To companies, what do you think of customer service? Is it something important, a priority, ignored, or not even necessary?
To customers, what do you think of customer service? Or, what is your definition of ‘customer service’? Did you have positive/negative customer service experience? Do you usually reach out to customer service when you had an unsatisfied experience, or rather, you often suck it up and deal with it because you feel 1) no one cares 2) the time and energy to reach out?
Just this past week I’ve had 2 polar opposite experience dealing with customer service. One was positive, while the other… although I am still hoping for the best, as of now it remains pretty negative. I doubt they will see this post, and I doubt they will do something about it, but all I know is they will lose me as a customer permanently.
Case #1: BMW
I had to replace a windshield at the end of December last year due to poor roads here in the queen city. It was a hefty bill, but it was necessary to replace the entire thing as the crack was too big and with the drastic change of weather at the time I just cannot ignore.
I took me 10+ hours in total to get it examined, a quote, insurance claim, and the replacement. Unfortunately, it was not a successful replacement because I started to hear squeaking noise whenever I drive on the freeway around 70/mile. Since the windshield was under warranty, I scheduled an appointment for the technicians to examine the car. After waiting at the lounge for 4 hours or so (and 1/4 tank of gas), I was assured all issues were fixed.
boo. issue remained.
Frustrated by the time, the gas waste, and the annoyance of the noise, I called again to schedule another appointment. This time, I was promised a loaner car because they will have to do everything they can to fix the issue for me. Additionally, I was guaranteed the dealership will top off gas for me because they failed to fix my car my last visit.
This time, it took them over 7 days to finally diagnose and fixed the issue. I was overjoyed to be contacted that I could go pick up my car (face it… no matter how fancy the loaner car is it is NOT your car)… only to find out ‘top off the gas’ was not written on the report and the person who called me told me ‘no one is going to pay for your gas.’
Frustrated and furious, I decided to reach out to BMW North America to get their opinion on the entire issue because they admit they did not install the windshield properly, which result in squeaking noise when I drive on the freeway. Considering they took over 7 days to fix the issue (gas? mileage?) I felt I had all the rights to request for gas as a compensation because the dealership caused me so much trouble not just one time, but multiple trips.
BMW North America was extremely helpful. They stand beside me, supported my case, and even advised me on how to communicate with the dealership.
It was professional, prompt, and made me feel I was being taken care of. Obviously it was still not pleasant having to describe the entire situation one more time to the customer service rep. over the phone, but they card and they listened.
Case #2: Swoozie’s
Have you heard of Swoozie’s before? It’s the cutest shop to get your monogram design items, party supplies, stationaries, and anything and everything you need for special events. It is not a cheap store, but there’s a ton of unique items. In case you did not know, I am a mega fan on stationaries so I was super excited to find out about this store.
Recently, I went into the store because I saw they have $15 off every $50 spend on their facebook and official website. I had some items in mind I wanted to purchase and felt it was perfect timing with the promotion. I went into the store, happily picked out my items (even though the staffs ignored me the entire time… it’s fine) went to the register… only to find out I was denied the promotion because the staff claimed I am not their “VIP” even though I showed them the discount code and the messages on the website and facebook. Because of that, I decided to only get a pouch for myself because again, it is not a cheap store and when I cannot use the coupon I do not want to overspend.
A few days later I went back to pick up my designed pouch and brought in a corkcicle I got as a gift to get monogram. On the website it says text would only cost $10 while after I worked with the staff on the design, I was told it is a ‘difficult project’ therefore they will charge me $20 on it.
I don’t know anything about decal design, I drove all the way there, so I paid for the $20 (I am a sucker and I totally regret it right now. They should not deserve my business or money at all…)
On my drive home, I feel sad and bittered, I started to wonder why they charged me more than they should when the fixed price is stated on the official website. I decided to call the customer service line. The person who helped me over the phone was courteous and documented everything (even include my receipt number) and promised me it was not right for the store to refuse the promotion deal OR to over charge me for a design. The rep. assured me they will take care of this – someone high up will call me within a day and I should be qualified for a refund.
It has been 2 days and I have gotten zero phone calls or emails.
To be honest I am losing my hope here. I do not think it is such a difficult case for the upper management to ‘investigate’ or ‘look into’. It is simply the local staff were being greedy and tried to overcharge for whatever reason behind that I do not know. I think it is extremely rude the entire company, no one, bothered to give me a call back or email me regarding the extremely negative experience I have had at their local store. It is absolutely ridiculous and I feel not only being ignored, but money stolen from a dishonest company. Do not promise something and fail in every single possible way.
If you are reading this post, and there’s happen to be a Swoozie’s at wherever you are from. DO NOT SHOP THERE. Do not be a victim like me who appreciates their products but received the worst customer service ever and get money stolen from you.
I admit I was weak to fall into the trap because I like the products. If I can go back in time I would not spend a dime at that store. In fact, I will stop myself from even walking into the store because they are not worthy of my time, my money, or my anything.
Companies, if you ignore the power and the importance of customer service, you will lose not only fans who like your products, but also potential customers. For example, I will tell all my family and friends, and also on this blog my extremely negative experience at the store called Swoozie’s. It might make a difference, it might not, but voice should be heard. Concerns and mistreatment should NEVER be ignored.
Fellow readers and shoppers, are you with me on this?