Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business. What happens when customer service is less than stellar? You better pray you didn't upset a blogger!
Here are two examples of what can happen:
1. Here is what happened when Mr. Hirchhorn wrote an article regarding his nightmare with Best Buy's Geek Squad! He wrote it on July 31, 2006 and it was added to Digg. Within a day, it received 40,000 views.
2. Jeff Jarvis from BuzzMachine.com wrote an open letter to Mr. Dell pointing out their less than stellar customer service with various bloggers. All you have to do is google the term "Dell customer fiasco" or similar terms to see post after post. Bloggers are either teling their own nightmares involving customer service or adding to the fuel.
Here is my tale of customer service hell involving Blockbuster. Customer service is key to keeping paying consumers happy. Personnel should be trained to deal with frustrated individuals. They should be problem solvers and act accordingly. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Tales like these can spread like wild fire and expose the companies for what they are. Big hungry profit seeking monsters that seek to prey on the consumer al the while believing that they won't share their customer service nightmares. All I have to say is....they got the wrong one!
Last week on 7/22 or 7/23, I got a call from Blockbuster. It was an automated recording stating That's so Raven had not been returned and I would be charged for the movie on Saturday. I know that The Little One's father had rented it for him and he had returned it on Sunday. I spoke to him about it on Friday July 28. I knew that he had returned it, he is meticulous about those things. He said he had returned 2 of the videos that day. I returned the other two later that week. He suggested we go in person to straighten it out.
He spoke to an employee that was pretty rude. She insisted that the tape wasn't in the store, "BECAUSE THE COMPUTER SAID SO." Then the manager comes over. Now let me explain that neither of these women are spring chickens. They are older than me. I would be able to overlook being treated rudely by a teen or young adult because they are young and just learning, but by a 40 something year old. Well, the manager of the store, was way off. She POINTED at Little One's Dad and told him that he was responsoble for the video. "That's what renting from Blockbuster MEANS". Uhh.... duh?!? So, I stepped in and stated, "Yes, but once the movie is put in that slot it is now your responsibility." To which she replies, "We never got it, so you are responsible." I don't hink so. Then The Little One's Dad asks her if this has happened before and she starts to deny it! I then told her, "Look, I've been on line here and watched people lose their tempers because your staff has made mistakes. You can't tell me that you never make mistakes, this has happened to me before at this branch." She then tells us to "Go home and check and bring the video back." Still accusing us of not returning the video. Do I look like I suffer from alzheimer's?
Little One's Dad then stated he wanted to pay for the movie and get it over with, but that when they found the video...he wanted his refund, although he was closing his account. The manager states that she can't do that and that he might as well wait until Aug 2, 2006. Now all through the conversation, the employee is saying that they have checked every place in the store and the MANIFEST says it's not in the store. Yeah, like I believe they check the whole store every day. Yup, and I am selling the Brooklyn Bridge! The manager then explains that Tuesday is INVENTORY DAY. That's when they check every shelf, nook and cranny in the store. Little One's dad still wants to pay for the movie. He gives her the card. She tells us she is risking her job, but that she will charge off the movie and tells us, "Be sure to return the movie WHEN YOU FIND IT." She's still accusing us of keeping the movie!
When we got home that evening, Blockbuster was on the caller ID. I called the store and she gets on the phone, without apologizing for the altercation. I tell her I just got a call from there, she asks for my name, I give it to her and she checks on the computer to see if I owe anything. Now, I worked in customer service in a bank-where people really get stupid and I know that when you have a confrontation with a customer....you never forget their name. She acted as if she didn't know who I was. She plainly states that I don;t have anything out. Doesn't say they found it, doesn't say it was charges off-just that I don't owe anything! I went ahead and reminded her of the incident. Non chalantly, she states that she found it in a bin right behind her with a note she had written herself stating "label missing and they didn't know who the movie belonged to." Then she went on to instruct me on how I should put the tapes or DVD's up high, so that kids won't get to it and I WON'T HAVE THIS PROBLEM AGAIN. That was the extent of it, she gave me a reprimand and never even apologized for accusing us of losing the tape.
Monday, The Little One starts whining that he wants to watch Freaky Friday. We realize that she kept our card. I go to the Blockbuster and explain the situation to the employee. He tells me, "We cut up your card, that's what we do. You can get a new one with photo ID in less then 2 minutes." Well, I don't have my card or photo ID and I drove 25 minutes to get here. The manager stood there and acted as if she had no clue. I had to leave and drive home, to a crying kid! Do you think I am going to report her??????? Definitely. By the way, the location is on Dolson Ave in Middletown, NY. I will keep you posted as to what Blockbuster is going to do about all this drama! I sent them a detailed email on August 2nd (their Blockbuster web site) and I still haven't received a reply....
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