Friday, April 29, 2011

An Interruption To Your Regularly Scheduled Program

I feel like I just need to vent a little bit, so bear with me.
We make mistakes here, everyone does. I realize that no one is perfect, and with the volume of people we interact with every day. I'd say we've had a good track record of customer relations. All in all, we've got great customers and in return we try to be the best at what we do. But.....yep, here it is, the but....

Sometimes, we've got to step up and be the "tough guy," and by that I don't think we've ever been unfair. I want to share a scenario with you. Let's say we accidentally shipped you two items when you only ordered one. We realized after the fact, and contacted you to let you know. We would normally ask you to call us when you get the package and we would arrange to pick up the extra item. This would be no cost to you. Pretty straight forward, I think. Our items are packaged in their original manufacturer boxes/bags. Each component is usually compartmentalized so that the items don't get damaged in transit. In this hypothetical situation, I know this to be the case with packaging.

Now, back to said scenario. A package arrives to us, with no return authorization. Our warehouse doesn't know where it goes, we don't know what to do with it, we track down the original order and look at the notes. We double shipped an item, but in this box are two items not one. Since we only shipped on extra, there should only be one in the box. Here's the kicker for me....the items inside the boxes were put back partially assembled, not in their individual compartments, screws loose, glass portions banged against each other and are broken. At this point, what can we do with these items? They are not resalable to anyone else, the manufacturer will not take them back, so we're not getting any money back from them. We're either stuck with two items that we have to throw away, or we have to pay to ship one of them back to the customer, or deal with a dispute with the credit card company. Here's where the "tough guy" part comes in, we now call the customer to tell them that they are due no money back, and this typically doesn't end well. We don't ever want to be, the "tough guy." I would much rather, not have to be the bearer of bad news. I would much rather have a happy, satisfied customer.

My point to this rant is that, we all need to be better consumers. I'm guilty sometimes of not asking enough questions or reading a policy and getting stuck with a shipping charge or restocking fee. I've been doing this for 10 years, and I know better. But really, it's the old rule that we were taught as kids, "treat others as you want to be treated." If you get an item and it's in perfect condition, make sure it gets back to us the same way.

I promise, the next post will be back to normal. Sometimes, you've got to vent.

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