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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Now that's the kind of customer service I expect!

I posted once before on my experience with Dell computers and their lovely customer service reps in India. My blood is starting to boil just thinking about it. After I posted my little tirade, I noticed on that on two separate occasions someone from Dell computers looked at my post.

Now I'm not sure whether it was an actual human or whether it was some bot that was trolling the Internet for articles or information on Dell. But when I saw that, I got excited. Perhaps now I will get justice. Perhaps now I will get an apology for their poor customer service.

But, alas, no one ever emailed me or contacted me. So I will just have to take solace in the fact that I bought a laptop a couple of weeks ago and as cute as that lime green Dell laptop was, I purchased another brand. So there! Take that, Dell computers!

I thought since I let my feelings be known on a company with poor customer service, it would only be fair to let the public know about two examples of excellent customer service.

Example # 1:

Several weeks ago, my soon accidentally broke a couple of critical pieces to one of his Lego's Bionicles. The Bionicle was rendered useless without these pieces and the screaming and crying and whining were more than I could take.

So I called their 1-800 number and was immediately connected to a very nice English speaking lady. She asked me for the part numbers of the broken pieces and asked me how many of them I needed. She then proceeded to mail all of the pieces (I even asked for and received extras) FREE OF CHARGE! I was floored.

I assumed I would have to pay for the pieces and also pay for shipping. But no. I was informed that if any Lego piece ever breaks, they will replace it FREE OF CHARGE. My son and I literally did a happy dance. We did another one when the parts came via UPS a week later!

Example #2

At Christmas, my niece Jillian gave Peter a Floam kit. Not sure if you know what Floam is but it is a molding compound. It's not like's much cooler and more grown up. It's sort of like a slime with tiny little Styrofoam balls in it. You can mold it and shape it and cover objects with it. The kids had a great time playing with the kit. The kit contained several small tubs of Floam, some Styrofoam forms and some googly eyes, feathers, pipe cleaners, etc.

A few weeks ago, I noticed some other Floam kits at Wal-Mart for $9.86 each. One was a robot you could put together and decorate and the other kit contained two picture frames you could decorate. We pulled the kits out one cold rainy afternoon and the kids were thrilled. Thrilled until we opened up the small Floam tubs and discovered they were hard and not the least bit moldable.

I thought about returning the kits to Wal-Mart. That store will take anything back, with or without receipt. But I decided I would rather contact the Floam Corporation to let them know about the hard Floam.

I emailed their customer service department and a couple of days later received a note back apologizing for the hard Floam. The rep told me that the Floam should not dry out like that if the container is properly sealed. She also told me that they were going to start putting seals (much like the inner seal on a cream cheese tub) on the Floam containers starting this summer. She said that would prevent the drying out from occurring as well.

She then asked me if I wanted a refund on the kits or if I wanted more Floam. Since the kids had so much fun with the first kit, I told her I would take more Floam.

Today, my door bell rang. The UPS woman (who looks exactly like a man...Sarah and I actually argued over whether it was a man or a woman) handed me a package that contained SIX LARGE tubs of Floam. Just one of these tubs at Wal-Mart costs over $6.00 and we got SIX...for free!

The kids and I did another happy dance and I have learned a valuable lesson. It never hurts to contact a company and let them know you have a problem with their product. You may actually get more than you bargained for in return.

And people, one other valuable lesson I learned...don't buy a Dell computer.

I'm still bitter.

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jennwa said...

Wow! I knew about the Lego's but that Floam company sounds great too.
We will over today to play with your new Floam.

the dragonfly said...

It's nice to hear about good customer service. What I dislike about helplines and such is when the people talk to me like I'm an idiot. I'm not! It's not my fault it doesn't work! *sigh*

Pam said...

Thanks for sharing your positive customer service experiences. I have had a couple myself, and that is how it is SUPPOSED to be. Companies only hurt themselves when they treat their customers badly.

Mari said...

I think it's great that you are sharing about good customer service. That's great advertising. Dell on the other hand isn't doing themselves any favors.

Jen said...

It is nice to know that there are companies out there that do in deed still care for the people that keep them in business! I have had problems with Dell too. My next lap top will NOT be a dell. But I do agree their nifty decorated tops are very cute!!

Steph said...

My kids have always wanted floam, but I have never broke down and bought it...maybe now I will!
My aunt is a big advocate on contacting the company, she has gotten so much free stuff in her lifetime!
Glad you had good experiences,
Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I vented about our cable company getting bought out by Comcast the other day and got a comment from Comcast customer service stating bla bla bla. I felt like big brother was watching me. If they would not make me change my email address, then I would be happy with their bla bla bla.

It is amazing what better customer service you can sometimes get by contacting the company direct (I have had good experiences with Graco and LeapFrog as well) than with the retail store.


Don Mills Diva said...

I don't blame you a bit - there is no excuse for the kind of customer service that, sadly, has become the norm for a lot of big companies.

Karla Porter Archer said...

This is a great post!! I love hearing about GOOD customer service for a change!


Anonymous said...

Ohh, I love my dell laptop. Maybe it helps that my husband is a computer guy....

I have also had good experience with Target. We got a toy missing one farm animal and they sent us a set of all the animals, free of charge.

Melissa said...

I had a bad experience with iPod. My husband saved up and bought me a video iPod, but when I had finally pulled it out to put music on it it was craked all over teh screen and by the wheel.
I called and they said as long as I didnt do it myself they would fix it free...I thought great!
They sent it back with nothing done to it and when I called to find otu why...they informed me that a cracked screen doesnt effect the usage of the iPod!....

I tought it was a video VIEWING ipod. I guess the scratched add a more intense viewing experience! :)

Totallyscrappy said...

So often, it seems, our culture will take shotty customer service for rock bottom prices. Thanks for the tip about Lego. We also busted a piece on the Bionicle and I was just hoping the kids wouldn't notice. ;)

Family Adventure said...

I think it's amazing that Lego and Floam would do that...I might have expected it from Lego, but that Floam was so great was a pleasant surprise.

Just makes Dell so much more of a disappointment, though, doesn't it?

Have a lovely day! Heidi

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Thanks for the heads up a about Dell. I am considering getting myself a laptop. I can just cross them off the list from the get go!

Blessings, Joanne

Chelle' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelle' said...

AHhh Beth. I am chuckling at your UPS woman/man comment. Actually- I am laughing... loudly and my children keep saying, "Mom... what's so funny? You're too loud."

I have to tell you that I've already pledged my allegience to BigMama as "Funniest Blogger-Girl Ever"... but you are swaying me dear.

Truly swaying me for the title!!!! :0)

Thanks for all the info regarding customer service.

Kellan said...

There is nothing worse than poor customer service!! You gave two great examples of great customer service - I wish it was always that easy!!

Have a good evening - Kellan

Amy Y said...

Good for you for being a customer service warrior! I love to hear success stories!
Thanks for stopping by my blog... it's nice to meet you! :)

carrie said...

Wow, who knew about the Bionicles?

I just, um, miraculously lose them when they lose their parts. Now, I guess I don't have to!

TheOneTrueSue said...

Yeah, Dell - not my favorite company. Good for Legos and Floam!

Oh, and hey - thanks for your kind comments on my blog :>

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with Dell- but would it surprise you to know that I have had exactly the same experience with their 'customer service'?! And, although I have owned 5 Dell computers over the years, I won't be getting another one again!
I'm so glad, though, that you posted the positive stories as well- there are some great customer service folks out there, I know! And good for Lego and Floam!

Jennefer said...

We own a Dell computer and I despise it. There are other issues too, but too long to go into. Never again.

Christina said...

Ditto to this post. I have a Dell desktop and my husband has the laptop. Every time we call Dell they are of no help whatsoever. I have had so many problems with the customer service that when I bought my laptop, I bought MAC.

Chelle' said...

Beth- I thought of you this morning regarding customer service...

Took the kids to Bob Evans as I still don't have appliacnces in my kitchen from the remodel... our server was AMAZING. We've had her before but this morning, it was as if she saw my desperation to be cared for. My need to be, well, served. To know that my children were not to loud, not too busy, and not inconvenient.

She went to all lengths to meet our needs.

Because of this I asked a different server to have a manager come to my table. As I told him about how amazing the service was and how happy I was with Audrey he looked me dead in the face and said, "You called a manager over here... what specifically is the problem again?"

WHAT>????? There was no problem. She was amazing. I called you over here because I find it important to tell management when an employee is doing WELL!!!!!

I still think he was a bit confused upon my exit but hopefully he realized that someone consulted management not to yell but to encourage. Hmmmmmm.. there's a novel idea huh?

Queen of My Domain said...

That's so great that you got new legos and floam. I'm usually way to lazy to do that sort of thing. But I did acutally call the Mars # one time I bought a Snickers that was so old I actually threw it out. They sent me about two weeks worth of coupons if I wanted one for everyday. It was great! glad you got a great response also.

Ann(ie) said...

I have heard other horror stories about Dell. I will not buy one! BUT, great postitive stories. If companies would just realize the power of the comsumer. Especially the power of the consumer that blogs!!!

Corey~living and loving said...

woo hoo.....I had a great experince with a toy company once as well. It really doesn't hurt to ask. Great post.
happy weekend.