Thursday, April 22, 2010

Customer service can be really fantastic so complain when you don't get you way.

I have three customer service stories I would like to share, and commend the companies for their efforts at rectifying the situation.

A few months ago, I purchased a package of Seventh Generation diapers and found that about 90% of the diapers were cut improperly and barely functional.  We were using them at night some and on trips, etc. Not often, but enough that I felt like I was losing money on that pack.  So I contacted the company via email and complained, while also letting them know that I had previously used their products (a variety of them, not just diapers) with complete satisfaction, which increased my disappointment.  As I was writing it, I recalled that I had also had a few packs of their wipes that dried out almost completely within days of opening them several months before - back when Boogie was a wee little thing - and mentioned it.

I received a response within hours with follow up questions.  One email led to another and before I knew it, I was offered a full reimbursement for the diapers AND the two packs of wipes!  I had figured they would offer coupons or a voucher for a free pack, or even possibly replace the pack itself.  I was shocked that they were so willing to stand by their product that they were going to give me my money back without na reciept, UPC, or even one of the faulty diapers to prove there was a problem.  I was so pleased when the check arrived that I used the enclosed coupon to buy a pack of diapers (when they were on sale of course) to have on hand.  We have used a few and the new design is fantastic.  They are 100% back in my good graces and while buying disposables is rare for us, we are now open to Seventh Generation diapers where I had been paying more for Earth's Best.

Next up is Munchkin.  I bought one of their little insulated bottle totes for carrying Boogie's food around when we are out but recently one of the gell packs that go in the freezer busted open and gell got all over it.  I contacted the company and complained, asking for a replacement.  Again, within hours I had a response from a real person asking me to take a picture of it and they would replace it immediately.  By the end of the week, I had a new gell pack!  They even offered to reimburse me for shipping with an "age and gender appropriate gift" for Jack if I preferred to mail the entire product back for a full replacement.  However, I was able to clean it well and I didn't think it was neccessary.  But knowing that they were interested in doing anything to keep my company loyalty was nice.  I'm not a huge fan of their products, but I have a good reason to choose them over another similar product in the future because I know they stand by their products.

Finally, I have had an issue with Enfamil vitamins.  I have been looking for a suitably priced alternative to Boogie's vitamins, and have even considered not giving them to him at all because in general, I'm not a big fan of vitamins.  However, I suffered from a severe vitamin D deficiency as a teenager that caused me to miss half of my senior year in high school, so I worry a lot about him getting enough vitamin D, especially since sunscreen blocks the natural absorption of this vital nutrient.  So I have been buying them but in the last few months, two bottles have been faulty in their "child proof" caps.  Boogie was able to open them by twisting the bulb, rather than the plastic cap, and dumped them on himself and the carpet within moments when I was only a few feet from him and not paying 100% attention.  I now keep them much farther from his reach (once is a fluke, twice is a problem!).   At least, after playing with the bottle, this is how I assume it happened.

I believe there is a problem with any children's medication that a child can open themselves, especially at less than 1 year old (the first time he was about 7 or 8 months!).  So I contacted them about a week ago and today received two replacement bottles and a prepaid shipping label for returning the faulty bottles.

The moral of the story?  If a product doesn't meet your expectations, complain!  You may not get a refund or replacement, but you will definitely get a good idea of how the company's customer service works and know whether to buy anything from them again in the future.

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