Now I am going to be the first to admit that when it comes to providing customer service I am a very harsh critic. However over the internet it is an even harder service to provide. Feelings and meanings get lost in e-mails and “contact us forms”. Many time the customer service providers are not even in house.
Over the past year I have dealt with some very good customer service. Groupon and Living Social both come to mind in being very receptive and quick in handling complaints. In both instances I was asked “What is the problem?” and “How can we fix it?”. Niether situation as I recall ever got me everything I was asking for, but some sort of resolution was made and it was made quickly. At the end of the day, I was heard and that made me feel wanted.
A new trend I have been noticing in affiliate sales is these one-off promoters. So, KGBDeals runs a special on a remote control helicopter. Umm a remote control helicopter run from my iPad, how cool is that! I find the deal through Woot! Now “Woot!” is just an aggregator of deals and I have been pleased with the many companies it has put me in touch with. This helicopter deal is done through KGBDeals which I had at least heard of, so I was fairly confident in my decision to buy. Now, I came to find out that you actually buy a Promo Code from KGBDeals and then you go to provider, DinoDirect, to get the helicopter. You then use the code when purchasing and voila, helicopter time.
It definitely sounds a lot easier than it actually was and now that I know the object is coming from China I am a little disappointed because I know it will take at least two weeks to get here. And in the end it did take about two weeks. When I get the box I am excited and get it all open and download the app to run the helicopter. I figure out how to get the chopper and iPad all in sync, go to start the propellers and “ugh,” the bottom propeller doesn’t work. Straight out of the box defect.
So now, what are you going to do? I contact DinoDirect because they technically sold me the helicopter. I submit and RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) and wait a week to hear anything back. They ask me if I have properly charged the device. Which after it didn’t work I made sure to test myself and left the two pieces that needed a charge plugged in over night. I say I had and I hope to see another device soon. Another week passes and they come back to me and say they are sorry about the defect. They will award me $15 in store credit. Now the helicopter retailed on their site for $96 and the voucher was for $40, so I in no way am coming close to either getting my money back or a replace helicopter. I tell them it is not good enough and I want a new device… that was the end of November and I am still waiting for their response.
Next I go to KGBDeals. This one is interesting because they respond back to you quickly to your complaints, but they don’t log them and they don’t record them. So I opened a complaint ticket and got this response:
Now at the bottom of the e-mail it says respond to this e-mail to keep the ticket going. And like any person would do, I replied to the e-mail and never heard anything back. My main issue is I am not going to spend another 30 dollars to have this shipped back to China. They should pay for that and that is what I replied. That reply, in fact, I am still waiting for the customer service person to get back to.
After a week I found out the only way to get in touch with their customer service is by going through their website. Which ironically has this guarantee posted on it:
Honestly, at the very least I had been quibbling, but nonetheless it is very stressful to see this when you are sitting with no response and open “Tickets”. In the end I started just e-mailing them back through the customer contact form. I think I may be getting somewhere, but in the end it has been almost two months and I still have some helicopter that doesn’t work and out $40.
Now guaranteeing a customer’s satisfaction is almost impossible. Some people just have outlandish expectations. But at some point providing service to a customer has to become a priority. Maybe I slipped through the cracks, and you know what it happens. But if a person feels ignored, you are not doing your job. I know for one I am going to take what I learned from this experience and make sure my customers are heard and know they are welcome.
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