Good Customer Service Stories: Battle of the Bags and more...


Times are tough, austere even, and retail spend is down.

When people do spend, especially when they invest in good quality goods, they expect good quality customer service to match. The days of putting up with shoddy workmanship, or prematurely malfunctioning products and simply consigning them to the scrap heap, buying shiny new replacements without skipping a heart beat, are long gone.

Having been raised in an era of appreciating what you have I've never believed in just putting up with faulty goods. Although of late I have dilly dallied a tad on a couple of problematic items. I didn't have receipts you see.

Not that that really matters when it comes to faulty goods, per the National Consumers Association of Ireland. They're entitled to request proof of purchase but it doesn't have to be a shop receipt. I think it was the thought of having to psyche myself up for possible confrontation with regards to what constitutes faulty goods that had me sitting back on my very comfortable laurels.

So, eventually I decided to haul myself off said comfortable 'seat', and start by returning the Ramshackle Rucksack, which was purchased last December as part of a very good Rock N River deal, back to whence it came. 

Sure whats the worse they could say to me - take a hike?

Given that the straps came off the bag on a 50 yard walk from car to school hall it's lucky it never actually took an actual hike! A point I was all too ready to drill home.

Turns out there was no need. There was a stitching fault on these rucksacks you see, resulting in a product recall. Something I wouldn't have known had I not called in, receiving a properly stitched replacement for my troubles.

This buoyed up my confidence no end so next up was the curious case of the Snaggy School Bag.

Last August I invested €40 in a good quality Portland 4 Tec school bag for my Teen Boy's commencement in secondary school. A bag with many pockets, strong straps and a padded back to protect the back of my pride and joy, that would surely last him a few years?

It barely lasted two months before the zipper on the main pocket got all snaggy and the teeth all twisty. Although we fixed the zipper many times it got increasingly more snaggy and twisty, eventually culminating in the zip falling off entirely, rendering the bag completely useless. And all within a mere seven months! Really not acceptable. Especially so when informed that JanSport bags have a thirty year guarantee. Thirty years! You can't beat that.

Unsure of warranty and being unable to find the receipt I was reluctant to bring it back at first. Perhaps there's a fault with these bags too, I thought to myself as I cheekily strode into the shop, trailing Snaggy School Bag behind me. Now, this one I was really winging so I was all sweetness and light! I wouldn't have taken no for an answer and would have, nicely, pushed for a contact email for the manufacturer if necessary. Surprisingly there was no fuss, no protracted arguments just my contact details entered into a book noting me for a replacement bag of equal value, when the new stock came in! A JanSport bag, no less!

I'm on a roll here, I thought. Now to finally bite the bullet and get my totally-out-of-warranty no-chance-of-replacement, non-working camera sorted out. It was barely out of warranty when I first brought it back only to be told it needed a new battery. I didn't buy a new battery. I brooded over it for a few months instead, really not happy with the outcome. So in I went again, nicely asking for them to check it out one more time. The real problem was identified and resolved to my total satisfaction, making me, yet again, a very satisfied customer.

The final good customer service story involves my recent trip to our local library. The staff there always very kindly remind this addled Dizzy Jazzy when I attempt to borrow a book that I've already read! This time I attempted to borrow one I'd read only six weeks ago! Oops. And sparked off a conversation about my favoured genre - psychological thrillers- which resulted with the very kind library assistant writing out some Scandinavian suggestions for me. This was not only good customer service but good public service too!

Times are tough and not all prices are falling. We shouldn't just put up with goods and services that we're not happy with. A good business will keep their customers happy, thereby encouraging them to come back for more when they can afford to do so.

Those companies deserve some appreciation too, so - kudos to the following:

The Scout Shop Ireland (Bray),

Michael Doherty School Supplies (Bray) ,

Fujifilm Photo Shop (Shankill)

Dun laoghaire Rathdown libraries.


Well done, you've made this customer very happy. I'll be back....


xx






12 comments:

  1. Great to read about such good customer service, but it was the library story that really made me smile :) I had no idea they told people if they'd borrowed books before, that's a really useful and important service :) xx

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  2. @Looking for Blue Sky: It is indeed, especially for forgetful people like me! They now also email borowers 3 days before books are due back which I find really invaluable. Irish library staff are under immense pressure these days due to cutbacks so I was happy to include them here :-)

    Thanks for your comment :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  3. Loved the library story too! I wish more people would value customer service a little bit more, it really does make all the difference in whether you go back and recommend them doesn't it? :) xx

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  4. @Bavarianojourn: Glad I included it now, I was definitely impressed. Deserves a mention. I think we should recommend those who are good...and tell about those who aren't ;-)

    Thanks for your comment :-)
    xx Jazzy

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  5. Gosh, wish they could tell me what books I've read at home as I always have that problem! I had a nice experience this week too - had forgotten to retunr something to Next for nearly 4 weeks, and their return time is just 8 days now (rubbish in my opinion!) but the girl at the counter didn't bat an eyelid when I apologised and just said it was fine. Phew! You can't beat good customer service, definitely makes you want to go back.

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  6. It's heartening to hear these stories of good customer service. It's also inspiring me not to settle for less than what I pay for. I have a pair of shoes that I think I'm going to return now because of your post!

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  7. @Steph Curtis: Glad I'm not the only one! That isn't a very long Returns policy by Next. Especially if it's an item that becomes faulty...it has to do so in 8 days?! Perhaps they're just trying to put off people who try to exchange willy nilly? Glad they saw sense and sorted it out, now I'd be inclined to shop there too on hearing your story ;-)

    @Shelly: And that's the moral of this story too. Go for it.... bring them back!

    Thanks for your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  8. That was really nice to hear - that you have such good customer service over your way. I only ever seem to come up against grumpy, unhelpful so and so's most of the time. So pleased for you that you got all that stuff replaced! X.

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  9. @Older Mum: Oh, we don't always have good customer service here believe me! I go very lucky and thought it would be nice to give credit where credit is due. So to speak ;-)


    Thanks for your comment :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  10. You were very fortunate to have such good service and good on you for sharing your experience. Wow, seriously impressed with your library. We have to renew every year and it is a pain in the butt! Speaking of books, I have just read a book by Karin Slaughter called Criminal. It's gripping, Jazzy.. gripping!

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  11. @Bright Side of Life: Ooh, thanks for recommendation. I've read a lot of Karin Slaughter so I better make sure I haven't already read this! Have you read any Brad Metzler? Really good. Based on historic events and made really plausible and page turning :-)

    Thanks for your comment :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  12. Very uplifting to read! Thanks for sharing - I needed it :)

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