One of the best techniques for escalating a seemingly hopeless customer service problem is the “Executive E-Mail Carpet Bomb,” or as we lovingly refer to it, the EECB. Phill ran into some problems with his Office Depot order, so he followed our instructions for launching an EECB.
Not only did the EECB result in Phil’s problem being taken care of immediately, he also got a gift card for his troubles. Read Phill’s email inside.
A couple weeks ago I took advantage of a Consumerist Morning Deal for a $200 22″ widescreen LCD from Office Depot. Things didn’t go so well with the order and then I remembered your tips for e-mail carpet bombing company executives. Here’s the e-mail I sent to everyone at Office Depot:
Subject: Office Depot Online Order
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 17:10:01 -0400
To Whom It May Concern:
I recently placed an online order for an Acer AL2216Wbd 22″ Widescreen LCD Monitor on May, 14 2007 (Order #387076822-001.) During the checkout process I was led to believe that I would receive next day delivery. After checking on my order later that evening the order summary stated that it would be delivered on May 21 between 8:30AM and 5:00PM. I also assumed that like most online retailers Office Depot would utilize a commercial carrier such as UPS or FedEx.
After contacting customer service I was informed that it would be coming on an Office Depot truck and that I would need to be home to receive the delivery. While this was a slight inconvenience it was not a huge problem.
On May 21st I took a day off of work so I could be home to receive the delivery when it arrived. I waited at home all day and there was no delivery made. I contacted customer service at 4:00 PM and they assured me that it would be delivered that day. I contacted them again at 6:30 PM and they informed me that they would escalate it to the Resolutions Center and call me back shortly. I never received a call that evening called back at 8:30 AM the next day. They again told me that they would escalate it to the Resolution Center.
When I informed them that this had already been done, they said that I should hear back from them within the next four hours. After about six hours of waiting I once again called customer service and was informed that Office Depot had not yet received the monitors from the manufacturer. While I understand the need for delivery windows, the fact that one as large as eight and a half hours could not be met is utterly ridiculous. Not only that; but to miss the delivery date entirely is completely unacceptable. Delays are also reasonable and would not have been a problem whatsoever if I was not led to believe that my monitor would be arriving on a set day between a set timeframe.
Now my monitor is two days late with no timeframe of availability at all. However, according to officedepot.com my monitor is still scheduled to be delivered on May 21st. I look forward to getting the time machine they are planning on delivering as well.
The lack of communication is the poorest example of customer services I have ever witnessed. A delay would have been forgivable if I had at least been notified. This was the first time I have shopped online with Office Depot and it will unquestionably be the last unless this problem is sorted out very quickly.
I sent this e-mail around 5PM Eastern time and about 2 hours later I received a phone call from Georgia at Office Depot Executive Customer Service. She told me that she was going to personally look into the situation and send a $100 Office Depot gift card my way for my troubles. I got a call from her the next day and found out that indeed they had not received the monitors from the manufacturer yet but she had spoken directly with the manager of Tech Depot and tracked one down from another source. The next day UPS showed up at my door with my new monitor. It really is too bad that their standard customer service can’t be this efficient. Without The Consumerist I’d probably still be waiting. Thanks for all of your help!
To learn how to launch your own EECB, click here. —MEGHANN MARCO