Customer Service?

(begin rant)

Okay, both DH and myself have worked in customer service/retail for years, we know how difficult the public can be and we also know a fair amount about how software and the ‘net work.

We needed an I Go tip and 2 memory sticks. The I Go tips look like this:

The I Go enables you to change the tip and charge multiple cell phones (and they have them for computers too) with the same basic charging unit. We’ve found it to be a lifesaver. We no longer have to haul 2 bricks with us when we travel to charge both phones. What we’ve got works in a car too.

The tips are small, maybe 1” long. The one for my phone got stepped on, or…? I need a tip. Apparently, there’s some kind of new universal system for cell phones, so we couldn’t buy the tip at Radio Shack. DH decided to get it online and add the memory he’d been thinking about to the order to sweeten the deal.

Okay, the local big name computer company, X, whose HQ I drive by on my way to the antique store, has “upgraded” their website. First of all, it’s now nearly impossible to just look for one TYPE of thing. The memory DH wanted is made by more than 1 company. X’s new search engine does it by brand, so you have to pick one, no comparison shopping allowed!

You get all the way down to the piece you want and to look for another brand of the same thing, you have to begin the entire process again. [What computer is it for? How much memory? What brand do you want… etc.]

He did that. Had 3 pieces in his shopping cart, 2 pieces of memory and the tip. They wanted $19.99 to ship it! But, if you buy $100 worth of stuff, the shipping is free. It’s too bad they don’t actually sell anything at their HQ, or we could have potentially stopped by and just picked it up. The result of this is that for anything small, we’ll no longer even look at their site.

This is cost-effective? Increases revenues? How about it just pisses off people who might be your regular customers? Maybe they’ve convinced themselves the old maxim, “You get 90% of your sales from 10% of your customers” isn’t true online? Seems like a big mistake to me in these tight times, but what do I know?

DH’s solution was to copy/paste the name/sku/part number into a text doc, and find another supplier, this one on the West Coast. They wanted $3 to ship the same pieces.

(end rant)

Ultimately, DH bought the memory from the West Coast company, shipping $3. He bought the I Go tip on ebay, $3.95 and free shipping. In a way, the big computer company changing their order/shipping practices was better, for us. We spent approx $17 less in shipping than we would have with them. Even with the higher cost of the memory (about $5 each) we still saved about $7.

You think if I called their customer service center to thank them they’d get it?

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