Survey: Zappos, Amazon Give Best Customer Service

Zappos.com and its parent, Amazon.com, provide the best customer service, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation Foundation and American Express.

The survey polled 9,291 consumers, asking them: “Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, internet, or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?”

Here’s the full Top 10 list. According to the NRFF, many of the winners have been on the list before, but Newegg jumped 5 spots to grab the No. 10 position.

  1. Zappos.com
  2. Amazon.com
  3. LL Bean
  4. Overstock.com
  5. Lands’ End
  6. JC Penney
  7. Kohl’s
  8. QVC
  9. Nordstrom
  10. Newegg

Does the list make sense to you? Any retailers missing that you think should have made the cut?

Zappos.com Tops in Customer Service, According to NRF Foundation/American Express Survey [Press Release]

Comments

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  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    In before the inevitable Amazon’s Stupid Oversized Box Naysayers.

    - – - – -

    Newegg jumped five spots to snatch #10? Cleaning up their act, maybe, or just last-minute geek voters?

    • milkcake says:

      I like newegg. They respond to my requests pretty well. returns and all. have they gotten bad lately?

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      NewEgg has always been high on my list, and the list of geeks for years. I think it’s more likely last minute non-geek fans who have come to appreciate the online shop formerly known as Egg Head.

      • dpeters11 says:

        NewEgg has nothing to do with Egghead actually. But since Egghead filed for bankruptcy in 2001, and NewEgg came about the same year, with that and the name that’s what many thought. Amazon bought Egghead’s assets, but it doesn’t exist anymore as an Amazon company.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      I’ve never had an issue with Newegg.

  2. Southern says:

    No, it doesn’t make any sense to me. How many people out there buy shoes & boots online (at Zappos)? I’m sure it’s a lot, but more than Amazon? NewEgg? Buy.Com?

    And QVC made the list? In what fantasy world?

    • danmac says:

      Keep in mind this is a survey, not a formal study. Sometimes people’s perceptions differ significantly from reality.

      • jessjj347 says:

        There are still ways to make sure that survey/questionnaire data is accurate. I’m not from a scientific background, so I think of them as “filters”. Say for example, that there were 10 questions in the survey and someone responded with the same answer for every question. You might want to look at the data without that person, because they might not have been actually reading the questions.

    • DeadFlorist says:

      It’s also not all to do with frequency of use, but what experiences stand out. I use Newegg and Amazon more often because I’m a geek and buy geeky things, but I buy all my shoes on Zappos and would rank them as having the best customer service, if only because of their random unasked-for shipping upgrades that get me my shoes impossibly fast.

      • Southern says:

        Guess I’m just too cheap then.. Zappos shoes seem expensive to me, but I don’t tend to wear “name brand” shoes. Gimme whatever’s on the discount rack at Payless, and they’ll usually last me 3-4 years. :)

        • DeadFlorist says:

          Haven’t shopped at Payless in quite the while, but wasn’t impressed with the quality the last time I did, 6 years ago thereabouts. If they are lasting 3-4 yrs, that is something worth revisitng.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          Zappo’s shoe selection may seem expensive, but as someone with ridiculously high arches I’ve finally figured out that a $100 pair of shoes that will last for years while looking good and providing the arch support I need is far, far cheaper than a podiatrist!

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Sad to see Nordstrom at #9, given their endeavor has been to be #1. I’m sad because that’s basically their mission statement, and they’re failing at it.

    • jesirose says:

      I agree, I have several friends who have worked for them and still do, who always bragged about the customer service. The one time I went in there by myself, I got horrible service. Nordstom’s mission is the service and at the store near me, they’re failing.

      I’m sure it doesn’t help that the employees get treated like crap by a lot of the customers, but if a customer is being nice to them they should be nice back.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      I wonder sometimes if it is the difference between having physical locations and being an internet based store. The Nordstroms near me has some of the best customer service I have ever experienced and I only buy bras there because of it. They are expensive but they last longer than any other bras I’ve had and someone there is always willing to help me find the right size and style. But, then you have the other person who replied before me that says the location near them is not so friendly. The physical locations are way more prone to issues of one sales person having a bad day, or crappy management that hasn’t been taking care of yet, etc. than a site like Amazon or Zappos. People obviously still do have bad experiences with Amazon from time to time but it doesn’t have that same X factor of conditions in different locations.

  4. FatLynn says:

    1800contacts should be on this list. They have gone above and beyond for me, but I think they just don’t have a large enough customer base and/or people don’t think of them in surveys like this one.

  5. danmac says:

    I’m a little surprised Costco is only ranked #40, as my personal experience with them has been nothing short of phenomenal. That said, I’m happy that Amazon was one of the top companies…I’ve never been unhappy with them.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Costco being as low as #40 seems like a travesty to me…

      But then I remind myself that this is a survey, and what might occur to me would probably not occur to others.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      Costco would be top 5 for me.

  6. BigMick says:

    I didn’t know this bit, not in the article:
    Zappos, acquired: July 22, 2009 by Amazon for $1.2B in Cash and Stock.

    • DeadFlorist says:

      Yes, which makes cross-shopping Amazon and Zappos kind of funny.

      • Silverhawk says:

        Very odd. I cross-shopped my last 2 pairs of shoes between Zappos and Amazon recently. While the pricing was exactly the same, Zappos was out of stock, but Amazon showed it in stock & shipped immediately.

      • jenjenjen says:

        Amazon has pretty much left Zappos alone. They have done the same with other companies they’ve bought. They seem to buy companies for good value, rather than for IP they can suck up and spit out the shell of the acquired company.

  7. dlayphoto says:

    I’m surprised that Zingerman’s was left out. They are known for, and pride themselves on, Customer Service. Hell, then even wrote a book on it.

  8. Nessiah says:

    I recently had a great experience with newegg, and (unlike Mr. FixIt is a Domestic Extremist) I’m surprised they’re only 10. Somewhat surpised about overstock. I thought I read a few bad experiences with their CSRs, but I could be mistaken

  9. impudence says:

    I think Sierra Trading Post should be on the list. They have provided outstanding customer service to me time and time again.

  10. MikeB says:

    Seeing Amazon on the list doesn’t surprise me at all. Recently I bought a headset for my PC that had a rebate. Didn’t plan ahead and print out the rebate when I placed the order and wasn’t able to find it after the fact. Contacted Amazon asking for the rebate form and they gave me $15 back on my card.

  11. Carol W says:

    How did QVC even make this list? As far as I’m concerned, the best customer service on the net is EasyStreetDeals.com, they made a pricing error a few months ago, gave me my order free, plus a $10 gift card on top of it for their mistake… beat that amazon!

  12. Weekilter says:

    Netflix needs to be on there. I’ve had nothing but A+ service with them both by email and by phone.

  13. carlogesualdo says:

    I don’t think Overstock should be on this list.

    • carlogesualdo says:

      But then…maybe I should clarify. Overstock consistently tells me they can’t ship to a P.O. box, but then uses the postal service to ship things. They refuse to fix the problem. I no longer buy from them.

  14. Draw2much says:

    I’m only surprised Newegg isn’t farther up the list. They’ve always been great to me. I’ve been shopping with them since 2004 (or was it 2005?). I can even remember my first purchase! An 80GB hard drive. I’ve built 6 computers since then, and updated many others. When I was overseas, they were one of the few places that would ship to APO quickly. (That quickly part being the important bit, since other places would take 2 weeks to a month to get things to me.)

  15. BytheSea says:

    How the hell does Amazon get high cust serv when they hide their 1 800 number and don’t do shit to help with their third party scammers?

  16. zephyrluna says:

    I can’t believe that Amazon topped the list for any reason, but the blind following of a “too big to fail” company. I have bought and sold through them many times over the years, and 1 in 5 transactions ends in tears. The time they forced me to refund $60 for a DVD set that the buyer returned covered in peanut butter was pretty awesome. Or the time they didn’t refund my $50 for a book that never showed up. I have learned to despise the company.

    • tooluser says:

      Complete opposite experience here.

      I’ve been a customer since their inception, ordering about 6 times per year. They have screwed up exactly one time — just a few weeks ago. I ordered something, it didn’t arrive, I sent them an e-mail, they re-shipped it a no additional cost, and the second shipment came through.

      In my mind that makes them perfect, 1.000.

  17. nocturnaljames says:

    Amazon treats their sellers and vendors like shit however, and gouge on fees.

  18. sfsam says:

    It doesn’t make sense to compare a company like Zappos to Newegg. Newegg competes by giving you low prices on high tech. Zappos sells massively marked UP low tech items. Zappos has a huge cushion in the margin they charge you to give you better service because the actual cost of a pair of shoes is negligible. Newegg has almost no margin to work with.

    Go to Zappos for service, but realize you are being charged a lot for it. Go to a site like Newegg to get a good price. Don’t compare them because it’s not apples to apples.

  19. elkriver50 says:

    Amazon customer service is excellent. We recently made a purchase that had to be delivered by Easter. Through a misunderstanding on our part, it was was shipped by normal means rather than 1- or 2-day; two Amazon customer service persons worked tirelessly to cancel/resubmit the order, including a credit to make sure it arrived on time without having to pay for shipping the already shipped late packages.