Random Chance In A Godless Universe: Three Good Customer Service Experience

An unprecedented miracle of good fortune has occurred, similar in scope to jumping out of an airplane only to land in the missionary position with Angelina Jolie, then finding that a naked skydiving Salma Hayek has drifted down to land upon your face. Reader Steve has had not one, not two, but three excellent customer service experiences in the last three days.

The first good experience was with Comcast. I know, I know — it’s like reality’s shattering all around you. Rest assured it came only after an initial bad experience in which they misbilled Steve. Order is restored in all things.

Steve’s second bout of good service comes from Citibank. It also involves resolution of not only a misbill, but two misbills and a late fee.

The last experience Steve had was with a small company that produces HDTV cards for Linux, pcHDTV. The product broke and they speedily replaced it.

Does anyone notice a parallel here? Is it disturbing to anyone else that in all three of these cases, we’re talking less excellent customer service than “acknowledging a fuck up?”

For those companies that think we can’t be placated: look at Steve’s email, in which he positively beams because you guys, for a change, decided not to just dick him over for your error.

Steve’s email, after the jump.

I noticed you occasionaly post about good customer service, and after enjoying three such events occur in the span of a few days, I remembered this and thought I’d let you guys know.

The first occured with Comcast surprisingly enough. It started when I had some trouble with our cable modem speeds being slow. So I called and got a phone tech who spent more than an hour on the phone, checking service reports in the area, etc. When my apt-mate told me he still had his old cable modem the Tech guy said we should try it, to eliminate the possibility of the cable modem going bad. Well, the one I had I purchased through a “Cable Modem for Free” deal and his was his old rental, so after this testing affair I got charged $99 for the modem which I was told I would get back when we return the modem. So I did, and was told the charge would be removed from my next bill. So when I got the bill late last week and the charge was still there I called Comcast up and the lady I spoke with said she would send a report in to their billing department and that I would get a call in the next few days and if not gave me the report number. Lo and behold I got a call two days later telling me they verified the modem had been returned and the $99 would be removed from the bill. So I checked my accounts recent activity online and the charge has been removed!

My second story is from Citibank, I was thinking of taking them up on an offer for a CC. So I sent in the information to see what the specifics would be if I opened an account, well, apparently that just causes them to open it no matter what (next time I do it over the phone!), well I got the package with the paperwork, plastic, etc. AND
a charge for $39.99, their yearly fee. Well I called, said I wanted to cancel and asked to have the charge removed (I hadn’t even activated the card). The gentleman on the phone said that if I use the card I can have the fee waved. Fast forward a month and I get my first bill, well, I hadn’t charged anything to the card yet (hadn’t purchased anything requiring a credit card, all on my debit), so the $39.99 is there as well as a $29 late due-payment fee! So I called them yesterday and told the lady on the phone my story and she removed the $29 late fee and connected me to some other department where another lady tells me she had the $39.99 yearly fee removed and has canceled the card. I should receive notification in the mail in two months if no unpaid charges are present on the account for that period of time. Considering I still haven’t activated the card I don’t see this as an issue. But I’ll definitely let you guys know if they don’t cancel the card!

Finally, I have a computer tuner card for HDTV produced by a small company, pcHDTV, for linux. They have a 90day warranty on their card. Well, I purchased the card about a year ago and a couple weeks ago noticed it was not working properly. I emailed their customer support and told them my sob story, after a few checks to make sure it truely was now broken (sadly it was), they said they would UPS me out a replacement! Again, great customer service!

So this leads to an extra happy Friday for me. Especially since I didn’t once have to raise my voice!