Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Customer (UN)satisfaction

I love getting those surveys that talk about customer satisfaction and I stay up way too late to make sure and fill them out because I should be sleeping, but someone has to.  It's my duty, isn't it?  Well it should be someones!

My parents have often told me I'd be a great secret shopper or critic- not because I'm mean but because I have a sense of what should be, what works and what doesn't, and in the food arena, I just love good food, but that's another blog entirely that I will never get to write (never say never-another thing my mother says).

The other day, I ordered some last minute outfits for my two youngest girls for their first day of school. I am not an "in-the-store" shopper when it comes to my kids if it can be avoided (for me it's an entirely different story).  If it's a special occasion for my kids, it's a blast.  If it's for massive amounts of school clothes with a markdown, FOR-GET-IT (can I hyphenate that?)!  Especially here in Utah where everyone has multiple children (exaggeration but it feels that way) and people are willing to fight over a Gymboree sale (or any sale and it can get UGLY)...I'd rather shop online (or out of state). My older two were taken care of, but my littles had still not picked out their first day of school outfits and time was running out.  I knew I'd have to pay overnight shipping at this point but I knew I could get it done.  I placed my order (just under the gun) and relaxed as I felt with confidence that my order would arrive the day before school (arrive on Monday, school started Tuesday, placed the order on the previous Friday incidentally at 9:46amMT-important deets for later).

Monday came, as did many, many, many packages, school supplies flew through the air, boxes were everywhere, clothes were tried on, Cayden's shirts (purchased at which I'm not recommending necessarily because some of their shirts are vulgar and I had to get to the actual pages of the shirts I liked before C could even see the them however they are REALLY FUNNY...breathe) were laughed out loud at, not one but two back to school nights were attended but still no package.  My FEDEX man was outraged (well maybe not but having been to my house he knew I was but still loves me) and the day had passed with no first day of school outfits for two cute little girls.  Now, were they any less cute on the first day of school?  Of course not!  But, were they a bit deflated?  Yes.  They handle disappointment well.  I am, after all, their mother.

I called Gymboree the next morning after I took their pictures and send all my babies to High School (had him when I was 12), Jr High, and elementary school.  I was thrilled to get someone on the other end who obviously was (not) well versed in Gymboree's shipping policies; which are as follows:

All orders received prior to 12 p.m. (noon) ET, Monday through Friday, are processed the same day upon credit card validation, and delivered via Fed Ex the following business day before 3:00 p.m. Business days are Monday through Friday, excluding Holidays. Orders placed after 12 p.m. (noon) ET on Fridays will ship out on Monday, pending credit card validation (unless Monday is a Holiday). Next Business Day Delivery is limited in select areas. For details on service locations, visit Next Business Day Delivery is not available for shipments to P.O. Boxes, AK, HI, APO/FPO addresses or U.S. Territories.

The part she kept repeating was, "Orders placed after 12pm (noon) ET on Fridays will ship out on Monday, pending credit card validation (unless Monday is a Holiday)."  She was explaining that they used Friday as a processing day in my case and that they were well within their rights since I placed my order ON A FRIDAY.  I kindly (as kindly as I could muster) asked to speak to a supervisor several times which she denied me the opportunity of doing.  She said their policy stated that orders placed Monday through Thursday before Noon ET would go out that day....but Friday didn't count.  I wondered why.  She placed me on hold several times.  Finally after a 20 minute conversation and holds with this representative and her apparent frustration with me (and mine with her), she came back on the line and said, "we are going to refund your next day shipping as a courtesy because you're so upset."  I said, "wait...I don't want it refunded if I made a mistake, but as far as I can tell, 9:46amMT is 11:46amET, and I got the confirmation email and my card had already been debited, so obviously it wasn't a card issue...but if I'm wrong, I don't want you to refund my shipping.  I only want it refunded if there has been a mistake, which you keep saying there has not been.  You have spent the last 20 minutes telling me there has not been."  

She simply told me the refund would appear on my card within the next 30-60 days (thanks) and I was (emptily) told to have a nice day.  BTW- true to my Pink Teapot self, no yelling or rude behavior took place, I just wanted to understand why my package wasn't shipped and why they refused, absolutely refused to take responsibility or even apologize for the inconvenience.  (Are you guys still with me?)

So, at the risk of making this a REALLY long post (and yes, I know I'm breaking my own rules by using all caps, but rules are made to be broken today).  

I bought a brand new iPhone two months ago and along with it I bought the cutest C.Wonder case for like 35.00 at the Apple store.  I have taken the case off 3 times exactly at the behest of Apple customer service to see if it improved my microphone (peeps keep saying they can't hear me very well).  I went to put it back on today and it is broken in two places.  I called C. Wonder and not only did the rep cut me off (C. Wonder, not Apple), she told me that it wasn't her problem, it was Apple's because that's where I bought it.  She said (in a condescending tone like when you're speaking to a stupid person), "You know how when you buy something and it's defective?  You always take it back to the never contact the manufacturer."  Oh really? Now I know that's true sometimes, but not always and InCase (another brand of cases for iPhones sold at the Apple store) has replaced Cord's cases several times even after like 2 years.  They back up their product- That's a company!  I contact manufacturers all the time.  Samsung, Apple, Michael Kors,Vitamix (I'm looking around but you get the idea).  It's the manufacturer's responsibility to make sure their product isn't defective and I've had the case for less than two months and it's clearly defective!  I was thrilled with the level of devotion from her. 

This all comes back to manners people.  They are not being taught in the home and so why would people use them in their workplace when they are not being used at home.  Why would one respect another in the workplace when they don't do it in the home?  Fundamental principles.  I don't care what kind of family unit you have, these things are not passé, they are not outdated, they are crucial.  We say to our son all the time that we are teaching him what respect is and that he can figure out what respect means to him when he leaves our home, but that when he doesn't have the respect to call us when he's late for curfew causing our worry, there are consequences.  That can change when he may have no one to answer to, although his boss may feel the same way as we do.  It's so basic and yet it takes far more work and follow through than just letting people do whatever they want.  

We are seeing the affects of a generation that has been allowed to do what they want (a general statement, of course there are so many wonderful people out there, but this is becoming or has become an epidemic).


O_o said...

oh.mi.gosh. I was just on this subject earlier: responsibility and accountability. I was using them in the context of values I have, and continue to, instilled in my daughters. So the bit about manners not being taught in the home wouldn't translate to the workplace hit a very emotional part in me, as a consumer and a mother.

In regards to Gymboree, I would file a formal customer service complaint.
And yes, irresponsible companies are always trying to throw money at customers to stop the complaint. In their defense, there aren't too many customers like us who don't feel money fixes all problems: customer service is just as much about how the customer is treated as it is about purchases and solving purchase problems.

Conversely, I would, if you have not already done so, let the companies who do serve you well know. And maybe even throw a little public support with a mention in a tweet?

I am sorry to hear you went through this. But these things need to be brought up, paid attention to, and fixed!

I adore you, Janine!
Wanda Mae

Barbie and Kyle said...

I agree 100% with your assessment that the problem begins in the home with what we teach our children.

I always begin these conversations with service reps by stating that I know that the problem is not their personal fault and that while I am very frustrated I will do my best not to take it out on them as long as they promise to help me solve the problem. It almost always works. Almost.

Love your blog! It's a personal favorite of mine.