Thursday, October 1, 2009

Customer service does still exist!

I wrote about an unpleasant experience at a Richmond-based shoe store about 2 weeks ago. It was in this blog post : I did write a letter to the store manager. I tried to stay positive about my experience, and accepted some of the blame for not using the store credit. I mailed the letter last Wednesday. I didn't hear anything over the weekend. I honestly didn't expect to hear anything from them. I just felt better by writing the letter to the store manager.

Tuesday afternoon I got a call from the store. The manager called saying that he had received my letter and that he was sorry to hear about my experience. He also let me know that he was passing it on to an employee who would know where to look and try to figure it out. He asked that I give him a few days for them to do some detective work. The lady (Ronnie) who got assigned my issue was also very nice, she called to get a little bit more info and to try to figure out a few things that she saw on her end. She was very nice and apologized for the cashiers not getting my contact information to pass on to her to help me when I was originally in the store.

In the words of Adrian Monk, "here's what happened". I did have a credit for ~$50. That is what I had originally thought. She was able to look in the system and find the exact transaction that matched up with what I had told her. She then discovered that there is another customer who also lives on the West End of Richmond with the exact same first and last name as me. It appears that that lady also had a credit, except hers was for ~$15. When Ronnie called me she asked me if I had made a purchase on 2 certain dates. I knew for certain I hadn't on one of those dates because it was less than a week before Megan was born. I know I didn't buy any shoes then. The other date was about year ago, late September 2008. She said that the balance of the purchase was paid for with a credit card. I told her that I would have used an American Express, she said this account was to a Visa. I checked my Visa and the last four digits didn't match the number for the transaction. It appears that when "the other Ann" was in the store they couldn't pull her up by her phone number. (They told me that isn't uncommon because people use multiple phone numbers.) They went to pull her up by her name and saw my name with the credit and somehow she got my credit and her credit. Ronnie was very nice and very helpful. She told me I could come back to the store and that she would give me a $50 credit.

I was so excited to find a local company that was willing to go the extra-mile to figure out my problem and to make it right. (Besides Ukrop's :)) I went back there today. I decided not to keep the shoes I bought Megan. When I realized her true size I found some shoes that Natalie hardly wore that fit her. I did exchange Natalie's shoes for a more neutral pair of shoes and I found her a pair of sneakers. We had looked for those last time but they didn't have much in stock. I was able to return the previous shoes, use the $20 off of $100 coupon I forgot last time, and get my $50 credit. I ended up with a good pair of sneakers and a pair of casual shoes that Natalie can play in. I walked out of there completely different than how I felt almost 2 weeks ago and I saved $70!

I plan to write the store manager another letter. This time letting him know about the extremely positive experience I had in his store and about how helpful Ronnie was and how she went above and beyond to figure out something that happened over 3 years ago. I think it is only fair to let them know about positive and negative experiences.

What have I continued to learn from this experience? It never hurts to write a letter and let a company know about a positive or a negative experience. In this case my missing credit resolved, or you may get a coupon for a free product or sample.


Danny Wahlquist said...

Good to hear great customer service still existis. You should mention the store's name and give them some free advertising for their great customer service.

Ann said...

You are right. I should mention the name. It was Saxon Shoes.