Tag Archive: bad customer service

Delivering the Goods is Half the Battle

Building a premium brand should be the goal of every business and every person. When most people think of a “premium brand,” they think of a product, service or individual that delivers exceptionally high quality at a good value. All too many people think building a premium brand stops there. But that’s not all there is to it.

To illustrate exactly what I mean, let me use the recent experience a colleague had with his premium brand flat screen LCD TV as an example of how the brand image of even the highest quality product can be damaged by inferior follow-up.

My colleague paid a large sum of money to purchase an LCD TV from one of the most well-known and respected manufacturers in the marketplace at the beginning of this year. He even had several relatives give him gift cards to a leading consumer electronics retail chain for Christmas in order to help defray the cost. The TV worked perfectly for about eight months, until one day it mysteriously went on the fritz. After carefully checking the cable connection, electrical outlet, remote control, etc. for problems and finding none, he called the manufacturer’s help line, as the TV was still under one-year factory warranty.

Following a rather lengthy wait on hold, my colleague finally spoke with a customer service representative, who efficiently if dispassionately ran him through a series of remote diagnostic tests that neither discovered nor solved the root of the problem. After being put on hold for another several minutes, my colleague was informed that because his TV was smaller than 42 inches, he would be ineligible for a home visit from a technician and instead would have to schlep the TV to the nearest approved warranty repair center. This happened to be a mom-and-pop TV repair shop located about 40 minutes from his house. To add insult to injury, mom and pop did not offer weekend or evening hours, meaning he would have to take time off work to both bring the TV in for repairs and then pick it up!

Apparently the TV gods were playing some sort of cosmic joke on my colleague, because after being left unplugged overnight, his TV mysteriously started working again. But the damage to this premium brand had already been done. Not because the TV broke down, which unfortunately can happen at any time with even the best electronic devices. But because once the goods were delivered, the manufacturer essentially wrote him off.

To truly build a premium brand, you need to offer premium follow-up. Customer service does not end after the customer pays the bill! Even if a customer or client has an issue months or years later, you need to offer fast, courteous service and make every effort to resolve the issue at your own inconvenience, not the customer’s. This type of follow-up shows you truly stand by your brand and distinguishes the merely good brands from the great ones.

In addition to offering high-quality goods, premium retail brands like Nordstrom and L.L. Bean further justify the admittedly high prices they charge with extremely generous and convenient return policies. Use them as your guidepost for your customer follow-up policies, not manufacturers of expensive TVs who provide a quality brand experience until something breaks down.

Have you ever experienced poor customer service follow-up that damaged your perception of a brand? Share your story!



An experienced cruise couple (Brenda and Gerald Moran) from Cleveland are/”was” huge fans of Royal Caribbean. For the past few years that went on about two cruises a year and sunk their money into Royal Caribbean stock.

The couple experienced a plethora of problems over the last three years: the toilet overflowed and left an unpleasant odor in the room (according to them the cruise ship refused to assign them another room-though they did clean up the mess), birthday greeting being delivered to the wrong stateroom, they were locked out of their cabin for a few hours. They sent a “lovely” correspondence to the cruise line. Royal Caribbean extended an olive branch and tried to solve the problems and extended discounts and onboard credits.

Royal Caribbean came to the conclusion that they couldn’t satisfy this couple and they were not happy about the couple blogging about their bad experiences and the compensation that they received. So last November, Royal Caribbean notified the couple that they were no longer welcome (and never to come back) on any Royal Caribbean International ship, including the company’s subsidiaries Celebrity and Azamara.

Apparently Royal Caribbean was feed up with the complaining and figured the best way to solve the problem was to throw them off all of their ships forever. Needless to say the couple was shocked and amazed.

Do you think Royal Caribbean made the right decision?


Who can you trust with your money/assets these days? The banks, mortgage companies, company 401K plans have all seem to cause people to loose their life savings. Now check this latest story out.

Ameriprise Financial Inc. settled a civil case with New Hampshire regulators alleging that the company’s financial advisers forged at least 96 customers’ signatures.

Ameriprise agreed to pay $3.84 million in fines, investigation costs, and investor refunds to settle allegations that six financial advisers at the company’s Portsmouth, N.H., office forged clients’ signatures to make it seem that undelivered financial plans had been delivered. Regulators say Ameriprise advisers did this to make their sales numbers look higher.

Not only is this bad customer service it’s just plain unethical!

Do you trust anyone with your money or are you going to just put it under the mattress?


Sprint Nextel Corp.’s stock plunged Friday after the wireless carrier said it will cut 4,000 jobs and close 125 retail locations in response to a steep drop in its customer base.

Sprint shares plummeted nearly 25 percent, prompting analysts to forecast even more cuts in the coming months as the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier struggles to compete with AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.

The layoff of about 6.7 percent of Sprint’s work force and closure of 8 percent of its stores is to be completed in the first half of the year. Sprint said in a news release that the cuts will trim labor costs by $700 million to $800 million a year.

What do you think Sprint Nextel can do to fix their problem?:

A. Better service plans
B. More attractive phones
C. Improve customer service
D. Lower their prices