Who's Got Good Service? Does Summer Infant Have Good Service? Yes, They Do! Yes, They Do!

Eric’s Summer Infant baby gate finally broke after four years of pummeling from his two hyperactive little gate crashers. When Eric called to ask about a replacement part, Summer Infant’s response caught him off guard…

He writes:

Four years ago, my first child was born and among other things we got a couple baby gates for the stairs. The brand was Summer Infant and we have overal been pleased with the quality. The particular gate we got (model 07030) was a metal gate with a plastic latch that would alarm if left open.

Fast forward to last night, and that plastic part gave up the ghost. Its been coming for a while, but the springs and plastic on the latch could not stand up to two toddlers over multiple years. I swapped the broken part for the the one still functioning on the other gate (the other gate is not used much, so we are not really taking any risks).

I tracked down the contact info for Summer Infant, called their customer care department, and spoke to Maddie. She didn’t ask how old it was, if I had a receipt, was it broken due to children beating it with a hammer, or for us to send back the old part. She only wanted my address so they could send out a new part, no questions asked. Both the part and shipping are complimentary. It should be here in a week.

They get major Kudos from my wife and I. Way to go Summer Infant on taking care of your customers (and their children)!

Awww, isn’t that adorable? Good customer service is so precious.

Comments

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  1. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    I’d leave a comment here, but my jaw is currently sitting under my desk making it very hard to type.

  2. Ein2015 says:

    The part (and its shipping) is probably relatively inexpensive for them… and by being kind and easy, I bet they just guaranteed more sales by this little move. Hooray! :)

  3. Oh, it is so great to start the week with a “nice” customer service story :)

  4. Christo67 says:

    I had a similar problem (Different company: Evenflow) with a plastic latch on a gate less than a year old. I contacted their customer service to see about parts to replace. They said they didn’t sell replacement parts but, and instead said I would need to buy a new gate.
    I declined, and fixed it myself with $8 dollars worth of parts from the hardware store. Needless to say I won’t be buying or recommending this brand to my friends. Now at least I have a brand I can recommend to folks who ask about gates.

  5. TheDude06 says:

    I love the good ones!

  6. homerjay says:

    Their parents must be so proud that they raised such a considerate, well mannered company.

  7. bcsus83 says:

    I love Summer Infant products…can’t say enough about them. They are always great quality and reasonably priced. Glad to hear their customer service is great, too. :)

  8. chewiemeat says:

    Seems like gates are kind of a hassle because adults have to climb over them or open and close them every time. Wouldn’t it be a more efficient solution to put them on a leash and then attach the leash to a hook or post somewhere?

  9. donkeyjote says:

    @Christo67: Sounds like a company waiting to be sued for causing some kids death…

  10. madrigal says:

    @chewiemeat: Or velcro them to the wall

  11. Televiper says:

    To think this couple will probably never need to buy another one of their baby gates. The company has no obligation or benefit other than honouring their product, and receiving some good word of mouth. I’ve said it before, I think more companies should consider unlimited warranties.

  12. logicology says:

    We have a couple “Summer” products for our baby. We’ve been happy with those products and now there’s even more reason to favor that brand.

  13. zundian says:

    I wonder how good/bad customer service stories vs. publicly traded/privately owned company would break down. This company went public just over a year ago, so they don’t have shareholders screaming for higher dividends… yet. In a few years, I sure another customer, with the same request will be told to buy a new gate like Christo67 was.

  14. JN2 says:

    Bravo ! Maybe there is hope in this world.

  15. thesabre says:

    @chewiemeat: Ugh, I just can’t recall the line from There’s Something About Mary. But your post reminded me of Matt Dillon’s character talking about his “passion”.

  16. pwillow1 says:

    Yeah, I love the good stories about great customer service from companies and goodness knows, I remember the times I was on the receiving end of it. It certainly made me more favorably disposed to the company who offered great service.

    Clearly, this company made a decision that they didn’t want any of their products, no matter what the age, to have a reason to be discarded if broken (or worse, continue to be used when broken.) Discarded, broken products sometimes end up in other households with potentially tragic outcomes. This company took the admirable view that every one of their baby gates, no matter how old, should work as they were intended to. And that even a nominal charge for a new part shouldn’t be a barrier to their products working like they should.

    That’s a level of commitment to their products and their customers that is above and beyond. Bravo!

  17. spinachdip says:

    @chewiemeat: Or chop their limbs off? Bonus? They won’t be able to sneak out of the house without making noise!

    @Ein2015: So you’re saying that a business would potentially squander a possible sale in the hopes of breeding goodwill among customers and somehow, word of mouth would have more impact than thousand of dollars in advertising and marketing? That sounds crazy.

  18. captainpicard says:

    This is how you generate sales. My wife and I just had a baby 3 weeks ago and we didn’t get a baby gate yet (because the child won’t be walking for a little while ). When we go to buy the baby gate I am going to buy one from summer infant.

    kudos and congrats on the future sale

  19. DanaM says:

    Just forwarded the article to my sister, who has a child who’ll be needing these soon. One good turn….

  20. legwork says:

    @chewiemeat: Or, forget the gate. Place big cushy pillows at the bottom and turn the hazard into a fun ride!

  21. vincedia says:

    I have to say I just had a baby (May 30th) and I am in the market for a few baby gates.

    We’ve seen so many people avoiding companies because of stories here…well because of this story, I am headed to Summer Infant to see if I can find the right size baby gate!

    Kudos!

  22. BoomerFive says:

    Thats awesome. My first baby is due in a few weeks and a gate is something we still need. I will be buying 2 of these.

  23. CyGuy says:

    @chewiemeat:

    You could always get one of these.

  24. Pink Puppet says:

    Awesome. I’ve got nephews, and I know the current cheap baby gates are going to commit suicide soon enough. Summer Infant is going to be the way to go when I replace them.

  25. christoj879 says:

    I’m seeing how spending a little bit of money on your customers can earn big returns. With yet another brand, Blitz, I borrowed my future father-in-law’s oil pan and lost the cap to it. Not wanting to give it back to him in less-than-perfect shape, I e-mailed the company about buying a replacement cap. I expected to be out a few bucks, but I got an e-mail saying some caps shipped for free that day. They sent me like two or three of each cap. I obviously know what oil pan/gas can brand to buy now.

    Even in my own business, instead of fighting with customers over stupid things that cost me small amounts of money, it’s far cheaper to give them what they want and keep them as a customer. The money they’ll spend in the future far outweighs whatever they want comp’ed right now.

  26. Benny Gesserit says:

    I know it’s only Monday AM but that has to be the BEST article title of the week.

  27. rparvez says:

    We have a newborn, and will *definitely* go with them when the time comes.

    Stories like this are SO much more helpful than the “1-5 stars” rating system where the only 5 people who’ve cared to comment are a)totally pissed or b) have had the product for 2 days.

    Thanks for the great story!

  28. ElizabethD says:

    YAY for this homegrown Rhode Island company! I have never heard anything bad about Summer Infant, only raves about their products.

  29. startertan says:

    This is obviously the consumer’s fault for deciding to have not just one but two children…a hot cup of sarcasm to start off my morning.

  30. Me - now with more humidity says:

    They did the same thing for us years ago. Excellent company!

  31. pigeonpenelope says:

    @chewiemeat: haha! something my boyfriend would say. needless to say, we’re not having kids :P

    …but if we do, we’ll keep them in mind

  32. chrisexv6 says:

    Ames/True Temper is the same way…..have had a few of their hose reels leak like a sieve…..figured out the part that broke, went on their website to order them. Didnt see any prices but I could “add to cart”. Went through the whole order process and was greeted with an explanation of “replacement parts are free for the lifetime of the unit”.

    Broke a wheelbarrow that they made and Sears sold under Craftsman…..again, replacement parts free. All they wanted was my name an address.

    I can understand a kid safety company handing out parts free…….what if they get hurt and the part was found as defective (i.e. it could have lasted a few days longer, preventing the kid from getting hurt).

  33. Tom Servo says:

    What a great story! We have one Summer Infant gate in our home already and we’ll need another one for another part of the home soon. Guess which brand we’ll be looking for?

    It’s sad that good customer service is considered the exception and not the rule these days.

    Thumbs up to Summer Infant!

  34. Ragman says:

    Smart move on Summer Infant’s part. Parents do get together and talk about stuff like this. I’ve been a part of several discussions of baby stuff, from brands to daycare, and when it comes to something that might hurt your child, parents do tell other parents about their experiences and can be blunt.

    The saying about how a customer will tell a couple of people about good service and a dozen about bad service doesn’t really apply to baby products, in my experience. The parents I’ve been around are more than ready to tell you as much about the good as the bad.

  35. mariospants says:

    Nice, wish Gaines Manufacturing would do something similar with their mailboxes. I bought one for about $300 and after a year the paint started peeling off of it (it’s cast aluminum with a painted coating and brass insert). Their response? A little touch-up paint in the mail. Nice. Nicely designed pieces of shit, those Gaines mailboxes. Just don’t expect any help when it starts to fall apart. Why is it that you can buy a shitty mailbox for $20 that will last for 40 years but you can’t expect two years from a $300 designer mailbox? Of course the touch-up paint looks like shit, too.