Monday, 16 November 2009

Now THAT'S Customer Service

Various companies have (deservedly) taken some flak from me. However I acknowledge, it is easier to vent than to praise. Not every company sucks at meeting my needs.

So this post is in praise of two companies that understand what customer service means.

1) Columbia Sportswear

Wayyy back in 1998, I purchased a Columbia manufactured heavy winter jacket. I paid good money for it and over the years I have been very pleased with its warmth, and overall durability.

A few years ago, the pull-tab for the zipper in the outer shell snapped off. I threaded in a paper clip and made do with that for the next two winters. I did not want to give up that jacket, and was willing to patch it up to keep it! Last winter a co-worker mentioned that Columbia has a lifetime warranty on their products, and I could get that zipper fixed. I did not know that.

So this fall I finally got around to shipping it off to the local Columbia office in Strathroy, Ontario. Today I got it back.

Not only did they put in a whole new zipper, they completely cleaned it too. It honestly looks as if I just purchased it off the rack again. Eleven years later, I feel I have a brand new jacket again.

So kudos to Columbia for making a quality product in the first place; and for having the cojones to stand behind their product and fix whatever breaks on it, quickly efficiently and thoroughly!


2) Riverbed Technology

Riverbed is a technology company that helps organisations get more performance out of their networks. This is a company that is so confident that their product works, that they will give them to you for free, to try for 30 days (or 60 days, extensions are absurdly easy to get). If you like them, you keep them and pay the invoice. If not, pack them up and ship them back. So simple and obvious a concept, but oh so rare to experience.

Another sign that this is a company that understands that not all companies are setup the same way. With every product they ship a multi-bit screwdriver. Which you get to keep even if you don't like the product. They ship all the parts to mount in any rack that you may have, with more screws than are necessary. If you cannot install these products with what is shipped in the box, the problem is with you, not with them.

And yes, their product works as promised by the vendor! (Which happens less often then you'd expect.) And we're keeping them.

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