Wednesday, December 7, 2011

OTR: A Tale of Two Customer Service Departments

Yesterday, I had occasion to communicate with the Customer Service departments of two companies. It was interesting to see how each responded to me.

When I bought my Motorola Atrix, earlier this year, I wanted a holster for the phone. Phones and my pockets never get along and I like having the phones on my belt. The only holster available for the Atrix was the Otterbox Defender. It's a little pricey, but provides outstanding protection to the phone. I have a tendency to drop my phones on concrete and the rubberized case reduces the impact. It does make an otherwise very sleek and thin phone look quick a bit more massive, however. Anyway, I broke the belt clip on the holster. This is common for me, generally when getting into the passenger side of a car. Seems like one phone always finds the door frame and tries to remove itself from my belt -- the clip usually gives way and I'm off to Best Buy looking for a new holster. This one was no different. As I went looking for a replacement, one store suggested that I contact Otterbox because they heard they have very liberal warranty policies.

Yesterday, I sent Otterbox an email. I indicated that the clip had broken and I wanted to know if there was any warranty remedy. I figured that I get a polite form note back at least asking for proof of purchase and a return of the broken holster before they'd decide if they would do anything. At worst, it would be no reply or a simple turn down.

This afternoon, I received two emails from Otterbox. The first was a shipping confirmation for a replacement holster. The second was a nice note from a CSR named John (with his full name, phone number, and email address) letting me know that a replacement was being sent. Wow. No third degree, no proof of purchase, no shipping of the carcass. Awesome.

My other customer service interaction was with Dish Network. I got a call at home last night from a company that the Caller ID said was "Vitelity". For some strange reason, I answered the phone. After the usual robo-call delay, the person on the other end asked for me. She was calling from "Dish Network" about my service. I stopped her and demanded to know how she could be from Dish if the Caller ID said "Vitelity". I told her that I was not going to speak to her and hung up. I sent Dish a fairly sharp email (once I found a way to email them) asking them who Vitelity was and why they were calling me saying they were Dish. A subsequent Google search found some references that seemed to indicate they do telemarketing for Dish and they are calling to try to sell movie packages.

My reply this evening from Dish's employee "Richard" consisted of an "apology" (likely "CSR Apology Form 1") for Dish not meeting my customer service expectations and an invitation to call them and talk to them. Uh huh. Thanks for taking the time to read and comprehend my email.

Guess which company I plan to continue to do business with?

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