The Best and the Worst of Customer Service

Sometimes I think Poppet has grabbed hold of the “no” wagon simply by listening to the reactions I get from customer service centres these days!

I had 2 city councillors contact me about my experience last week with Guelph Public Transit, including telling me they had forwarded my post on to the city transit manager.  I even had a reporter from the Guelph Mercury contact me.  But did I hear back at all from Guelph Public Transit?  Nope!

Then, the other day, we bit the bullet and bought aPlaytex Diaper Genie Elite.  We usually use cloth diapers on Poppet, but when we travel lots we pop her in disposables for the sake of ease.  Since we do not use them regularly, they may sit in the garbage can a while before it is full enough to fill.  What a stench!  Decided it was worth investing in a Diaper Genie to control the odor.   Headed to the Toys ‘R Us Express in Guelph located on the lower level of Stone Road Mall.   The 2 ladies that served us were great!  They interacted wonderfully with Poppet and rang us through speedily.

The model we bought didn’t work for us, as since it did not individually contain each diaper, each time we would open the lid we still had strong odor.  We went to return it to the Guelph Toys ‘r Us Express the next day.  My husband took time on his way to work to pop in to the store.  The manager on duty refused to return the purchase.  ”We don’t take those types of product back because we are not allowed to touch them as they come in contact with bodily fluids.”

It is a completely understandable policy.  If we had known about it, it would have influenced our decision to buy that model.  The problem is, “We were never told that,” my husband replies.  ”They should have told you when you bought it,” she states.  ”They didn’t,” he returns.  ”I’ll be talking to my staff about that, but we can’t touch it”.

We offer to throw it in the dumpster ourselves if they will show us where it is.  They refuse, saying items like that cannot go in their dumpster.  We offer to take it home and throw it out there, we just need our money back.  They again refuse.  I call later to clarify with the manager.

“How is it our fault that your staff did not tell us that the item was non-refundable?”

“I understand, but we can’t touch it.  I’ll be talking to my staff.”

“There were 2 ladies serving us, and neither one of them mentioned that we could not return it.”

“That’s what your husband said, and I’ll be talking with them, but there is nothing I can do”

“So, we are out of pocket $62 for a product we can’t use, because your staff did not tell us we couldn’t return it, and I don’t have the money to go buy another model?”

At this point she actually offers to contact her district manager.  This morning I get a call stating that he wants us to call Playtex and see what they will do.  And you know what?  Playtex offered to send me $40 in coupons for a problem that wasn’t their’s to solve in the first place.  WONDERFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE!

I call the Toys ‘r Us Express back and ask if they will at least cover the difference with a gift card.  Another call to the district manager and he agrees.  If it were not for Playtex stepping up to the plate, this District Manager was completely willing to let this customer eat the full cost for a mistake made by his store, rather than eat the smaller price of his wholesale cost for the item I purchased.  Shame.

Later today I had a STELLAR example of customer service!  I had opened the lid to my printer to install a new cartridge.  When I did, the copy lid flew open and snapped the hinge.  I called Lexmark, completely thinking they would let me know how much it would cost me to have it fixed.  Do you know what they did?  THEY SAID, “WE’LL SEND YOU OUT A REPLACEMENT PRINTER IMMEDIATELY!”  Amazing!  It’s wonderful to know that in this crazy world, where the customer is very rarely right any more, that when I had a part in causing damage to a product a company was willing to send me a whole new unit at their own cost!  And it isn’t the first time I’ve experienced such service with them.  If they keep this up, they have just gained a loyal customer for life!

Warmest regards,




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