Customer Service? What customer service?

by Karen

My business requires that I travel to visit clients so four months' ago I purchased a bluetooth sat nav to enable me to do this and be able to use my mobile hands free.

I purchased the product (which was on a special offer)from an on-line shop that I have used on several occasions and who have always been very efficient, however, just over a month ago my (mad) dog lept out of my car taking the sat nav charger with him pulling the wires completely out of the socket and thereby wrecking the charger completely! The sat nav can be charged via a PC but this charge only lasts 1 hour so therefore renders the sat nav useless unless you are going on a short journey.

On trying to purchase a replacement charger, the on-line company couldn't assist and told me to go directly to the manufacturer. This I have done by email and over the telephone. The email, sent four weeks' ago, has never been responded to. I therefore telephoned and was told that I couldn't purchase accessories directly from them but had to call another company. I was given a code for the charger and the number of the company to call. The code they gave me was for a completely different charger and the charger I wanted would not be in stock until the end of the month so I would have to wait. At the end of the month, I called again to be told that they didn't have a record of that particular charger and to go back to the manufacturer.

I went back to the
manufacturer's Customer Support number where I explained my plight. I was informed that they didn't know whether or not they could get the replacement charger but that they would check and assured me that I would be called back either later that day or the next day at the latest. Two days later, on receiving NO call from them, I called again to be told that my query had been "escalated" to a supervisor who was "looking into it" for me! I questioned how long it would take to look for the spare part on a computer and was told that this information was not known and that I would have to wait for someone to get back to me. I explained that the sat nav was unuseable in the meantime and that I was not happy and would like to speak to a supervisor. I was told that I was speaking to a "call centre" and that that was not possible but my comments would be "escalated" to the supervisor and that I would just have to wait for a response. The following day I received a customer satisfaction survey by email twice - first one in English, the second in German! I responded to the English version and quoted my reference number and asked for a response. That was over a week ago and I'm still waiting.

Moral of the story - when buying a gadget even from an extremely well known and established manufacturer, check that you can buy accessories easily and don't assume that just because it is a multi-national company, you will receive efficient and effective customer service!

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Apr 19, 2011
Thanks for your post - we feel your pain
by: Editor

Hi Karen

Thanks for your post, we certainly feel your pain.

It's such a small thing to do to step into the customers world and solve the problem for them, but often it's all too easy to get caught up in internal processes and procedures, and forget there is a human being at the end of the phone or the email who has a problem to be solved.

Trainers - Use this as a case study to personalize a customers problem, and help customer service advisors to see it from the customers point of view.

Ask them what they would have done differently to solve the problem quickly and simply.

Apr 19, 2011
by: Hilary Mosedale

Oh Karen that is such a sorry tale!

I only wish it was an unusual or exceptional story, but I bet most people who read this post can nod their heads and say to the computer screen - yes I had a situation just like that myself....

My dream? That we all start to cherish our customers

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