Thursday, June 21, 2007

Customer Service: Raves and Pans

I am going to “out” a couple of companies with which I’ve recently had dealings, and share with you a few notes about how they do business.

We started Father’s Day weekend with a flooding of our home by a Maytag washing machine that lost its mind and forgot to turn off the water after filling the drum. The result was two-inches of water in our kitchen, and extensive water damage to all of the carpeting in the front half of the house.

Basically, all of the carpeting except for the bedrooms was ruined, plus the cabinetry in the kitchen was damaged. The kitchen island must be replaced, along with all of the kickboards and baseboards. All of the baseboards in the front of the house will be either replaced or repainted.

We’re shopping for a new washing machine.
It won’t be a Maytag.

Praises to the Claims Team at Nationwide Insurance, which carries our home owner’s coverage. The adjuster called me within minutes of notifying the company, and the water removal team was at hour home within four hours of the call.
That's pretty cracker-jack service.
I'm impressed.

David Baker at SouthPro Restoration Services brought Roberto and Julio, armed with a suction machine to remove the water, and a half dozen blowers and de-humidifiers. They drilled holes in the ruined kick boards of the cabinets to allow the air to circulate, and efficiently removed the ruined carpeting and soaked padding.
They moved the furniture, too.
The whole job took about 4-hours, but when they left, the water was gone, the slab was drying, and we had the market cornered on white-noise generation. Our den now sounds like the inside of a wind tunnel, but it’s dry. This weekend the contractors come out to begin the process of replacing what was ruined.

By Wednesday, my Bride’s nerves were shot, however.
Living in a wind tunnel is great if you’re a crash test dummy or the latest Boeing aircraft scale model. Not too swift for people and small animals, so we’ve been cloistered in the back of the house.
(I know, I know, there’s people in worse conditions in New Orleans even as I write this, and I shouldn’t whine. I’m not whining. That’s not the point.)
She was stressed, and so she booked a massage at Massage Envy.

Last Fall, I bought her a year’s worth of massages for our anniversary.
Once a month, she could go in and be pampered in ways Calgon never dreamed of taking someone away.
She loved the gift.

Cashing in has been somewhat counter-productive.
Going for a massage should be a treat, not an ordeal that induces more stress.
Someone should mention this to Massage Envy.

Each time she’s called for an appointment, they’ve told her she has fewer sessions than were purchased. We’re tired of arguing with Massage Envy over what was bought vs what they show remains to be used.
And they’re a little snippy about it.
Not good customer service.

Yesterday, she called to book a session for 1pm.
Shortly after that, the insurance adjuster showed up at the house.
Sorry, but getting the repairs on the house moving along trumps getting an oily rubdown.
She called to cancel, and Massage Envy wanted to charge her for the session anyway.

I recognize such rules are in place to discourage people from booking sessions and then dropping them for a nail appointment somewhere else. This was different. The folks at the local parlour were not understanding that the INSURANCE ADJUSTER was sitting in front of the house to survey the damage to our FLOODED HOME, and insisted on charging her for a missed session that she’d booked only an hour earlier.

That must be a good racket.
1.) Get people to sign up for your service.
2.) Charge them for the service anyway when life’s little calamities intervene.

I wonder if this is a strategy to sell more massages?
There is a philosophy that presumes people buy when they reach a threshold of pain.
In a warped world, the practice of inducing more stress would then be followed by increased bookings of stress-relieving sessions at Massage Envy.

Not on my watch.
Not with my Bride.
Not again at Massage Envy.
They just rubbed me the wrong way.


DrewW said...

Just heard a wicked story about Maytag's warranty service on a consumer talkshow. Suffice to say, Maytag has probably lost a customer.

Speaking of customer service, or lack there of, I hired a company to install a radiant barrier in my attic. The installers didn't show, and the managers haven't called me back, despite my repeated requests and their customer service followups. They say they can charge me if I cancel within 48-hours. I wonder what they'd do if they show and I'm not there? Is turn-about fair play?
I won't mention company names, but right now I think they can kiss my EAS.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your trouble but your being a little unfair with all the above criticizms. No company was out to make your day terrible. I think you like to read what you write or hear yourself talk.

Hope you can see the better side of life in the future.

Brent Clanton said...

No, no one was trying make life hard, but no one was trying to solve the problem, either.
You miss the point.
The criticisms are valid (by the way, watch your spelling!)
As for the better side, please note the follow up report on 6/23.