OK, stand by for one of my rants again!
Let me just say from the outset that the outcome was ultimately good customer service. So why the following rant?
Well, it was the way the assistant handled the situation I found intriguing.
She Who Must Be Obeyed and I purchased an all singing all dancing MP3 player for Small Person 1 Of 2 for Christmas. Not the Christmas coming in just over 10 short months, but the one of almost 2 months ago which is now fading into our memories.
It wasn’t one of those made by that fruit company – you know the one, if you have one a day, you never need to see a doctor!
No, but this player does have a touch screen and can store and display photos. And can store contacts. It has a calendar; a built in radio; a microphone; plays videos. Oh, and music, which is why we purchased the thing in the first place! In fact it is a very nice piece of equipment; something I wouldn’t mind owning myself.
Small Person 1 Of 2 has enjoyed 7 long weeks use out of this device – well worth every penny wouldn’t you say?
However, she bought it to me at the beginning of the week because she said the screen no longer looked right. A very helpful description of a problem if ever I heard one! At first it looked like the glass screen was cracked, but on closer examination, the display had taken on a look about it akin to someone having stuffed a couple of small leaves under the glass.
Locating the small reset button recessed in the casing, I thought I would see if it would clear itself. Alas no, the tiny leaves would not be shifted.
There was only one thing for it. Return it from whence it came.
So, gathering up all the many documents that came with it; the user guide; the quick user guide; the warranty; all in 5 languages, I marched off to the store for a potential battle.
I joined the queue for the customer service desk, checking for the umpteenth time that I had all the right bits of paper – well just the proof of purchase actually. I stood there patiently trying not to listen to the man in front of me moaning about his faulty purchase. A purchase he made last May, but had subsequently misplaced his receipt!
I only stood there for a couple of minutes before I was ushered away to a till point to be served rather than wait while the receiptless man produced his bank statement as proof that he had purchased something in that store.
A young assistant was asked to serve me – she had nothing else to do, she was sitting on a stool with her feet on the counter! It wasn’t a sight which instilled much confidence of a successful outcome in me. But, we should never judge a book …
“How can I help?”
“I purchased this … blah blah … screen not working … blah blah … and now it has become difficult to use.”
“And what would you like me to do?”
“Replace it if you have one in stock or refund the cost. I don’t mind which.”
“Let me have a look. I don’t know how to use one of these!”
“You don’t need to know how to use it, just let me turn it on for you, and you will see the problem.”
With that, the young girl took hold of the player and started bashing it with her fingers as if banging nails into a piece of wood with her bare hands.
“You see, I don’t know how to use it. I seem to have locked it.”
“As I said, you don’t need to know how to use it; you can see that the screen is no longer useable.”
“Oh look, it has a leaf pattern on it. That’s nice.”
“That’s not meant to be there.”
“Oh! I can’t work it.”
“No? Let me unlock it.”
“Would you like a new one?”
“Yes please, if you have one in stock.”
“I will need authorisation because of the price.”
Reaching over to press her bell for her supervisor, she managed to knock everything off the counter and onto the floor.
“That won’t have helped.” She said.
When the supervisor arrived, she merely asked the assistant why she had rung the bell and immediately authorised the exchange. All the assistant said was that the value of the exchange was over and above her limit.
There was no explanation as to the issue. There was no signature on a form or special code keyed in to the cash till. She simply nodded her approval and walked away.
And I walked out of the store with a brand spanking new MP3 player – happy days! 🙂