BY MARY HUNT
January 4, 2016
The way a company deals with its customers after the sale is as important as what happens to get that sale in the first place. I am quick to criticize companies who give poor customer service — and have done so right here. And when a company gives excellent customer service, I believe they should get equal billing.
Last March, I stopped by Babies R Us to purchase a gift card for a very special baby shower. Our second grandson would be due in only a few weeks; I was in a frenzy, packing and preparing for our big move to Colorado. Our son and daughter-in-law had created a registry at Babies R Us. I knew they would appreciate a gift card to get exactly what they needed, when they needed it, and I would appreciate saving a little time by not having to figure out exactly what that might be.
The store manager helped me with this purchase, which I recall specifically in that we had a nice chat about store managing stuff. Drawing from my best advice when purchasing anything that holds a promise, such as a deposit or tickets for something in the future, I paid for the $100 Gift Card with a credit card — on my way to the shower. I quickly signed the card and tucked the cute Baby Boy Gift Card inside.
Several weeks later, Wendy went back to the very same store to purchase baby items. At the check out the clerk regretfully told her that the card had no value on it. The clerk tried several times to input the card for payment, each time showing Wendy how it registered at $0.00. What?! The clerk mentioned that perhaps the value had been stolen, but offered no remedy.
It was weeks later that Wendy received a phone call from Babies R Us. We can only imagine that they connected the event with her registry to get her phone number. They explained that indeed that somehow between the moment that she activated the card and presented it for payment its value had been stolen. We’ve all heard about this happening, right? But this time, I’d already reimbursed her with cash and she no longer had the bad card. Thankfully, she’d given it back to me.
Now you’re probably way ahead of me. Yep, in the move and all, I totally misplaced that bad gift card. And could I find the original receipt? In your dreams. I wish I were more organized. But since I’d paid for it with a credit card, I had the transaction number. I had proof that I’d purchased it. Had I bought it with cash, I would have been out of luck without the original receipt.
With that transaction number, the Gift Card number and PIN (I did find it, whew!), I went online to Babies R Us. Using the live chat feature, I explained my plight. Wow! Such wonderful people work at this company. Within about 20 minutes, that kind chat person had the situation figured out, including how to fix it. In short order ,the company replaced the gift card in its full value with their kindest apologies. Impressive.
Babies R Us is the newest entry in the Everyday Cheapskate Customer Service Hall of Fame. I’m grateful and have a newly warmed place in my heart for the company. And an even warmer place for babies in general and our sweet Sam in particular.
Question: Who would you add to our Customer Service Hall of Fame?
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