If other companies were smart, and they mostly aren’t, they would adopt Netflix’s strategy of having periodic outages then apologizing and offering credits without their customers having to do anything. Whenever this happens (as it apparently did on August 30) we get a flood of delighted emails from their customers, many of whom didn’t even notice the outage in the first place.
Last week, Swiss company SIGG splashed a bunch of ice water in the faces of consumers who go out of their way to avoid products containing bisphenol-A (BPA). The company announced that the linings formerly used in their aluminum bottles did, in fact, contain the controversial substance.
Jen, who was left stranded in another city recently when her Zipcar lost its zip, managed to get through to the New York area general manager for Zipcar this morning:
Everyone knows that the “personal touch” of using your name in an email, printed letter, or CSR call is powered by a database and a computer, and not really personal at all. Still, when a company gets it wrong it can be annoying. When a company gets it wrong, then apologizes by sending a follow-up message that makes you smile, all can be forgiven.
We have also shared with all of our pharmacy departments that this is an unacceptable practice and should not be repeated. At Sam’s Club we always have the health and welfare of our customers and members in mind with everything we do and we deeply regret that this incident occurred.
It’s strange, the way some customer/CSR encounters go so well when others seem headed for failure before the first sentence is finished. When Nix called to complain about being mistakenly sent a $100 gift card offer that she can’t take advantage of, the Verizon rep on the other end not only addressed the real issues, but later sent a $50 gift card to Nix as a goodwill gesture.
Thousands of disappointed Phish fans are crying right now because Ticketmaster accidentally sold “a significant number” of 4-day passes to the upcoming show at Red Rocks — then canceled them. Phish fan and Consumerist reader Trevor has the scoop:
We’ve made it pretty clear that we don’t condone Latreasa Goodman’s attempt to use 911 to report a McNugget Emergency, but in all fairness to Goodman, she was being shafted by the lying, uncooperative McDonald’s employee who said “all sales final” and refused to refund her money. McDonald’s has released a statement where they own up to their role in escalating things in the first place, and they’re sending her a free meal gift card as well as the refund she originally requested. Now she can enjoy a complimentary lunch on the day she goes to plead “no contest” to the judge for abuse of 911.
Mitch wrote to us last week to complain that he was sent a used guitar instead of the new one he ordered. Musician’s Friend and/or Guitar Center (they’re related) followed up with Mitch and corrected the mistake, but it turns out that Mitch was in the wrong on this one. Here’s his explanation for what happened.
We totally exceeded the number by 3-times the amount. It was hugely successful. But a lot of people used it at peak times, which overloaded the system. For any inconvenience we caused for customers, we do apologize.
A glitch in Delta’s website bumped Jesse’s return date up by a month, which sort of interfered with his travel plans when he showed up at the airport to check in. Here’s the complaint letter he sent to Delta, and their response.
Bob Weibel at Musician’s Friend contacted us only a few hours after we posted Mitch’s story of the used guitar shipping screw up. He writes, “This kind of thing simply can’t happen, ever. We’ve tracked down Mitch’s order information and have been attempting to reach him on the phone to make things right.”
White Castle has apologized and donated $5,000 to the National Guard after having 25 guardsmen’s (and their family’s) cars towed while they attended a welcome home ceremony at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The manager had given permission for the cars to be parked there, but White Castle had them towed anyway. [Chicago Tribune]
The Senate’s Sergeant at Arms, Terry Gainer, joined Facebook to deliver a picture perfect apology to the survivors of the so-called Purple Tunnel of Doom, a group of several thousand people who were kept out of President Obama’s inauguration even though they had tickets. It takes a superior apology to address a colossal failure, and Gainer certainly delivered. The sincerity and completeness of the apology easily make it one of the best mea culpas we’ve ever seen.
We love it when what’s supposed to be internal communication leaks out to the customer—it gives you such clear insight as to how a company really feels about you. In the case of 1800mattress.com, calling to complain about a missed delivery date makes you “difficult.” But hey, they’ll still send you some free pillows.