How to do customer service (by way of poor customer service)

So, my Kindle broke. The screen crapped out. I tried all the reset options I could find online, but nothing worked.

Luckily it was still under warranty, so I set out to return it to the store I bought it from – Officeworks Highett. I had the receipt, I had the original packaging, I had all the bits and bobs that came with it.

I was turned away at the door.

After summoning a person from the technology department to the store entrance (who then proceeded to stand there doing nothing), I was then told by another of the greeters that there is nothing they can do. It was damaged. It was my fault. They could send it to Amazon but Amazon would laugh in my face. It was futile. I argued. He argued back. I argued and increased in volume. He argued back and didn’t give a shit. And he had an earring.

Furious, I left the store in a huff.

I shan’t shop at Officeworks again. This was the promise I made myself on the hot walk home.

Once I was in front of my computer I sat down and wrote Amazon an email. I ranted. I raved. I made exceptional points about fairness and the precautions I took with my Kindle. The case I had bought. How careful I had been. That a Kindle is a screen and if the screen isn’t covered in the warranty then what good is the warranty at all? I pressed send. My rage was subsiding. I was disappointed, but I was moving on. Officeworks Highett were rude and dismissive, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they were wrong. Amazon is a massive multinational company. The next customer is but a click away. Why would they even care that one person in Melbourne had a broken Kindle? Officeworks didn’t care about retaining a customer and they’d be lucky to be a tenth of the size of Amazon.

Then my phone rang. It was Amazon. Less than 20 minutes after I had emailed, they called me.

Would you like a replacement Kindle?

Yes, yes I would.

We will courier it to you in a couple of days. 

A couple of days?

Yes, priority UPS. 

… wow. Thank you. Do I have to pay anything?

No, it’s under warranty. 

The guy at Officeworks Highett said it was my fault…

He’s an asshole. Forget that guy. He has an earring and George Michael just died. He’s probably projecting*

Rarely can turning people away at the door and letting them leave angry be considered good customer service.

*She didn’t really say this, but she was very nice.


How to do customer service (by way of poor customer service)
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