The Road to Farley

The Road to Farley

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Road to Good Customer Service is Not Well Traveled

In the past week, I have experienced both good and not so good customer service. I'll start with the good experience. For my birthday, a friend gifted me with a Kindle. Now, I always considered myself "old school" when it came to books, and I may never have purchased an eReader on my own. But, having received one as a gift, I was not one to look a gift Kindle in the mouth. I have to say, I grew to love the Kindle. They are great for reading on the treadmill or stationary bike at the gym, slip easily into your purse or laptop bag during travel, and are "open" 24 hours a day for new purchases.

While on business travel last week, I was flummoxed when I could not get the damn thing to turn on while waiting for my flight at Reagan National Airport. Upon my return, I did a quick Google search and found a recommendation to do a "reset" to fix my frozen Kindle problem. Well, that didn't resolve the issue. I opted for an online chat with an Amazon customer service representative.

I gave a very short description:
My Kindle is frozen/unresponsive and the screen is filled with lines. I have tried several times to reset it by holding down the power button for 20+ seconds. This has not resolved the issue. I don't know what to try next
After confirming that I was referring to "Carol's Kindle" on my online Amazon account, the representative replied:
If you prefer I'll able to provide a free replacement device for you.
Well, shoot. That was almost two easy. Here it is, two days later, I have my new Kindle, it's booted up, and my previously purchased books are restored. Now, I just have to put the busted Kindle in the box, attach the free pre-printed shipping label and that issue is resolved. Yay!

Now, the not so great experience. When I landed in Cedar Rapids last week, after leaving Reagan National with my busted Kindle, I met the breakfast crew at Eggy's for a late dinner and a beer. Much to my chagrin, my debit card was denied! I was perplexed. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am still one of those dorks who balance my checkbook to the penny each month. I knew I had money in my account and chalked the denial up to a faulty magnetic strip. Ha! Fat chance.

When I got home, I promptly accessed online banking at Dupaco. Imagine my surprise to find that a $172.27 debit purchase made the previous Saturday had cleared my account for $1,722.27. The next day, I called both the credit union and the merchant to correct the error. When I explained the situation to the merchant, the initial response was to laugh. It's not so funny when it's your money, and you have payments that are bouncing all over the place because you have $1,550 less money in your account than you thought. They submitted a refund, but it took from Friday until Tuesday before the credit showed up in my account. Kudos to Dupaco for waiving all the overdraft fees and for continuing to pay the automatic payments that were set up to come out on those days. When I was called back (by the receptionist - not the owner I initially talked to) and told the credit was processed, instead of getting an "Oh my God, we are so sorry." I got a "we don't know how that happened." Really? I've worked in retail enough years to know how it happened...someone miskeyed the credit card payment amount and evidently they do not balance their receipts at the end of each business day. Any retail establishment I worked at required you to totally balance out the cash drawer at the end of your shift and identify any errors. In addition, this merchant is literally across the street from my credit union. Here's an idea -- how about expediting the return of the funds by taking a check across the street instead of processing a refund that takes five days.

My friends took pity on me for my frozen fund state. They are the best! I got my new Kindle and my missing $1,550 on the same day. Oh, and Rick Santorum is going away. All is almost right with the world.