What ever happened to Customer Service?

30 10 2008

As a PR practitioner, I have to innately consider my customer service skills to my internal and external clients – those that pay me to get them noticed and those that I’m connected to to get my clients noticed.

But what happens when you deal with a company that is supposed to be customer-centric and they completely blow you off? I’m a little peeved at the moment and I figured that I’d implement the “tell 10 people who tell 10 people” effect.

So there are so many things when you are opening a business – of which one of the more important is the financial aspects. So when I opened my business account at US Bank – shout out to Kate and Taylor – they wanted to charge me more than I wanted to pay for business checks. Not that that is a bad thing, I just figured that I could go to one of the check companies that are out there to get them cheaper. That led to the browsing of the various and sundry check options available to me on the myriad of sites that offer the check printing service.

I finally found one that was less expensive and could get them to me in a reasonable (or so I thought) amount of time. So off I went on the task of filling out all the information regarding the account information and picking out the checks. So I got that all done hit submit – where I received notification that my order was being processed and verified and that I could expect (since I paid for the in-plant rush) my checks within the next two weeks. Well, time came and went and I sat here wondering, “where are my checks?”

While I sat here wondering, I picked up the phone and called DESIGNER CHECKS (there it is) to find out why the checks hadn’t shipped. I was told that they sent me a letter stating that they couldn’t verify the account information, but it had been returned to the company. My question to them at that point was why hadn’t they called (as I had to provide a phone number) or emailed (since I seem to be getting those). Absolutely no answer as to why they hadn’t taken alternative steps to reach me regarding the problem. The remedy was that they would waive the in-plant rush fee and process the checks as quickly as possible once I provided the updated information. I went to my branch and they did everything they needed and sent it over to DESIGNER CHECKS so they could verify and process my business checks.

On Oct. 22 I received an email that the processing was completed and the checks were shipped that day – one month after my original order. I eagerly waited for my checks to arrive – as I have some business that requires me to write a check (imagine that – somewhere I can’t use my debit card). When I hadn’t received the checks one week later I phoned DESIGNER CHECKS again.

This time I was told that they sent them to UPS on the 22nd – they can’t help that UPS held on to them for 2 days (!). When I asked to speak with the supervisor, I was told that they sent them from Colorado on the 22nd and they have no idea what happens from there. As I sat there looking at the UPS tracking information that indicated that the billing was received on the 24th but the origin scan was on the 28th in ILLINOIS (??). I asked the supervisor why that would be the case, if the package was sent from COLORADO. He said that DESIGNER CHECKS doesn’t have any control over it once it gets put on the dock for shipment. That statement alone should worry anyone that has done or might in the future do business with them.

At no time was there an apology for the “inconvenience” or the fact that they dropped the ball. At no time was there any responsibility for the fact that my package was somewhere in UPS “limbo” and that it wasn’t shipped when the email was sent originally. No offer to make it right, to refund my shipping costs, or anything…

If you are looking at the external services for your checks – DO NOT use DESIGNER CHECKS. They won’t know where, how or who has your checks at any given time – and that should be a big worry as anyone could be writing your checks.

While I’m only one person – I hope that this will spread. After being in the customer service sector (yes I was the girl on the other side of the phone/counter taking complaints), I think I should know what good customer service is. As a PR practitioner, I know that the customer interface is one of the most important in the marketing scheme of things.  The little bit that it might have taken the people at DESIGNER CHECKS probably would have saved them at least one bad reference.

Marketing Virtuously,

C

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