A Dark and Stormy Customer Service Tale


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It was a dark and stormy night.

I was fast asleep, curled in my blankets, drooling on my pillow and dreaming of sunshine and rainbows.

Suddenly, I am awakened by a loud bell. RING RING RING! And then, pounding on the front door.

What in the world?

I sit up quickly in bed, sleepies in my eyes, hair all a fright, mouth guard still on my teeth as my dog begins to bark viciously.

I open my bedroom door to see my roommate, in her bathrobe, slowly opening the door. Creeeaaakkkk!

As she continues to pull the door, the culprit for this madness is revealed.

A delivery man. Carrying a box of goods I purchased at 8:30am the previous morning on their website.

He smiles and says, “Here’s your package! It’s holiday time.” Then, he hops back in his truck and tears off down the rainy road.

My roommate and I, stunned and sleepy, look at the clock.

1 AM.

I repeat. 1 AM.

My roommate hands me my box and goes to bed. I then wander back in my room, bewildered at what just happened and fall back asleep, dreaming of the email I will soon write to this company.

Later that morning, after some coffee, I write an email to the company that I ordered from. It was my first time with their company and I was curious how they’d reply.

24 hours later, I receive a reply.

A reply stating the shocked agent had to read my email three times to make sure he was reading it correctly. He told me that he confirms their shipping times are 8am to 8pm daily. He also confirms that he told his manager about this experience. And, my initial read of the email said “refunded your payment” but when I read it again, I noticed that it said “half” of my payment. Fine, it wasn’t that expensive. And, maybe my expectations are too high because I’m still left with an appetite for more service resolutions.

What is this company going to do to restore my trust? I understand that their times are 8am to 8pm. I understand that they cannot control the actions of their delivery company. Am I wrong for wanting more of a resolution?

My goal isn’t for free goods (though I wouldn’t say no to that). My goal is to:

1. Regain trust in this company.

This was my first impression of their service and I don’t like it. Their service is really convenient and I’d love to use it but really don’t want to since I have no clue if their delivery company will bring the packages to my house at undogly hours.

2. Understand if they value their employees.

Obviously, the delivery driver had some quota he had to fill. Is this the best bet for their employees? How safe was it for that delivery driver to be out and about on a rainy evening, going to doors with packages? This shows me that they may not be watching their employees actions or they just don’t care about them. If they don’t value their employees, how can they really value their customers?

3. Have them give me a reason to try again.

A 50% refund of my initial order was great but what about trying their service again? How about something like, “We’ll give you $20 off your next order if you give us another go.”

4. Will they take the responsibility for their mistake?

A 1 AM delivery was definitely a mistake by their employee. The agent in the email did a decent job with empathy but what was lacking was the feel they were really taking ownership of this. I know what it’s like to work with third party companies that mess up. But, the customer doesn’t see these third parties. They don’t care. They see YOUR company. You are the one who decided to do business with this third party so you are responsible for their actions.

I wrote them back again and am waiting for a reply. I will keep you updated!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jenny Dempsey
Jenny is Consumer Experience Manager for Apeel Sciences and FruitStand with more than 15 years of customer service experience. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on CustomerServiceLife.com.


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