Monday, March 3, 2008

Customer Service 101.

I've had some pretty poor customer service experiences lately. I wrote about the one with Photographx Unlimited, but didn't write about the one I had a couple of weeks ago at Costco, because honestly, I thought there might be something wrong with me, what with getting all the shitty service all of a sudden.

The short version of a long story is that Mr. Awesome ordered some glasses, the girl behind the counter was not only kind of grouchy but also ordered him sunglasses instead, and when we went to pick the glasses up and she noticed the mistake, she didn't do one thing to make it right other than sigh and offer to give us our money back. The on-duty supervisor didn't do anything for us, either, other than point us in the direction of a comment box. So, we got a refund, canceled our membership and I sent a pretty detailed letter about our dissapointing experience to the main Costco office. An excerpt:

We didn’t expect a miracle with the glasses. But we did expect <grouchy girl> to follow up her apology with action towards making the situation right. She could have said, “I am so sorry, this was my mistake, but we are going to make this right for you. Tell you what – I’ll enter in your order again right now and ask them to expedite it. I’ll also give you a percent off discount, and will personally keep you informed of the status of your order.”  Instead, we got a gruff apology, a lot of sighing, and no offer of correction other than a refund.

Today, I received a phone call from the assistant manager of the Costco in question. Not only was he incredibly polite and seemed genuinely sorry to hear about our experience, he offered us a free Executive membership (oooh... fancy) and offered to pay for the glasses that we had originally wanted to order as well. Needless to say, this offer of contrition is completely acceptable. I'm not afraid to tell someone when I get bad service, but I'm also happy to let them make it up to me.

I'm pretty happy with Costco right now. We'll see how things go with the glasses...


  1. I have executive membership w/Costco. It pays for itself in rebates and other freebies. I also have my auto/home insurance through them. I recently had a customer service encounter there that made me feel pretty good about paying for the membership. Costco is one a few retailers who pay pretty good wages and it's surprising that someone wouldn't treasure their job there.

  2. I truly hope lost her job for that.

  3. [...] service experience, let the business know about it. In almost every case, they’ll try to make good - unless that business is Photographx [...]