Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Customer Service

In a post in November I wrote about how much companies put pressure on us poor, feeble consumers to buy.  But have you noticed that a lot of companies, while quite happy to take our money, aren’t quite as amenable when things go wrong?

In the past I have taken out extended warranties when I have purchased electronic goods – especially for the children – and this has helped to lesson the burden on replacement.  My oldest son cracked the screen of his DS and it was replaced and last year my youngest son’s DS also broke.  As DS’s had been discontinued, we were given a full refund of the purchase and put it towards a DSI. 

At that point I was keen to take out a new protection on the DSI but was horrified that the cost of this was nearly half the cost of the gadget itself. Youngest son was promptly told to look after it because there was no more where that came from.

What is annoying is when things go wrong through no fault of your own (grumpy old woman coming on – things aren't made like they used to be) and you get the reaction that you must have done something wrong.   I really hate it when that happens.

The other week my Kindle screen froze.  This has happened before, so I knew what to do.   Slide across the refresh switch and hold for twenty seconds and the Kindle reboots.  So I did and the screen went completely blank.   I did it again. Nothing.  After several repeated attempts I still had a blank screen.  Although I thought it was fully charged I plugged it into the mains but still nothing.

With a horrible feeling of foreboding I emailed the helpline at Amazon and received an automated email to say that my query would be dealt with within 12 hours.  To be honest I was quite pleased with this. When making enquiries complaints by email before, the timescale has been anything from 3 – 7 days.

Within an hour a response came advising me to call on the freephone number which I promptly did.  A lovely American lady answered (at which point I was rather glad that it was a freephone number). She advised me to slide across the refresh switch and hold it while she took my details. After about 1 minute (not 20 secs) she told me to let go and lo and behold the Kindle rebooted itself.

I felt a bit foolish but the lady was very nice.  So thank you Amazon for proving to me that good customer service is not a thing of the past. 

And if your Kindle freezes and 20 secs doesn’t do the trick.  Try holding the refresh switch down for a lot longer. You never know it might work for you too.

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