Getting the customer service we all deserve
“For a change, here’s a story about good customer service,” said a reader about a branded suitcase manufacturer that went above and beyond his expectations.
“This might be a change of pace for you,” said another reader about a great experience he had with a manufacturer of faucets and shower equipment.
Wait a minute. I’m seeing a pattern here. Am I a Negative Nellie who shares stories only about corporate incompetence, negligence and malfeasance?
The answer is no, and today I’m sharing some happy stories that readers sent me — including how a Rogers technician knocked the socks off retired teacher Wendy by replacing her broken TV.
Ralph Levenstein: “My wife bought a Tommy Hilfiger suitcase at least a year ago from Sears Canada on points. It turned out to be a dud. So, I decided to write to Hilfiger, saying we don’t have a receipt and there is no place to return the bag, but it’s terrible and they can do better.
“They sent a replacement, despite all the above return issues. I definitely will remain a customer of their men’s clothes and maybe other things.”
Bruce Richards: “In 2010, we renovated a bathroom and installed Grohe faucets and shower equipment. Last November, the sink faucet sprung a leak. After I provided the receipt, Grohe said it was likely a cartridge problem and a new one was on its way — no charge.
“My neighbour (a former plumber) and I could not install the replacement cartridge. I contacted Grohe again and their immediate response was to send an upgraded model — still no charge. We installed it within a week and we are back to normal.
“Sometimes, companies actually do try to make things right without putting customers through the hoops, even eight years after the initial purchase. So here’s a shout-out to Grohe.”
Jeff Green: “My Google Pixel phone, already vintage from 2016, threw in the towel. A call to Google support directed me to their service provider, uBreakiFix. I had never heard of this company before, but UBIF is a franchise business that is forming alliances with Canadian carriers to be an official repair depot for all major brands.
“My local UBIF location said the main circuit board needed to be replaced, but all repairs would be covered by a Google extended warranty. Then, the story took a turn for the worse.
“A combination of someone dropping the ball and a replacement part that wasn’t up to the task led to a second repair. I called the head office in sunny Orlando, Fla., to ensure I wouldn’t be back for further repairs.
“I spoke to an executive who took the matter very seriously, didn’t make excuses, took ownership of the problems and promised to have all issues resolved. He offered me a replacement phone to close the file and ensure my satisfaction.
“I had not expected such support. Like everyone else, I’ve grown accustomed to companies doing nothing or appearing to do something, but in reality only making matters worse. Impressive, to say the least, and a great way to start 2019.”
Wendy: “I am a 75-year-old woman who wants to share a story about the kind of service — beyond belief — that Rogers gave me at Christmas. I called because my TV wasn’t working and I thought it was their problem.
“The female technician got my TV working again, but said I’d have to leave it on all the time. If I turned it off, it wouldn’t come back.
“A few days later, the technician called to see if I was home and came to my door with two men and a huge box containing a new Toshiba flat screen TV with the biggest screen I’ve ever had (38 inches). They also gave me a $200 Rogers gift card and a $150 Visa gift card for groceries.
“In addition, she saw I was a hockey fan and gifted me with a Toronto Maple Leafs pillow to place behind my back when I watch TV, a warm and cosy Maple Leafs blanket and a signed Nazem Kadri jersey. I also have a special card signed by everyone on the Rogers team.”
Credit goes to Julia Lucas, a Rogers technician for 14 years, who was moved by Wendy’s story of being alone during the holidays. Her daughter lives in Arizona and her son, who bought the 19-inch TV with the unfixable on-off switch, died five years ago.
“My heart just went out to her,” Lucas said. Using an internal business network, she raised more than $800 from colleagues — more than needed for the TV — and threw in other gifts.
“It’s very typical of Julia to go above and beyond for our customers,” said her manager, Gaetano Consagra.
A retired teacher, Wendy still works two days a week at the Indigo book store, where she’s been in children’s books for 20 years, at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
“Wendy is an Indigo treasure,” said CEO Heather Reisman. “She’s an expert’s expert in children’s books and has an untiring commitment to inspiring every child who crosses her path to fall in love with books.”
Now it’s your turn, dear readers — send me your stories of customer service that surpasses your expectations and I’ll share more of them in an upcoming column.
Ellen Roseman is a columnist based in Toronto covering consumer affairs. Reach her on email: .