Thursday, May 01, 2008

Squeeky wheel gets the grease

So I don't really like complainers, in fact I don't know anyone that really likes complainers. But at the same time, I realize that complaining sometimes has a purpose (this was pointed out to me oh so wonderfully by one House M.D. last night). After having Dr. House teach me the value of complaining, I decided to try it out.

I called up the big N this morning, and I told the guy:
"Here is the deal. I purchased a Nintendo Wii on launch day, I was an early adopter and an avid fan of Nintendo, but this warranty issue with my Wii is not making me very happy. I purchased an Apple Macbook as a launch day item as well. So far I have had not 1, not 2, but 3 'issues' with my Macbook. Of these three issues, only 1 of them was during the 1 year warranty, the other 2 have been out of warranty issues. Both times, Apple has agreed that it was their product/manufacturing/quality control at fault, has stepped up to the plate and has fixed my Macbook free of charge. So even tho I have had numerous issues with my Macbook, I can guarantee that my next computer purchase will be an Apple computer, because they have taken care of and treated me as their customer with respect. On the flipside, I have owned an NES, SNES, N64, Gameboy, Gameboy Advanced, Gameboy DS, Gamecube and a Wii... up to this point I have been a satisfied customer. But my coworker had to send her Wii back to get it repaired because of the SSBB double layer disc issue (it's a common problem with the Wii, google it if you need more info) and now here I am, 3 months out of warranty, and my Wii is dead. I didn't drop it, bang it with a hammer, stick peanutbutter in the drive, it just sat in my cabinet and died and now you are charging me $81.75 to get it fixed. My other alternative is to spend $250 to get a new one. I will spend the $81.75 to fix it, but understand that this will most likely be the last money that Nintendo ever gets from me, there are Microsoft Consoles, Sony Consoles, and plenty of other option via the PC to play games, and if Nintendo isn't willing to treat their customers right then I am not sure I want to remain a loyal customer of Nintendo."

After my diatribe he told me he understood, he felt me pain, etc, and that he would go talk to his supervisor and see what he could do for me.

After sitting on hold for about 5 minutes, he comes back and says "Well I talked to my supervisor, and we do see you have been a loyal customer and blah blah blah, how would you feel if we reduced the charge in half."

My response: "I would be half satisfied" (ht: Mr. Dickman)

He doesn't talk to his supervisor, he doesn't miss a beat, "Well how about if we just waive the charge all together as a one time service to you as a loyal customer." (Which makes me believe this was sort of a car salesman type deal, see if we can sell him on the 1/2, but if not we are willing to go to 0 type deal).

I reply that that would "Reassure me that Nintendo is dedicated to their customers."

A few clicks here, some more wait time there, and presto, my repair is now free of charge.

I am still a little upset that I had to call in and complain to Nintendo to have them fix it for free, in my mind a good company shouldn't have to hear "complaining" before they step up and take care of their customer, but at the same time I do have to tip my hat to Nintendo, and they truly have retained me as a customer. They heard my complaint, they realized I was not satisfied with the service I was receiving, and they took the appropriate steps to rectify the situation, so kudos to them.

In many cases I find myself willing to spend a little extra or accept a slightly inferior product if the company selling the product goes the extra mile and takes care of their customer. A perfect example is my current cell phone provide T-mobile. They are the smallest carrier in the US, they don't have THE BEST coverage (although to be fair, they do have very good and comparable coverage to the other carriers) but their customer service far and away blows their competition out of the water. I was a Verizon customer for over 5 years, but through repeated incidents, long periods of waiting on hold, and running around in circles trying to get this bill straightened out or this service added or that service canceled I finally threw my hands up and switched to T-mobile (who was recommended to me by Joel, because of their customer service). I couldn't be happier and I continue to prostelytize to others about how good they are.

So if you own your own company, or even if you just provide customer service to people for the company you work for, realize that many people value good customer service and it can be the difference between a long time loyal customer and a lost sale.

In this case, Nintendo has retained a long time loyal customer. I am not happy that my Wii is broken, but I am happy that Nintendo is now taking the steps to fix it properly.


.justin said...

while i read your whole post, i only retained the information about how apple rules.

and PC drools.

; )

Socket said...

ditto that