Recently I've had 2 exceptional experiences with customer service. One good, one bad. The first was with Amazon.com. For Christmas, I ordered Scott a tripod for our digital SLR camera. He used the tripod a bit (maybe 3-6 times/month) and never did anything with it that would damage the integrity of the tripod. Then last week, one of the leg locks just broke. No real reason for it, it just malfunctioned and we couldn't get it to function again. So I emailed Amazon explaining the situation and how although it had been longer than their 30 day return policy, I didn't feel it was our "fault" and there was something wrong with the product. They agreed with me (!!) and sent me a label to mail back the broken tripod, and the next day we received a brand new replacement tripod. Easy peasy. I am a satisfied customer, happy with my experience, and with a working product. Great!
Then, today, we tried to return a baby heart listening device thing that we got from Burlington Coat Factory. We had the receipt with us, and had bought the thing with a credit card. Since the purchase, though, we've replaced the credit card with a new one because our old number had been on a list of numbers that were stolen. We didn't feel safe with that, so we replaced the card. Logical, right? Well, apparently Burlington doesn't think so. In order to return the item, you must have the exact card you used to purchase it. Nevermind that you're standing there with two other cards that go to the same account - that doesn't matter. What matters is that the numbers match (mind you, those numbers could have been fraudulently used, had we kept them, but who cares?). So, after explaining all of this to the customer service representative, she says her only option is to give us a Burlington gift card, which she says is "the same as cash". Sure, in Burlington it is, but if I want to use it at, say, Giant, I'm screwed. I say as much. She doesn't care - rules are rules. So I ask to speak to the manager. Who also doesn't care and agrees - who cares if the customer is satisfied or not? Rules are rules. If I want, I can come back Monday through Friday between 10 and 5 to have them call the corporate office. Which would be fine, except, you know, I have a job and so does Scott. So, we take the gift card, feel totally screwed and our requests ignored, and feel like "customer service" is a joke. It's really "corporate service" where they happen to have to interact with customers. I'm currently trying to sell the gift card and plan to never shop at Burlington again. Not that we ever really did - it was on a whim that that we went there in the first place. But still, I don't want to deal with a company who cares so little for their customers' needs. I'm ordering everything from Amazon from now on.