Posted by: jimhorrell | November 16, 2009

A customer service story

On Sunday, I purchased a pay per view event that my son and I hoped to watch on the internet.  Before watching the show, I had to register.  I gave my name and address, and my credit card so they could bill me.  I also downloaded and installed some software that they said was necessary to watch the program online.
 
As the time for the event to start approached, my son became very excited.  He had never seen a pay per view show and was looking forward to it.  Well, I do not know what the cause of this situation was, but we were unable to watch the show.  I don’t know if it was something I did, or something was going wrong with the transmission of the show.  Needless to say, we did not get to see the show, but I am quite sure our credit card was charged for it.
 
A day or two later, I sent an e-mail to the customer service people at the company who was promoting the show.  I explained to them that I had ordered the pay per view event on Sunday and for some reason we were unable to watch it.  We were hoping we could get the charge taken off our credit card.  I realized that this attempt for a refund may fall on deaf ears, but figured it was worth a try.
 
Within a few days, we received an e-mail from the customer services department telling us the charges would be credited from our account.  We have not received our credit card statement yet, and of course we will need to check it to be sure the company followed through on what they said they would do for us.
 
Normally we would have been happy that we did not get charged for a service we did not receive.  We would have chalked up this situation to experience, and learned our lesson.  Don’t order a pay per view event online unless you are 100% sure you know you are going to be able to watch it.
 
Fast forward to today, November 4.  This morning I went outside to pick up our newspaper.  As I walked up the sidewalk to the porch, I noticed a brown cardboard box  on top of the newspaper.  I picked up the paper and the box.  We have had some experiences receiving packages that were not addressed to us because there is a church behind us and sometimes the delivery people have a hard time figuring out its address.  I double checked the address on the box.  Strangely, it was addressed to me.  I did not order anything, nor did I expect anything to be delivered.  I brought the box inside and showed it to my wife.  As I brought it to her, I asked if she ordered anything and somehow had it shipped to me.  She said no.
 
We opened the box and much to my surprise, and the elation of our son, was a couple of products from the company we purchased the pay-per-view event from!
We did not order the products.  All we could conclude was that the company felt badly that one of their fans tried to watch a pay-per-view event and was unhappy with the result.
 
My son then became concerned that somehow we stole the products.  We didn’t pay for them, yet we still received them.  Something didn’t add up.  I tried to explain that sometimes companies feel badly when their customers are not satisfied with their products or services, and as a result they may send you free products, or apply a discount to your bill, or find some other way to make their customers a little happier.
The pay-per-view event was Bragging Rights put on by World Wrestling Entertainment.  My son and I watch their shows together on television often.  There are thousands of fans who attend the events.  The smile on my son’s face when he saw the wrestling action figures in the box was priceless!
 
Although some companies treat customers poorly, I feel fortunate that at least in this case, the company we worked with did not.
Thanks, WWE!
 
Shared by:  Jim Horrell

 

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Responses

  1. That’s a great story and a good lesson for your son. He’ll probably remember that and when he’s a business owner, he’ll probably treat his customers in kind.

    It is amazing how some companies really miss the boat on this one. I had an awful experience with Toys R Us, where I had so much run around with customer service that I swore I’d never return. I wrote to their corporate offices and actually got a letter back…explaining how they have policies that supported the way I was treated.

    It was amazing to me that they would actually take the time to write a long letter explaining why I was in fact wrong. Interesting tactic! Considering that I’m a mom of three, it was a costly error on their part.

    Who knows, maybe one day, someone will read the correspondences and I’ll receive a surprise box on my porch!

    • Hi Laura,

      A couple weeks ago I went to a Honda dealership for an oil change on our CRV. Yesterday, my wife noticed what appeared to be an oil stain on our driveway. Not knowing if there was really a leak or not, I took the CRV to the dealership again today, explaining we had an oil change a couple weeks ago and thought we may have a leak.

      The service man told me they would put the CRV up on the lift and let it run for a while and see if they could spot any leaks. After a while, the service man came back and told me that the oil stain was caused by the mechanic not doing a very good job of cleaning up the parts after he did the oil change.

      As a result, the testing for the leak was free of charge and I received a coupon for a free oil change on my next visit.

  2. I love to hear stories like this. It is the way it should be!

    I know it has been said before, but when you treat a client right, it is worth thousands of dollars of marketing money, just in the word of mouth you get. And when you don’t…well, we won’t go there…

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  3. Great stories. Customer service is so important! I don’t think companies appreciate its power. It’s the prime engine behind brand loyalty and the reason so many people, including me, love Hondas!

    • Thank you for sharing your comment with me. If you have any positive customer service stories of your own, I’d be interested in reading them.

      Strangely enough, the reason I initially wrote this story was in response to a person who had shared a story about a bad customer service experience. I wanted to let the person know that although the company may have treated her poorly, not all companies are like that.

      I pride myself on being a positive person and to share good news with people so if something unfortunate happens to me, I generally try not to let it bother me. However, if a some type of problem occurs and it is treated in a positive way, I enjoy writing about it.

  4. That is awesome. I love hearing positive stories. I wish all companies would learn the lesson WWE apparently already has.

    There’s a certain motel chain I’ll not patronize because of their miserable response to a problem I had with a room there once. They’ve lost a customer who makes a fair amount of road trips for a very silly reason that wouldn’t have done any harm at all to them to fix. It’s so frustrating when companies don’t seem to have any sense. But it’s wonderful when they do!

    • Hello Leigh Ann,

      Thank you for paying a visit to my blog and leaving a comment. I hope you stop by and visit it again sometime. I am relatively new to blogging, but I am passionate about sharing encouragement and spreading messages of positivity and hope.

      Someone once said, expect the worst in people and then be pleasantly disappointed. Although it is a battle each day to stay positive, I have learned that ultimately, being happy in life is a choice. If you look for something to complain about you will always find it. However, from personal experience, I know it is much more rewarding to look for the good things in life, and when you find one, share it with others.

      It does not require much effort to encourage someone to be happy. Sometimes, a simple smile, a hug, or even an unexpected thank you will go a long way toward making a difference in the life of another.

      Stay positive and come again!

      Jim

  5. your comments are interesting & reflecting(espes. lattest- about docs in the park);
    please, continue with your cool & cober reflections on reality.
    see your posts in salam bussiness page,
    thanks.

  6. Just wanted to shoot you a quick hi and subscribe to your blog.

  7. Jim –

    I’ve been seeing this a lot on social networking sites like Twitter where a customer may tweet a complaint about a company and then the company immediately rectifies it.

    We’re moving into a world where customer service will be extremely important because the customer has a voice (via the internet) that wasn’t there before.

    I’m glad that everything worked out and your son got some action figures out of the deal! 😉


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