David and Alan don’t know each other (we assume) but they have both recently had problems with their Pur brand water filters. Now, Pur is a brand from Procter & Gamble, a company not really noted for their attentive customer service. However, both readers had such positive experiences that they just had to share them.
First, Alan’s story:
I bought a Pur water filter a few months ago, the sort that attaches to the faucet. It worked well for about two months but in the last three weeks developed a leak which quickly grew to a stream that shot down, around the filter’s curved bottom, and off horizontally about a foot, missing the sink entirely and landing on the counter top. Obviously not usable, even if mildly spectacular.
I didn’t expect much from P&G’s customer service line. I wasn’t even certain the filter was still under warranty, I’d long ago thrown away the receipt and box, and my only hope was this was a recurring problem they’d be willing to resolve with a $5 coupon off soap or something, if I worked for it. So I called their number and prepped myself to be a polite but persistent consumer.
But I was wrong. I only had to press two buttons to speak to a human and was connected within two minutes. The representative heard my filter had developed a leak and immediately offered to send a coupon for a new unit. She didn’t ask when or where I bought the thing, what was causing the leak, or whether I had proof I even owned one. She just apologized, took my address and told me to expect the coupon in two to three weeks.
I’ve never had such trusting service from a large corporation. Frankly, I’ve rarely had such good service anywhere, even small specialty stores that survive on good customer relations and see me face to face. Pur simply took my word that an item costing $30-50 wasn’t working well enough and gave me a new one. I think they deserve credit for that.
Then, Dave’s very similar story:
I’ve written to y’all in the past about some horrible customer service issues I’ve had with Wal-mart, but I felt like writing this time to tell of a great customer service experience I had with Proctor & Gamble. About two months ago, I purchased one of their PUR water filteration pitchers. All was fine for about a month, but then a crack started to form on one side of the pitcher. Over the next month, the crack had expanded to be around three or four inches long. The crack was only one side of the pitcher at this point, but I thought I would e-mail P&G to see what options I would be offered. I should emphasize that at this point, the pitcher was still completely usable and that my e-mail was complaining about an issue that may have never occured (which I specified). It just seemed possible that the shallow crack on one side could eventually go through both sides. I politely suggested that there is no reason for a pitcher to develop a crack at all within two months and that while I loved the taste of the PUR filtered water, the quality of the pitcher is every bit as important as the quality of the plastic pitcher. Dealing with many companies, I figured that I would likely get a form response with no response to the actual issue or a coupon for a few bucks off or something.
To my surprise, I got this e-mail about a day later from them:
Thanks for contacting PUR and for choosing our products.
I’m really sorry that your pitcher cracked along the side. We have many checkpoints along our manufacturing lines to ensure the quality of both our products and packaging, so your report is unexpected. Please be assured I’m sharing your comments with the rest of our team.
Additionally, our pitchers are designed to last longer than 2 months with proper use and care.
Since your satisfaction and loyalty to our products means a lot to us I’m going to send you a coupon by postal mail for you to get a new pitcher. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Thanks for taking the time to write.
I was shocked that I did not have to send pictures or the pitcher back to substantiate my claim. I was also very happy to see that I wasn’t given a form response, and that my actual comments were addressed. While having to wait that long for a replacement wasn’t ideal, I didn’t have the packaging to return it to the store, and the particular model I had was not longer carried. Everything considered, I am very happy with this quality of customer service.
Sure, keeping users loyal to the Pur brand is important in a competitive marketplace, and there’s a lot of profit to be made when these same customers buy filter after filter from Procter & Gamble in the future. Still, it’s nice to see such a big company respond to customer complaints with something other than a shrug and a coupon for an unrelated product.