: views from the Hill

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What customer service should be like ...

Returning from BOS after a mind-stretching AAAS annual meeting, I sorted through a week's worth of mail.

My March 2008 copy of REAL SIMPLE had arrived in the most ghodaufful shape of any destroyed magazine I'd ever received. Nice bright red note on the cover "RECEIVED IN DAMAGED CONDITION"

Aye, but who damaged it?

The cover had a third ripped off down to page ~ 30 (I can't tell because that corner of the page is missing. The next 50% of the magazine has the same corner ripped off (in an almost topographical way) but only about 16% of the page missing.

The rips continue. The magazine's unreadable. The first page that is not badly torn is page 274 and even that page and the pages up to page 292 are scrunched a bit and slightly torn.

I hied off to realsimple.com.

Log in, they said. So, I put the name on the subscription and my address and the e-addr I use for their notices. "Hi!" they said. "You last paid us $$$ on xxx-xx-xxxx. Do you want to renew now?"

Um. No. My subscription runs through July 2010. Heck, the scamp will be back from his Peace Corps gig before my subscription runs out.

I clicked the "report missing or damaged issues" box. RealSimple asked "missing or damaged"? Do you want us to replace the issue or extend your subscription? Is the issue in question the February 2008 or the March 2008 issue. I clicked and clicked and said I wanted a replacement for the March 2008 issue.

Next page ... "We are sorry that you did not receive your March, 2008 issue. We have requested that a replacement issue be mailed to you at ..."

Easy peasy, eh?

THIS is what customer service should be like. ...

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