Disneyland mistakenly extended a special annual pass program to ineligible customers last December, but only realized it recently. At the time of the sale, residents of certain Southern California zip codes could buy an annual ticket on a 12-month installment plan, free from any interest rates or other fees. When they discovered that some customers weren’t in valid zip codes, they ended the payment agreement with them—but they’re letting them keep the annual passes.
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.
Here’s an example of terrific customer service, this time from the sink and faucet company Kohler.
David, who we noted earlier this week was out an extra $140 because eHarmony decided to open a second account in his name, has written back with an update.
Earlier today, Jessica wrote to us about her Comcast horror story: there was something that smelled terrible, and the smell was coming from inside her apartment! He also hooked up her replacement modem incorrectly, so it still didn’t work, then said he’d be right back and drove off forever. Luckily, she was able to steal enough wifi to send an email to Comcast, and as of now the problem has been resolved.
James almost got cheated out of CS4, the suite of graphics software sold by Adobe, when he bought a new Macbook Pro recently. He kept pressing the issue though, and his persistence and level-headedness finally, after several near misses, convinced Apple to do the right thing and send him what he paid for. Congrats to James!
Swiss bank UBS, which has “admitted conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $780 million to settle a sweeping federal investigation into its activities,” has agreed to release the names of Americans who have been secreting away cash in UBS’ fabled Swiss bank accounts. The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating about 19,000 accounts, but the New York Times says the bank may only release a couple hundred names. Update: Now the IRS has asked a judge to demand that UBS turn over the names of around 52,000 clients. UBS says it will “vigorously challenge” the new request.
As the economy tanks, we keep seeing examples of companies cutting more corners on customer service, and especially becoming less cooperative when it comes to resolving a problem that involves billing. That’s why it’s nice to see a business not only respond quickly, but in favor of the customer. (It’s probably no surprise to you that it’s a small business and not a corporation.)
I just wanted to pass along a story of a truly honest customer.
We received an email from Guitar Center’s Chief Marketing Officer this afternoon letting us know that the $100 markup on their iPods was a pricing mistake, and that they’re automatically refunding the difference to anyone who bought at the wrong price as well as giving them $10 gift cards.
Last week we wrote about a Circuit City customer who was charged $40 without warning for “repairs” to a brand new computer. We received several explanations from Circuit City insiders, both in the comments and through email, that the repair was mandatory—Acer and Circuit City had agreed that instead of pulling the PCs, the retailer’s Firedog techs would flash the BIOS in-store upon purchase. What was unclear was how or why this would fall under the Firedog “Quickstart” service, which is optional and includes things like removing shortcuts from your desktop and setting up your background. (Seriously, check it out here.) Yesterday we received the following interesting email from Circuit City HQ.
Assurant Solutions, the company that’s supposed to be honoring any outstanding TAP agreements with former CompUSA customers, likes to refuse service for arbitrary reasons. Luckily for TAP-holders, CompUSA has said it will honor any TAP agreements if Assurant doesn’t. The guy with the broken laptop wrote back to let us know that CompUSA indeed came through for him after every attempt he made with Assurant ended in rejection.
Unlike Drew’s story about IKEA from earlier today, Philip had what sounds like insanely good customer service from Costco—which is a good thing, since both the original table he purchased and the replacement table Costco’s delivery guys brought were missing key pieces.
Robb spent almost two and half hours with Sprint CSRs trying to find out why his phone had stopped working, and eventually he was told that it had been ported to AT&T, and that it would “take 4-5 days to try and get this number back if at all.”
Don’t say we never printed anything nice about you, BoA. One of your customers just had an experience with you that—despite still having an overdraft fee of $20 to pay—has left her feeling pretty good about you.
Martin Bennett is a 69-year-old former inspector for the Consumer Product Safety Commission who retired over six years ago.
With all the customer service horror stories we post, you’d think businesses in the United States have lost the ability to treat their customers with respect—and by and large, you’d be right.
More praise for Newegg, one of those rare retailers with an exceptional customer service record. Andrea bought an Astar Electronics HDMI Player with DIVX and sent off her rebate request, but never received the promised rebate.