OT - Good customer service still exists, with examples
Close
Login to Your Account
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 36
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    900
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    82

    Default OT - Good customer service still exists, with examples

    After noting several recent threads correctly bemoaning that low price generally takes primacy over quality, I thought to relate several recent examples where I received excellent customer service. I am likely not that unusual in that I remember good service and will always defer to such providers for my future business and recommendations to others.

    I was recently given a selection of good quality shop equipment, among them an unmarked roll-around tool chest of above average quality and a Tiger Vac HEPA shop vac.

    The tool chest had four damaged ball bearing slides but I could not find any brand info to order replacement parts. I found a couple metal parts stamped with Waterloo Industries which led me to their website http://www.waterlooindustries.com/ I called their customer service and the tech expertly talked me through how to find the model and it was quickly clear that it was made by Waterloo for Sears. I fully expected to be referred to Sears for parts or warranty service, but the tech simply asked for an address and how many slides I needed so she could get them in that day's shipment. No questions asked even after I made it clear I was not the original owner and that I was prepared to pay for the parts.

    The shop vac was missing one caster and their customer service did not respond to a query. So using the stamping on the other caster I tracked down the mfgr - Steinco in Germany. Google led me to Jilson Group who claims to be the sole US distributor for Steinco http://www.jilson.com/ Fully expecting to be shocked by high prices, I called Jilson. Service tech confirmed that I had figured out the correct Steinco replacement model number and that they stocked them. I asked if I should be seated for the price and he chuckled, saying that if they were to charge me it would be $13.75 (about one third of what I expected, given the quality of the caster) but that they also had a $50 minimum order. Before I could respond, he said he would send one right out, free, characterizing it as a customer sample since they normally only sell in quantities to OEM mfgrs. It was especially gratifying to deal with a customer service tech who was capable of making decisions in addition to being very knowledgeable.

    These are just two of a half dozen or so better than expected encounters recently with customer service and each example reminds me how much I am inclined to do business with them in the future. That's me anyway.....

    Am I in the minority; on personal attitude or positive customer service experience?

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Granville,NY,USA
    Posts
    3,934
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    333
    Likes (Received)
    428

    Default

    Great to hear a couple good news stories. Proves that there are still some real people out there.

    My story is more tech support related.

    My Phase Perfect phase converter had a hickup and would not start. Naturally this was late in the day. I called the 800 number that I found in the book and talked with a gentleman that so expertly talked me through figuring what was going on. He was all about helping me get my unit running and not selling me parts that I may or may not need. With his expert help I fixed my unit for zero dollars.

    The level of customer service exhibited by them was top shelf all the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southeastern US
    Posts
    6,401
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    845
    Likes (Received)
    2806

    Default

    I have an application where I must reduce a 1-1/4" NPT to 1/2" BSPP @ 300 PSI WP working pressure. The first unit, we wound up having to use 4 different fittings stacked together to get from A to B. The second unit, I wanted to reduce that to 1 adapter. I couldn't find anything in any fitting stock listing, so on an off chance, I emailed McMaster-Carr. I got a call back in less than an hour, very nice gentleman very knowledgeable in fittings. He asked if I had a couple of days for him to search around and see if he could find one.
    I got a phone call from him at the end of each of the next 2 days giving me a status update on his search. Unfortunately, he was unable to find anything or be able to provide a one-off. I wound up drawing one up from 316 SS and having it made.

    Second item was also McMaster....I needed a wiper seal. The size I needed wasn't in the catalog, so on the off chance, I called. Very nice lady answered the phone, I explained the situation. She asked for the part number I was looking at, and the exact changes I needed to it, then said she would give me a call in a few minutes. Less than an hour later, she calls and asks me to check the drawing in an email she has sent. I check it, it's exactly what I need. She gives me the newly created McMaster part number and the price. (It's a whopping $1 something higher than the stock part.) Lead time was 2 weeks.

    The third item was from Geeks.com. Unlike most computer houses, every time I've called them, I've got a person in California that actually speaks English as a first language. I ordered some PC memory from them. What arrived was in the PC memory package with the correct part number, but the actual memory modules were for a laptop. I called, explained the situation figuring to get the run-around. The lady apologized for the apparent mistake, transferred me to a tech who verified what I had via numbers on the package and the memory modules, transferred me back to the lady and she immediately said she was sending out another package next day air and pre-paid Fedex packaging to send the incorrect items back in. All I had to do was put the incorrect items in the package and leave it on the front porch. Total time from dialing to complete resolution was less than 15 minutes.
    The cost of the shipping to correct the error was at least 3x what the cost of the memory was. That's taking care of the customer IMHO and I prefer to do business with them over others because of it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    3,058
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    70

    Default

    I had a failure during the warranty period on my Phase Perfect. One of the support people at PP stayed after their closing hours (I didn't get home on the west coast until after they'd closed) on a couple of different days to answer questions as I fitted a replacement board they shipped to me (it proved that it wasn't the problem, I had to ship the whole thing back to them) and tested it out. I had to run up and down stairs between the phone and the PP to do tests, so it wasn't just a quick 5 minute phone call.

    I was favorably impressed by that.

    cheers,
    Michael

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Roseville, CA
    Posts
    3,857
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    26
    Likes (Received)
    18

    Default

    Wow, I can't post anything like those already mentioned, but the customer service at places like Home D has really improved lately. No doubt there have been lots of meetings about making the smaller number of customers feel welcome and they do it. Lots of eye contact and asking if I found what I wanted in addition to thanking me for coming into their store. While I would like to see the economy improve, I hope the customer service attitude stays as good as it is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Memphis Tn
    Posts
    406
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    31

    Default

    Not machine tools, but tools. Dillion Precision Reloading equipment. Fast on the phone, lifetime warrenty, they don't care what happened to it, or even if you are the first or 33rd owner. The dog pissed on it, the wife ran over it with the car, and I left it outside in the rain for a year. So what!! Tell us what parts you need and we will ship them out free of charge, or send it to us and we will rebuild it free.
    Johnl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Madera county california usa
    Posts
    2,468
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    21
    Likes (Received)
    617

    Default Don't toich this

    We have a farm based hardware store that cannot be beat for customer service, I have won a few bets...I bet that the service is good as I will describe and have not lost.

    Their cash register is at the door, you are asked what you need as soon as you walk in, a radio call goes to the department and they come running.
    The bet is we can buy a single 1/4 20 nut, be shown a selection with each one described so we select the correct one, never touch it and not deal with the person running the register.

    Try that at home depot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts
    100
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    A few months ago the vue screen on my, years out of warranty, Cannon A-95 camera went south. A google search said they would fix it. Sure enough they said it was their fault, sent a prepaid box, fixed it and sent it back at no cost, within 2 weeks.

    Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Webster Groves, MO
    Posts
    7,391
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1861
    Likes (Received)
    3431

    Default

    Any of the many times I have called McMaster Carr.

    Bill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Phelps, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,646
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1023
    Likes (Received)
    327

    Default

    I have an older Meyer Hydraulics shop crane. I'm at least the second owner and probably even farther down the chain. Meyer doesn't make this model crane any more and hasn't for years. The ID tag on the crane is long gone, in fact the only link to Meyers is the remnants of a decal that has just enough of Meyers on it to figure out who manufactured the crane.

    I needed to replace the seals on the pump and cylinder recently. I called Meyer described what I had, the parts guy recognized the crane, found a pump rebuild and seal kit and had it UPSed to me in just a few days. The kit price was very reasonable. It was nice to talk with someone who obviously had spent some time with the equipment, was familiar with the full line, not just the new stuff and knew enough to ask the right questions so that we could figure out exactly what I had and what I needed. It was also great to see that the company still maintained spares for a unit that is probably 40+ years old.

    A second example is Amazon.com. I received an order this week in two shipments. One item was missing, I emailed about the missing item and also used their call-back system to talk to someone. With the call back system, you send them an email with your name and phone number and a time you want them to call you. I indicated that I wanted to talk to someone ASAP and got a call back in less than 5 minutes. At about the same time I received an email back which noted that I had requested a call back and that their records showed a call was being made. Fast forward to tonight and I have an email from them that they have shipped the item to me and that I should have it tomorrow - Christmas eve.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    3,726
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2056
    Likes (Received)
    1288

    Default

    I know there are exceptions, but in general you guys in the US are very spoilt with regards to customer service, so appreciate it! I used to spend a lot of time up there and was always, quite literally, shocked at how good it was, not just transparent, but noticeably very good.

    In Australia the customer service varies between zero and disgraceful, you wouldn't believe how bad it is. Indeed I've literally just walked back in from an "interesting experience" when I went out to pick up some paints and supplies. To protect the guilty I won't mention any names, but it's [blank] [blank] Auto Paints, starts with a V, ends with a G, and their name is 2 letters long ... from western Sydney. I could get supplies from a guy literally a mile down the road, but instead drive 1.5 - 2 hrs round trip to this other store. Better check the hours as it's Christmas eve, yep here we are, says "Christmas trading hours ... 24th close at 5 pm" Sweet, I'll be there at 2:45 pm. I get there and the front door is locked with a bunch of guys drinking beer out the side. Myself and another customer are trying to get in, "We're closed!". "What do you mean you're closed, your site said you were open until 5 tonight???", "Mate, I SAID we're CLOSED, now F--K OFF!!". Not just one, but two of the staff yelling at myself and another customer to "F--K OFF!" Fortunately the owner heard the commotion and led us in through the side door, where we were relieved of our money, somewhat begrudgingly, by some other staff who weren't otherwise occupied yelling at customers to F off.

    Customer service? Oh you guys have it soooo good!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    central NC
    Posts
    2,574
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    30
    Likes (Received)
    659

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Wow, I can't post anything like those already mentioned, but the customer service at places like Home D has really improved lately.
    Home Depot has improved quite a bit since Nardelli was fired.

    Mine is a thumbs up for my local Car Quest store. Needed to add freon to the refrig and figured I could use my old auto gauges and hoses. Seems the fittings aren't quite the same. Went to the local Car Quest store and they had the one $1.50 adapter I needed but it was in a kit. Guy broke open the kit, sold me the adapter for $1.50 and said they would order another adapter to replace the one from the kit.

    Steve.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    245
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    49
    Likes (Received)
    35

    Default

    The guys from 80/20 are pretty good. I downloaded the PDF catalog, and get a call from a local distributor a few days later, asking if I needed anything, directions, CAD drawings of parts, etc. Nope, just looking at some prototype stuff for mid-2010...

    I'm in the process of setting up a customer and inventory management system for a client (sells products via retail and wholesale). I'm planning on building the system in FileMaker, since the company is smallish, and the owner's budget is limited.

    I called FileMaker with some questions, and they got back to me the next day. The salesperson couldn't answer one question, so she refered me to one of the software engineers who actually works on the codebase. They guy had everything I needed and more...Not bad service for a customer planning to spend a mere $500 on software licenses.

    Oh, and McMaster-Carr. Yeah, they do well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    592
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    I'm glad but also sad to see that so many appreciate the service McMaster provide. Unfortunately, although my company has had dealings with them for at least 10 years, and they have my credit card details, address etc. on record, I get a polite message:

    "Due to the ever-increasing*complexity of U.S. Export regulations, McMaster-Carr has decided to only accept orders from a few, long-established customers of ours overseas. We cannot accept your order and regret any inconvenience this causes you."

    All of my products are exported to the USA to a company that I am helping to keep in business. I need items from McMaster and must obtain them through less direct pathways. Sigh...........

    I'm pleased to see McMaster give joy to so many, just wish I was one.

    - Mike -

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Coastal Dogpatch, SC, USA
    Posts
    51,374
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2852
    Likes (Received)
    5648

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Moore View Post
    I had a failure during the warranty period on my Phase Perfect.
    While it's good that Phase Perfect reacts to problems well, I am amazed at the number of Phase Perfect failures I've read about on this forum over the years...and now two more in this thread. I wonder why they can't seem to get their act together in that regard ?

    The other curiosity is that it seems like in all these failures, everyone seems so "understanding" about it... like 'oh, these things happen...' whereas I should think on that sort of device there really is no excuse for a failure....how many CNC spindle drives fail within a year for example ?

    As an aside by "shipped the whole thing back to them" do you mean the board or the entire Phase Perfect ?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Posts
    1,772
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    249

    Default

    While it is not machine related the best customer service I have seen in the last while is surprisingly the U.S. Customs and Border protection call center. To make a commercial entry of goods into the U.S. something called an Ace manifest needs to be filed in advance. The web site for filing this form is not straightforward but the 1-800 help line is fantastic. I have used the help line a couple times and the staff are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and even friendly. At one point I needed information that I had to make a phone call to get which meant ending the current call. The agent suggested that it would be easiest for him to call me back in 10 min rather then have to go thought the initial selections on the 1-800 menu.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Running Springs, Ca USA
    Posts
    681
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    13

    Default

    The best customer service I have ever had was from Tormach.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    989
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    111

    Default

    Pollard Brothers Manufacturing Co. (Chicago, IL) has great cusomer service. They make heavy duty metal factory stuff. I purchased a some of their heavy duty work bench legs and other bench related parts via McMaster Carr (another great company). One of the part's holes did not line up quite right. I called Pollard and talked to them for a few minutes about the issue. To make sure we were on the same page, I sent them a photo per their request and immediately they e-mailed back that they were going to send me out the right parts ASAP, whuch they did. A real pleasure to work with.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    3,058
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    70

    Default

    Don, it seems like electronics are a different class of critter, they either work for a long time or fail pretty much out of the box. I used to import some motorcycle electronics and sell them and every now and again you'd get one that went almost immediately. When that happened I shipped a replacement and there were no more problems.

    I suppose that when a company is buying in electronic components to make some new assembly for sale they are "just another customer" like anyone else as far as those components go. Maybe they get lucky, maybe they get the one bad resistor/capacitor out of the batch of 100,000. Maybe they do a pre-shipment 24 hour burn in and things work fine but the defective part had a 26 hour life instead of 23.

    Electronics seem like magic to me -- I can't see them move. From reading here (including some of your posts about trying to get old CNC controls fixed) I might be able to spot a bulging capacitor or a cold solder joint, but looking at a bunch of silicon devices isn't likely to tell me much about which one is about to fail.

    My comment in this thread wasn't about PP standing behind their product as my initial presumption is that any reputable company is going to do that. Rather, the employee went out of their way to accomodate me. They could have said "sorry, you'll have to take a day off of work so you can call us during our business hours" but they didn't do that.

    Yes, I shipped the entire unit back because the board they sent me to try was the only "owner serviceable" item, or at least the only one I was competent to swap out and test. They did give me a fresh warranty period starting at the point of repair.

    Without knowing how many PPs have been shipped and NOT had problems I can't address whether the ones that were reported here are a significant number. Maybe no one but PM posters ever have a PP issue. Our sample and population sizes have not been determined so I don't see how we can draw any valid conclusions.

    cheers,
    Michael

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Coastal Dogpatch, SC, USA
    Posts
    51,374
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2852
    Likes (Received)
    5648

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Moore View Post
    Electronics seem like magic to me -- I can't see them move. From reading here (including some of your posts about trying to get old CNC controls fixed) I might be able to spot a bulging capacitor or a cold solder joint, but looking at a bunch of silicon devices isn't likely to tell me much about which one is about to fail.
    While that is true it is irelevant to my point. I'm concerned with what Phase Perfect sees and tests, not what you see.
    .

    Yes, I shipped the entire unit back because the board they sent me to try was the only "owner serviceable" item, or at least the only one I was competent to swap out and test. They did give me a fresh warranty period starting at the point of repair.
    For my curiosity, what did that shipping cost you ?


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •