Posts Tagged ‘ customer service ’

BBB Complaint Filing about UPS Service

UPS: We ♥ Logistics*  [*It's just that sometimes they're not very good at it.]

Over the past week’s time, I’ve had three delivery failures from UPS, each mis-handled and reported differently. Last week, a package was reported as delivered when it actually wasn’t. UPS refused to address the issue for me when I called because it was a package from Amazon. Amazon graciously resent the products at no additional cost, then days later the original (purportedly already delivered) UPS package mysteriously arrived. It was dropped on my doorstep with no attempt to communicate with me, even though I had a clear notice on the door for the UPS carrier to ring the bell and talk with me.

Days later, another package doesn’t get delivered. It’s reported in UPS’ tracking system as not delivered due to “Emergency conditions beyond UPS’ control.” UPS followed up on my rants on Twitter, telling me that, in fact, that status was used because they didn’t have a status to properly represent the actual situation—that they just couldn’t get the delivery done in time that day.

Today: another failed delivery. UPS’ tracking system reports that “the customer was not available on the 1st attempt.” That’s a lie. Someone was home all day. Nobody rang the bell, no notice was left, and this particular package does not require a signature anyway. 

I want UPS to fix the rampant delivery problems they appear to be having in my neighborhood this holiday season. I want the dispatch office and drivers to be held responsible for failed deliveries—not Amazon. I want UPS to stop fabricating false excuses for why they’re not delivering packages on time. “Couldn’t deliver on time” is bad, but it’s better than the fabricated statuses they’ve been reporting.

Feedback for

I thought I should share with you why I just canceled my membership. I’ve been using since 2002–long before social networking, as it were, really took off. Between now and then, many other online services have launched that offer similar or better services. Most of these, like Plaxo and LinkedIn, facilitate networking without requiring paid membership to access key features, and they do it without the indiscriminate splattering of offensive advertising throughout their site.

Today, a page I visited in launched a window that impersonated a system message, prompting me to install “security” software. I couldn’t close the window without being redirected to the advertiser’s own site, and they implemented this in a way that made navigating back to nearly impossible. If you’re going to treat your members with this kind of disregard, I’m not interested. Thanks for helping me get in touch with some of my old friends over the years; now it’s time for me to leave.

Comment Card at Sheraton Stamford

Overall, what did you like best about your stay with us?

There is coffee in the room and the tub is clean (which was not true last time)

How could we improve your overall stay?

I’m a Gold member of [the Starwood Preferred Guest program]. Treat me like one. Let me know what benefits I’m getting. Apologize if (like tonight) you can’t put me in a preferred room.

Did our employees take care of you in a friendly, efficient and responsive manner?

No. Since there’s no ice bucket in the room, I called for one. It took 30 minutes to get here. Every time I’m here there are problems. Every time.

Please let us know the names of any employees with whom you had a particularly memorable interaction.

Are you a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest program?

Yes. But sometimes I have to ask, “what’s the point?” I have to say that the practical application of preferred benefits is, at best, inconsistent.

Date of stay: 3/5/08

Room number: 4062

Additional feedback written on back of comment card:

  • Your maid [awakened] me by knocking, even with my lock in the “privacy” position. Later, she walked in on me while I was getting ready, without knocking.
  • The hook on the back of the bathroom door is broken.
  • You’ve charged me a room service fee [for service] I did not [request or receive].

CompUSA Closes. Is Anyone Really Surprised?

After months of liquidation, CompUSA’s operations will cease this Friday. Analysts are debating the cause of the company’s demise, but there’s really no mystery here. CompUSA failed for two main reasons:

(1) Their customer service sucked. I can’t tell you how many times I wrote to or spoke with CompUSA’s unapologetic management about the poor customer service in their stores. Staff were often unavailable, uninformed, and unhelpful. Advertised specials were often unavailable. Clerks were clearly more interested in selling computers than helping customers with the bulk of the store’s merchandise.

(2) They lost their focus by trying to sell home video electronics. Most CompUSA stores reconfigured their space to sell TVs, DVD players, DVRs, and other home electronics. Put aside the question of why they believed they could attract TV-buying consumers. Or maybe you shouldn’t. In fact, because they couldn’t move this merchandise, most of their home video inventory was woefully outdated.

An E-mail Reply to a Westin Hotel Manager

I recently stayed at a Westin Hotel and encountered numerous problems in my room. After reporting the issues to the front desk, I was comped with a generous number of Starwood points, and received a personal e-mail message from the hotel’s front office manager. This was my reply.

Thank you. I truly appreciate you doing right by your customers, and I will accept your offer to try [your] Westin again. But frankly, it’s far more important that you correct the problems that the issues I encountered indicate. The multiple problems and inconsistencies in the bed linens and their application suggest a failure in housekeeping staff training and supervision. The disconnected phone suggests a problem with your maintenance staff. And my having to get dressed and visit the restaurant to get sugar for my morning coffee in the room was likely the result of a careless refresh of supplies.

I feel like the Westin brand has become very inconsistent over the past few years, and it’s very disappointing to me. Starwood hotels—in particular Westin hotels and above—are my preferred destination for business and personal travel. As I said before, I certainly appreciate the point comp, but I’m more interested in helping to ensure that Westin hotels continue to offer the quality experience that you and I should both expect.


Feedback for Condé Nast Publications

I notice that my renewal rate for Architectural Digest is nearly 50% higher than your current rate for new and gift subscriptions. If that’s how you reward existing subscribers, you can assume I will not be continuing my subscription to your publication.

Follow-up: I was contacted by Condé Nast to tell me that, as a subscriber, I was eligible to receive any promotional rate for Architectural Digest currently available – including the significantly-less new-subscriber rate. So why did I have to make a fuss to learn that? Had I just blindly returned my renewal card without doing a little research and calling them to the carpet, I’d have paid half again what I should have. Doesn’t that seem a little sleazy?

Solicited Feedback for Best Buy

I went to my local Tenleytown Best Buy in Washington, D.C. for one thing yesterday: a Vista-compatible digital audio sound card. After selecting a Sound Blaster card, I went to the counter in the computers section to find out if the card I’d chosen would work with Vista.

The first person I asked directed me to another person named Chris, who was currently helping a customer with a seemingly complex and extensive transaction. I waited for ten minutes without even an acknowledgment from Chris that I was waiting.

Another associate was focused on helping a business customer. Even though I was clearly waiting without assistance yet and he was also waiting for access to the same computer that Chris was currently using, he made no attempt whatsoever to help me.

Disgusted, I walked away and looked for a computer with Internet access, hoping I could just find out for myself if Creative had released Vista drivers for this sound card. No luck – all of the computers I tried were locked down and could not access the Internet.

Next I went back out onto the floor, looking for someone else working in the computer section who might be able to help me out. When I found someone, I explained my situation. He suggested I check at the counter in the…; I cut him off, since I’d already tried that approach. I volunteered that I was perfectly willing to find the answer myself if he could point me toward a computer with Internet access, so he whisked me away toward a PC where he quickly found that the proxy prevented him from accessing the outside world. Interestingly, it was as if this was the first time he’d ever faced this realization.

He and I then went back to the counter in the computers section, where Chris was now nowhere to be found, and nobody was around to help us. At this point, the guy helping me tells me that he can’t provide any further assistance. Can’t! When I ask to see a department manager, he doesn’t flinch or give his conclusion of failure a second thought; he just gets on the phone and calls for “any available manager for customer assistance.”

Five more minutes pass; no available manager shows. I leave, box in hand, chip on shoulder, concluding that it would be easier to just buy the item, check for drivers when I get home, and then return the item if the necessary drivers are unavailable.

My Best Buy experience ended at a register where the POS signature unit had been broken off the counter and sat loosely atop its base. The device rocked as I attempted to provide my signature, but it didn’t really matter, because (of course) it wasn’t properly calibrated.

The only redeeming point of my entire experience was that – despite my obvious chip – the cashier pleasantly reminded me (for the first time in as many years as I’ve shopped at Best Buy) to keep my receipt available for the attendant at the door.

So here is my parting thought: At 3 in the afternoon on any given weekday, shopping at Best Buy shouldn’t suck so much.

A letter to D-Link

To Whom It May Concern:

$25 worth of hardware. Seriously?

Please find enclosed one (1) mounting kit, previously missing from my shipment to you when I exchanged my “defective” D-Link 8-Port gigabit desktop switch (DGS-1008D) under RMA number CS-135234. Per your cross-shipment agreement—which stated that I would be billed “standard replacement pricing” for missing parts—my credit card was charged $25 for the missing mounting kit. Now that I have found the mounting kit, I am returning it, too, hoping that you will refund the difference to my card.

Unfortunately, my product exchange experience with this network switch has pushed me away from D-Link completely, and I am now strategically replacing my home network switches with those from another leading brand. Let me outline the facts that led to this:

  • In the early part of 2006, I purchased three new network D-Link Gigabit switches, upgrading all of the fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) switches on my home network.
  • In May 2006, I called D-Link technical support to explain a problem that I was experiencing with the new D-Link switch to which my network laser printer was attached. Specifically, whenever the printer awakened from power-saving mode, the D-Link Gigabit switch would restart itself, dropping the network link to all of the connected computers and running through its startup diagnostic cycle. Your technical support desk was unable to help me—they had no record of such a problem with the switch and questioned whether there was anything wrong with the switch itself. Nonetheless, I was given the option to exchange the unit through your Return Merchandize Authorization process, so I did. With no other option at my disposal, I agreed to accept a $199.99 charge if I did not return the original product within 15 days of your sending its replacement. It’s worth noting that the product retailed for about $100.
  • With a reminder message from D-Link, I installed the new unit that had arrived and returned my original device. Unfortunately, I failed to notice the small heat-sealed plastic bag with what you refer to as the mounting kit. To clarify, the mounting kit in question consists of two screws and two plastic wall anchors. In a few days I was notified that I was being charged $25 for the missing mounting kit. Twenty-five dollars! That’s really your “standard replacement pricing” for two screws and two plastic wall anchors?!? It’s worth noting that the cost of these components at my local hardware store is under $1.50, including tax. I checked.
  • The new unit suffered the same problem as the original. Each time my printer spun up from sleeping, the switch would reset. Ultimately, I decided to start replacing my D-Link switches with another brand. These work fine.

The epilogue to my story takes place two months ago, when I stumbled upon the D-Link Gigabit switch in question on Reading the numerous customer reviews, I found that the problem I had experienced with the switch is quite common. Numerous customers report that the D-Link 1008D switch was extremely sensitive to power surges and habitually resets itself when printers or other devices draw extra amps at startup. How odd that D-Link’s own technical support folks didn’t know this.


Former D-Link customer

cc: The World According to Richard (my blog)

It is now February 2007, and I have not yet received any feedback from this letter. No correspondence and – though not surprising – no reimbursement. Maybe I should have insured the envelope for $25.

D-Link DGS-1008D 8-Port Desktop Gigabit Switch

I suffered from the same problem with this switch that others here have reported [periodic resets]. I returned it to D-Link for a replacement, because they had no record of any customers having such a problem and no idea what could cause it. When the replacement device arrived, I experienced the same problem–whenever I sent something to my network printer, the switch would reset, dropping all connections. I believe I’ve isolated this as a power spike issue. Each time I experienced this problem, it’s because my laser printer is coming out of sleep mode. Note that my switch is NOT plugged into the same power strip as my printer. In fact, I have my switch plugged into a surge/UPS block. One other point worth noting that I think speaks poorly of D-Link. Though they sent me the replacement product, I was charged twenty-five dollars when I hadn’t included the original “mounting kit” in the return package. The mounting kit consists of two screws and two plastic wall anchors. TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS! Unbelievable.

A message to Home Depot

The shelves are a mess

The aisles are a mess

From the day it opened, I’ve been disappointed in the Washington, D.C. Home Depot. The problem is, it hasn’t improved at all. At all times when I shop there, the parking lot is cluttered (not littered…cluttered) with trash; aisles are often blocked with baskets of random crap; shelves look like they haven’t been reorganized in months; store personnel are generally unable to provide ANY assistance; and check-out clerks make it painfully obvious that they’d rather be home drinking. Can you blame them?

I’ve posted some pictures I took the last time I visited the lighting section of my neighborhood Home Depot. You (and the rest of the world) can view these pictures on my blog. Welcome to Home Depot. It’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

I don’t want a phone call, I don’t want a reply message. I want someone to do something about this shameful store. Fire people if you have to–you clearly need to make significant changes. In the meantime, I’ll be driving to Maryland from now on to shop at Lowe’s.

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