Customer service: Two case studies

May 6, 2008 - 12:55 am Comments Off on Customer service: Two case studies

Two recent experiences I’ve had with customer service:

1. Woot.com had a fake Wootoff on April Fool’s Day. Interspersed with the mundane battery sales were bags of Random Crap. For Woot neophytes, the Random Crap is like a holy grail: usually it really is crap, but some lucky folks get jackpots like Wiis, Xbox 360s, or 60″ televisions for their $8. I tried to order when it came up but my order was stuck in the “Processing” screen for hours. While it was still stuck, another bag of crap came up. I tried to order that one and it said I couldn’t because I’d already placed an order for that item. Basically, a bug. It happened to 2500 people. Woot said the next day that they would make it right and give bags of crap to the people who really would have gotten them, and give a $5 gift certificate to everyone else affected by the bug.

I never heard from them. I emailed them and asked about it; they curtly told me they had addressed it on their forum (in a 200 page thread) and that I got no crap. I emailed back and basically said hey, fellas, that was a little snippy – didn’t I even get a gift certificate? No answer. A couple of weeks later I emailed again reminding them about my case and expressing disappointment that one of my favorite websites did me wrong. Nothing. Hell, they could even have said “We have no record of your attempt and so we’re sorry that we can’t extend you a lousy $5 gift certificate,” but instead, they were grumpy and then ignored me.

I haven’t totally sworn off Woot, but I honestly feel betrayed. I evangelized their damned website to everyone I knew. I wasn’t even asking for something for nothing; I was just trying to clarify. Whatever.

2. I ordered a Salton Jewelry Spa from Improvements Catalog, because I like sparkly things that, well, sparkle. When it came today, I noticed it was missing some random stuff like the tweezers and scoop, and Hub noticed that part of the housing was broken. Their invoice already has a return label attached to it, which I dig, but I was confused by part of the form so I called their 800 number to clear it up. The nice lady on the other end of the phone said not to worry about sending it back in; she would just ship me out a new one. Wow!

THAT’S the way to do it.

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