Want to be notified when a new article is posted? Entere your email here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Joys of Customer Service at Dailysteals.com

One of the nice things about having a blog is that it gives me a good place to vent on occasion. Today's been a long day - three classes to teach and met with student for about three hours in addition to that answering questions abut their valuation models. So, I'm basically wasting time before I have to leave and pick up the Unknown daughter from Girl Scouts. So, here's a minor vent.

I recently bought a Nook Color from "Daily Steals" (www.dailysteals.com). The price (only $130) seemed like a deal that was too good to be true.

Being a born skeptic, I often tell people "if it seems like it's too good to be true, it probably is." I should listen to myself more often (and not merely when I'm saying "my preciousssss".)

About two weeks after I bought my Nook, it started malfunctioning - it would unexpectedly turn off, and then wouldn't boot unless the charger cable was connected (I think the "on/off" button might have had a bad connection - once booted, it would stay on, at least for a while). So, I sent them an email, and received an automated response saying
Your email is very important to us. You can be confident that we will adress your questions in a timely manner. A Customer Service Representative will personally respond to you within 1-2 business days. You may also contact our Live Chat during
business hours, Mon-Thu: 9:30-5 ET and Fri: 9-2 ET. We are closed on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.
Two days go by, and no email response. So, I call their customer service number. I got a recording (that sounded suspiciously like Kasey Kasem - maybe he's doing a bit of work on the side), and ended up on hold for a half an hour.

Next, I tried their "live chat feature, and got a customer service person in a chat session. Here it is (I've done very minor editing only, since my typing-fu is not all that great):

Judith: Hi There! Welcome to DailySteals Live Chat. How can I assist you today?

Me: I am following up on an email I sent abut a defective product (two days ago) -- I have pasted the content into the email into the chat window to make your life easier. Here it is:
I ordered a Nook Color (order ID XXX) on 10/16/2011 (and received it on 10/27). It worked fine for the first few weeks, but it now appears to be defective. It will only boot when the charger is plugged in (and not using battery power only). In addition, it sometimes cuts off unexpectedly. The device information on the Nook says that if the Nook is defective and it was NOT purchased from a Barnes and Nobile store, I should contact the retailer from which I purchased it. So, I am contacting you to see what you can do for me.

Judith: Please send us an email to sales@dailysteals.com so we can have someone look into this for you.

(methinks Judith needs to read the message I just sent)

Me: I have already sent an email (as I mentioned in the chat, I sent it two days ago). I am chatting to follow up on that email. Are you saying that I should send another email to verify the first one? After all, It's been several days, and I haven't heard back on that one yet.

Judith: I am unable to assist you with this via live chat and if you have received an email correspondence, you need to respond to the email

(this sounds like a canned response)

Me: I am not responding to an email. I am "talking" to you because I HAVE ALREADY SENT AN EMAIL AND I HAVE NOT RECEIVED A RESPONSE. My problem is that I have sent an email and I have received no response. Is there a real live person I can talk to?

Judith: When did you send your email?

(again, there seems to be a lack of reading comprehension here)

Me: Please read my previous chat - I sent it two days ago.

Judith: You will receive a response very soon

Me: What does that statement mean? Is that a standard response to inquiries, or does it mean that you have checked into my SPECIFIC request and have verified that my problem is being handled?

Judith: It means that based on the date you emailed, you will receive a response from a representative shortly

Me: in other words, the first case.

Me: An additional question - what does "very soon" mean? A day, three days, a week?

Judith: Either today or tomorrow

Me: Good. If I haven't heard from anyone by then, I will assume that customer service is
not a priority (after all, three days is a long time to wait to receive a response for a basic inquiry). At that point I think it would be appropriate to post this whole episode on my blog - I have a bit more than 1,000 subscribers, and I'm always looking for material. That's not intended as a threat, by the way. It's just that I (and most people I know) value customer service highly. So, buying a product at a "great" price is not a deal if there are easily avoidable problems down the line.

Just for the record (in case anyone wants to contact me), the email is XXXX@XXX.com and my cell phone # is XXX-XXX-XXXX

It will be interesting to see how long "today or tomorrow takes." Ah well, at least I know that if it doesn;t work out, I have the satisfaction of knowing that the thousand or so subscribers who have nothing better to do than read this blog (seriously, people, you need to get a life) will know whiat the downside of "deal sites" are.

/vent

Friday, November 25, 2011

Random Thoughts

It's been a busy month or so since FMA, so I've been out of touch blog-wise, So her are a few snippets:
  • We're now in the final throes of the semester (only two weeks left once the students get back from Thanksgiving), and they just had their second exam in my principles class). So, I had about 1000 pages of grading to do (I don't do scan-tron graded exams). But they did extremely well, so I feel good about it. Now all I have left to cover is CAPM and WACC, so I'm right on schedule.

  • I've been experimenting with online web-conferencing software as an enhancement to my classes. We use a really clunky system called Sakai, which has limited web-conferencing capabilities (only 15 or so concurrent users). So I and another faculty who's also a techie have been looking into using a commercial vendor that will allow us to do deliver online instruction (and review sessions) for 50-100 students at a time. I figure that this (along with my pre-recorded videos) could be the backbone for a fairly thorough and well-done online class.
  • The little guy is talking up a storm, and is a riot to be around. He loves to get a running start and then do a running headbutt. Unfortunately, he's at just the right height that he hits his dad in a very sensitive area. But it was pretty funny at Thanksgiving when he caught his uncle unawares. It probably didn't help that I distracted him at just the right moment. when he wasn't. Not nice, I know. But funny
  • Trying to get a paper out this weekend, another one in the following week, and a third one over December break. And then I'll do the usual scramble to get a new piece together for the FMA deadline in January.
Finally, I came across a pretty good quote (by Aristophanes) that will probably make it onto my door: “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.”

Gotta get to bed. Later.