Here’s to great customer support ! We hear so much about lousy service I thought I’d start off the new year with some good news
I planned to give an iPhone 4 as a Christmas gift. The phone arrived on December 22nd and everything looked to be a very Merry Christmas indeed. However, the iPhone was acting strangely. It would charge up and run fine until it got down to about 40% battery and then it would just die as if the battery were dead. I thought it was a fluke. Searching the internet did not avail me of any insights. Finally, I decided to call Apple Support.
They asked a series of easy questions (all very intelligible in perfect American English). At which point, the support person proclaimed – "it sounds like there is something wrong, let’s get you a replacement." Wow! That was direct and to the point. I was given three options:
- bring it into an Apple Store for a replacement (free)
- mail the phone back to apple for repair or replacement – about 10 days round trip (free)
- use express care where Apple sends me a replacement phone and I mail my back in the supplied packaging ($29 and a $699 credit card hold)
In thinking about it, "free" was not going to be free. Shipping was probably $8 and 10 days without the iPhone. Driving to the nearest Apple Store was more like $17 in tolls and $18 in gas. Besides, Apple would use Next-Day shipping in both directions!
Option #3 then. The replacement iPhone arrived 36 hours later.
The instructions were very clear. Backup the old phone, take the new phone out of the black box. Put the old phone into the white box. Restore the backup to the new phone. call FedEx and ship back the old phone.
The only glitch was the old phone was iOS 4.2.1 and the new phone was iOS 4.1. For various reasons, I did not want to update the iOS yet so It meant manually installing all of my apps (92 of them) and manually setting them up. Still, it was worth it. Within about 2 hours, I was back.
I ran the new phone for three days, running the battery down to various levels including zero. It behaved normally.
I called FedEx at 7:15am yesterday and they picked up the package by 10:30am (great for the farmhouse) and by noon today it was already at Apple. By 2:30pm I had an email closing my support ticket and confirming I was happy – OH YEAH !
Let me start by extended a public "thanks" to both Carl and Josie at NETGEAR.
I purchased a managed gigabit switch for the data center and chose NETGEAR because they were running a rebate program. All other things considered, my choices would have been a dead heat. The deadline for submitting the rebate was the end of June and since I didn’t install the switch until the second week in June, I did a little scrambling to get it done and in the mail with a few days to spare.
A few weeks passed and I got an email (followed by a postcard) that my rebate had been rejected because there was an additional deadline of "within 30 days of purchase". The unit did not actually get installed for more than 30 days from purchase so that was not obvious. The focus was on the rebate program deadline.
$100.00 is not chump change so a tried to get resolution. NETGEAR makes a point of having no way to reach their rebate program – no phone, no person’s emails, etc. Even calling the the main NETGEAR number is a dead end.
I was ranting one day and Carl said, "I use to work in support. Call in and just try to get to a person, any person and only then start to explain what happened. Thanks Carl.
After three trips through NETGEAR’s phone system, I finally reached a person in Support (probably India). I did not explain much of my situation but tried a few different paths to get to someone in management. Eventually, I was transferred back to "the states and reached Josie. I went through my situation and after a few repeats, Josie said to send her the information and she’d take it personally to the rebate manager.
Yippee – the rebate arrived in the mail this week.
Moral of the story ? Don’t get upset with a real person and don’t give up trying. That real person may help get things right. I’m not happy with how difficult NETGEAR made things and I learned that reading the fine print is not always enough – like Willy Wonka, there may be even finer print.
I just ordered a new “product” from “The Company”. I have had one of these “products” for two years now am 100% satisfied. So, when I needed another, I bit the bullet, payed the price and ordered it. I want my “product” to be just for me so I have opted in both cases to use their custom design option. I had fogotten the prompt and humorous confirmation email …
Thanks for picking us. Your new <product> is gonna ROCK!
We suggest that you actually read it and like it because this is what you are getting and the Lucky One’s address below is where we are going to send it. If you must be That Person, we can TRY our best to make changes or cancel your order. This is only if we have had enough coffee and our warehouse hasn’t. You will need to send your email to email@example.com. Remember, this is only if your order is NOT IN PRODUCTION. Once your order makes it to our production line, we can’t change it for you and if it’s custom, we can’t take it back. Not because we don’t love you; but because we already have really, really nice custom made <product>. It’s part of the uniform.
Now here’s the part you really want to read.
When will my order ship?
Your order is being sent to the warehouse right now. Orders are fulfilled and out the door in up to 3 business days. It all depends on how many orders are in line in front of yours. If you selected an expedited shipping method like Second Day or Next Day Air, your order will ship within 1 to 2 business days. Business means Monday through Friday and excludes most US holidays, just in case you didn’t know. Now you do. FYI custom <product> do not require any additional processing time.
How long will it take my order to get to my loving, waiting arms?
Once your order ships via UPS it will take 3 to 7 business days to arrive depending on where you call home. You can track your order on our website using your order number or you can be patient and wait for UPS to send you a notification of shipment indicating that your order has left the building. Please note that your item must ship before anyone can track it and it can take up to 48 hours for your tracking information to trickle down from UPS to our systems.
What if I entered my email address in wrong?
Our deepest sympathies are being sent to you via UPS because you haven’t read any of this.
Take away my MTV. Take away my VCR. Take away my BBC and my NPR. Don’t you ever mess with my connectivity!
I’m back on line with all the fidelity I had before the disaster “customer service”. Ironically, they called me at 6pm to tell me they were still working on it. I say “ironic” because they had restored my service at two and a half hours previous. At this point, I’m just happy to have my connection back.
Yes, I am an Internet addict. Stay away from my bandwidth !