
But….and you know where this is going,,,,my accessory still wouldn’t work. Try explaining this situation to the XYL who has witnessed you whipping out the credit card to the tune of just south of $1K….. 😦
Anyway emails to the manufacturer and replies within the hour and I’m deep into device manager and reinstalling software over and over again and still zilch.
Suddenly I have a brilliant thought. I call my buddy and I ask to borrow his accessory and ta-da it works instantly. So I have a defective accessory. S**t happens.
So I called the retail store and yes I have my invoice and yes I can get an exchange by driving from my town over to the store which is just over an hour round trip.
I’ve been through this before on another matter so I ask and do you have one in stock? Ah…well..let me see…no actually we don’t. But we do have a shipment on order.
Okay how about calling me when the shipment arrives and holding one for me?
Sorry we can’t do that as it’s first-come, first-served.
As you can imagine the tone of my voice drops and I say so you’ve sold me a defective accessory and you’re not making good on it?
Oh no not at all but that’s a sales problem!
Gee I don’t think so. It’s a customer satisfaction problem and I would have liked to have heard something like “we’re really sorry about this. Please accept our apologizes and we’ll call you when your accessory comes in and we’ll put one away especially for you”…. or words to that effect.
Now we all know this story is going to end well but right now the retailer has left a bad taste in my mouth because (a) either they don’t emphasize customer satisfaction enough with all their staff (I suspect the guy I was talking to was a bean-counter and not one of the frontline sales staff.) or (b) there’s not enough competition to warrant treating the customer any better.
The manufacturer on the other hand had at least two guys communicating directly with me and the top guy apologized for the situation. Funny thing happens as a result. I go around recommending the manufacturer and raving about their customer service.
But what about the defective accessory? Like I said s**t happens. Let’s move on.