What is good customer service and what makes you a repeat client or jump ship and try some place new.

Company A, I’ll name because even though I had product issues, the customer service was (and is frequently) outstanding: Amazon.

Company B, I can’t name because I don’t want accused of libel, but let’s just say it’s a major Internet and TV provider.

What prompted my call to Amazon was when I reached the limit of my patience with my 2nd Generation Kindle. The darned thing hadn’t shut off in years, hence there was no plane travel with it which is half the reason to have a Kindle—a large stock of books at my fingertips. I can flip from biography to mystery to whatever I feel like reading from moment to moment. The screen was starting to fade a bit and book downloading was dial-up slow. Yep, it was time for an upgrade.

I researched the available Kindles, briefly considered an iPad instead, and wound up choosing the Kindle Voyage. I returned two of them when I assessed that the screen brightness was no better than the second generation one I traded it in. Kindle three was returned when the screen got horizontal lines across half of it that then turned solid black. The fourth Kindle Voyage has been operating fine for two weeks, so I expect I have a winner. (It lasted for years until I upgraded big time to a Kindle HD Fire—an awesome device.)

Crazy, I hear you call me, why didn’t you switch products? Because this is what I wanted. The Kindles are small, easy to read, use, downloads books in a flash and hey—it shuts off. 

Throughout these multiple returns—all done via chat because I hate talking on the phone—the customer service was impeccable. Granted, each person had to ask: Have you dropped it? No, I have not, I answered truthfully, and on they moved. They issued a new Kindle, delivered in two days, gave me a free return label for the broken ones and that was that.

Easy as can be.

Move to Company B. What a joke. The worst customer service. EVER. After living in the dark ages of TV in the 20th century, I finally convinced Alex to delve into the world of DVR. With the way I rage, get disgusted and stomp out of the room as five to eight minutes of commercials interrupt whatever we are watching, you would have thought he’d have caved a long time ago. Apparently, my Drama Queen antics were not enough.

  • We called. Here’s what a DVR does. Yes, we knew that. That’s why we want one.
  • We called again, confirming we could pick one up at the “store” about five miles away. The disinterested woman helping us gave us a machine that looked like the first VCR ever invented. It was huge. We tried for two days to make it work.
  • Back we went and got a second one. Also huge, we again did our best to make it work. No go.
  • Another phone call—forty-five minute worth of chatting—and we got someone who finally said, well have you considered our XYZ service. No, we haven’t because no one ever mentioned it to us. Gee, that sounds like 21st century technology, yes we’d like to give it a whirl.
  • Off to the store again. We were given a sleek box about the size of an average DVD player. Looking good. She handed us a remote that looked exactly like the others. Hm, I wondered, but didn’t ask. Bad on me because an hour later as I tried to get the TV and remote to work and Alex made yet another phone call (for another half hour) … yes, she gave us the wrong remote. Were we surprised? Not at all.

The technician gave us a work around while Alex demanded they ship us the proper remote.  It took days for a replacement remote to arrive. By the way, it still doesn’t look like the advertised one, so I continue to wonder if we’re missing some functionality we haven’t figured out that we’re missing.

Between the phone calls, trips to the office, and trying to make a faulty system work, the whole thing with Company B took hours and hours and hours of our time. All for us to provide ongoing revenue for this company.

Summing it up…

Amazon, all told, might have taken me one to two hours, including dropping the faulty equipment off at UPS. Amazon makes it easy to do business with them, which is why I continue to spend our money with the behemoth.

Company B makes it very difficult to do business with them. We have no loyalty and if a certain other technology company works out some issues, we would be gone from Company B in a nano-second.

How do you rate companies you spend money with and when do you decide it’s finally time to bail on them?