Customers are de-lightful

Well kids, I’ve been off the net for a few days, but now I’m back with many a hilarious story to tell! Everything has been coming up Millhouse recently, which is a good way to start off 2008 as far as I’m concerned. Some major changes here at the offices of Geoffrey Today are amongst the chief reasons for my current high spirits, but I’ll get to that in another post. This post, is all about customers and customer service, so if you love tales of stupidity, you’re in the right place. Alrighty, let’s bring on the noise.

So, I’ve just landed a new job. Which is, needless to say, excellent news for yours truly. With this job comes a significant pay hike and benefits. It’s still customer service, but I’m looking at easy street by comparison to futureshop. Speaking of the shop, snuggle up kids, it’s story time!

So, as I’m sure you’re all aware, we offer what we call Product Service Plans, or PSPs for short. basically it’s an extended warranty. In my department we offer them on Video Game systems; PS3s, X-Box, Wii. Personally, I’d not buy any of these systems without the service plan. Especially the 360 and PS3, they’re warranties are all manner of ridiculous. What we offer is so much more cost effective and comprehensive. Of course, that said, there will always be people you just can’t please.

So the other day I got a call from a particularly delightful woman. Seems she bought a 360 two years ago and it has now died on her. Good for her, she made it longer than most people do, the 360 is legendarily finicky. So, she forgot she had a PSP with us and called Microsoft first. They told her they would replace the 360 with a turn around time of 2 weeks. She then called us, we told her we’d repair the 360 within 4 weeks. This extra 2 weeks infuriates this women. The term she threw at me every other sentence was “ethical”. It seems she feels that those extra 14 days are entirely unethical of us. She now feels that the 70 bucks she spent 2 years ago bought her something she feels is worthless.

So, ever reasonable, I tried to explain things to her. Firstly there’s the fact that 2 years ago, when she bought the PSP the 360 only came with a 90 day warranty. Microsoft recently retroactively extended their warranty to 3 years, but before that her xbox was covered by us alone for just nearly 2 years.

Next on our list is the issue of time. I’ll eat both of my shoes if they get her 360 back to her within 2 weeks. We deal with Microsoft for the first year of repairs on any 360 we sell now, 4 weeks is pretty much the bare minimum in turnaround. Then of course there’s the fact that Microsoft only covers manufacturer defect. After 2 years, her 360 has almost certainly failed due to, what Microsoft calls “wear and tear”. This means that when she sends it in, she’s going to get a phonecall from them saying “Oh, we’re sorry. We’re afraid that upon inspection your 360 is not covered under warranty, if you would like us to repair it you will have to pay a charge of $150 dollars.” I’m sure that’s going to strike her as terribly “ethical”.

Thirdly, our PSP covers not only manufacturer defect, but also wear and tear. So what Microsoft will make her pay for, we’ll fix. If we can’t fix it, we’ll replace it with a new unit. Microsoft replaces their warranty claims with “refurbished” 360s. I’m sure they neglected to tell her that. I told her though. Alas, she wouldn’t listen. She just went on and on about how unethical we were and how she wants a refund and so on and so forth.

Yeah, needless to say I wasn’t terribly willing to give this woman 70 bucks for free. She says she’ll never shop at Future Shop again. Right. I wish her good luck in fulfilling all of her home electronics and entertainment needs elsewhere. She also pulled out a favourite of mine “I spend a lot of money at Futureshop!”. Yeah, you and everyone else I talk to lady. Guess what, spending a lot of money does not entitle you to special treatment or put you above the rules. We don’t need your business, you need our products. If you never come back, there will be 20 other people to fill that void and we won’t feel your absence at all.

Next up on my wacky adventure through customer service, Kooky floor sleeping. This morning, some kid passed out in our department. Apparently doped up on something, don’t know what. So when I found him he was curled up all fetal on the floor, snoring away. That was a new one on me. I tried to wake him up, but this kid was totally out of it. So, the manager called an ambulance and the cops and we just hung out watching this kid sleep until they arrived. I can only imagine what this kid’s going to think when he’s got his head together again “I passed out where? Future Shop? Okay, no more crack for me, that’s just too fucked up.”

I’m looking forward to a job where I sit at a desk and talk to customers on the phone about simple matters of new services, upgrades and bill payments. No more searching warehouses, no more lugging around heavy boxes of games and movies, it’s gonna be sweet.

Alas, tomorrow I must break the news of my imminent departure to my boss. I’m not looking forward to that, I really like my boss. Sadly, Future Shop just can’t offer what my new employer is. So, tune in tomorrow kids and I’ll let you know how it went.

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~ by Pagz on January 27, 2008.

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