Sheep Guarding Llama 2

Scott's new blog dedicated to, well, blogging! And all things SGL.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Failure of OfficeMax Customer Service

Original Post: OfficeMax on Sheep Guarding Llama

I got home last night and the cleaning begin in ernest. However, before I could really get down to cleaning I had to call back to OfficeMax because after having opened a customer service case last night and having been told that they would get back to me - they didn’t get back to me. The issue is that we ordered a desk eleven days ago that was to be delivered in one to three business days. We placed the order on Sunday so shipping could happen the very next day. We waited and no desk arrived. We had been hopeful that it would have arrived by the weekend so that we could have had it assembled and put in place before we left on Friday. That had been the plan all along. No luck.

We returned from Frankfort and decided to give them until Tuesday to deliver the desk before calling. So yesterday I called and talked to customer service about the desk. They said that they couldn’t help me (great customer service) but that someone from the warehouse would call me back (I assumed later that evening.) I thought that it was strange both that the customer service team couldn’t answer questions about the status of my order and that they thought that the warehouse would be useful since the one thing that they were able to determine for me was that the desk had not been shipped at all.

So tonight when I got home I decided that I needed to follow up as obviously the unshipped desk did not arrive nor did the warehouse call. Apparently the warehouse has little interest in shipping products or doing good customer service. So I called customer service again and they explained that the warehouse needs at least forty-eight hours before they would call back. The excuse for this turn around time was that the warehouse needed time to check with the shipping partner as to the status of the order. I could see this if, in fact, the warehouse had shipped my desk but in this case they had not. They were simply stalling.

I explained that it was not appropriate for the customer service department to stall on my for forty-eight hours on an item that I was trying to find out why it hadn’t been shipped in seventy-two hours especially when I had given them much longer than that in the first place. Had the customer service representative yesterday decided to actual take care of me they would have immediately cancelled the order and had a new replacement desk shipped immediately since it would be likely to arrive, assuming the warehouse people decide to show up to work at all, around the same time that the warehouse is supposed to return my call to let me know that they don’t intend to ever ship my original desk. The first customer service representative simply took the path of least resistance, acting like she was solving my problem and brushed me off.

Tonight the customer service representative was going to simply let me continue to have nothing done for me explaining that it was the warehouse’s problem and not customer service’s - something that should never, ever be said or implied to a customer. I mentioned that if the desk was ordered today that it would, hopefully, arrive within seventy-two hours but that if we waited for the warehouse to tell us what we already knew - that the desk had not yet been shipped - that it would take at least one day longer for no reason. She agreed and went ahead and cancelled my current order and placed a new order for the desk which should, in theory, arrive within the next three business day.

Given that we know that it takes the warehouse forty-eight hours to respond to a request for information concerning a shipped product it therefore makes sense that the only reasonable way to get a good turnaround time from them is for me to then open a customer service request tomorrow. If I open a case tomorrow then the warehouse should get back to me to let me know whether or not they have bothered to ship this new desk by the exact same time that it should, at the latest, have arrived.

I have often said that the true quality of a company is not seen until you have something go wrong. Every companies makes mistakes and has problems. There is no way around that. Customer service is the place where companies have an opportunity to fix things that are wrong or to make them worse. In the case of OfficeMax, they made it worse. They could have shipped out a replacement desk immediately but instead totally blew me off the first time from customer service, then blew me off via the warehouse and then only did anything to resolve the issue when I proposed the only logical solution. Why didn’t either of the customer service representatives take the initiative to fix the problem rather than just pass it off to the warehouse whom they knew were going to call for several days and knew that they hadn’t shipped the desk at all? And why is the warehouse allowed to sit on a customer service issue for two days when they could tell me instantly that they had missed the order and needed to ship it right away. The entire system is built for the purpose of stalling.

The only thing that I can imagine is that OfficeMax is stalling because they already have my money and just by holding onto my money they get to earn a little bit on it before they actually deliver the product that I paid for. Even now I had to pay for the second desk (which we don’t even know that they are going to ship) up front just for the honor of possibly getting the service that I already paid for two weeks ago. And, at some point, I will get credited for the original desk whose order has been cancelled. So even now I am not getting the same level of service that I should expect should I be a new customer at this point. A new customer would at least not have to have money held for a desk that OfficeMax just decided not to deliver!

Altogether, even though the customer service representatives were “friendly” this has been one of the most disappointing customer service situations that I have ever experienced and has totally turned me off to OfficeMax. I was so happy with the products and the ordering just two weeks ago and I have used them for years but they managed to show to me that all of that good service was just a thin veil over a completely customer unfriendly organization. They proved to me this week that they have absolutely no interest in having me as a customer nor fulfilling their obligations of sending the order that they had happily taken my money for.

The bottom line is that to my face people acted friendly but the actions, which speak louder than the words, were rude and obnoxious. And now I am back to the beginning. Maybe they will ship me a desk. Maybe they won’t. It will be another week before I have any way to know. Even if I open a case to find out if it is shipping tomorrow I should not expect the warehouse to let me know whether or not they are going to ship me the desk until next week.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Berry Company Slamming Customers

I had to get up and deal with a scam this morning. Just the way I wanted to start my day. Dad got a bill from The Berry Company who run the yellow page racket up here. We have been advertising in the yellow pages for the last several years and have decided that it is a totally ineffectual way to drum up new business. After three or four years of ads we have found that we get more and more calls from people looking to get free service from us and absolutely no serious customers who even understand what it is that we do. Almost everyone that calls is just a kid looking to get free advice or to ask us to fix their computer for free since somehow that is our responsibility even though we have no connection to these people at all, live in a different county and they bought their computer from a competitor of both us and our hardware partners. Anyway, I digress. My recollection of my last dealings with the Berry Company was that we had talked and they were going to send us some paperwork to look over so that we could make sure everything was correct and then we could confirm that we wanted to go ahead with another year of advertising. I remember this pretty clearly because we were in the process of trying to change our company name and never talked to them about it because we were going to do that when we confirmed or didn't confirm. Well no confirmation ever came. We assumed that they had forgotten about us or we had waiting too long and the spots had filled up. We really weren't concerned since we had decided not to do the advertising anyway. That was in June of 2005. Then two weeks or so ago Dad gets a bill for our yellow page ad. Great. This is what is called slamming. Remember when telephone companies used to call you and change your telephone service without your permission. Yeah, same thing here. So I called the Berry Company knowing that under no conditions would they be able to produce a signature.

Well, they had no signature and they had no confirmation from us. They had a voice recording of me agreeing to have a confirmation sent out for me to look over but nothing of me agreeing to service. The Berry customer service woman said that contrary to what I was told it wasn't actually a confirmation letter just a letter than was sent out. The confirmation was the voice recording even though I hadn't agreed to service in the recording. They had "records" of the mail being sent out and she said that they rely on the postal service and there is no confirmation system. The whole thing is a scam. She knew full well that there was no mail ever sent out. She had her lines rehearsed. Obviously this is how they do business at the Berry Company. They knew that if they reported us to a credit reporting agency that it would cost us more to clear the record than it would be to just pay them. This is clear cut extortion. Rochester's own version of the mob. Oh wait, we have one of those. Well, maybe they work together.

So we are stuck paying for a full year of yellow page service that does us absolutely zero good. To make matter far worse we changed our company name this year and they didn't change it in the yellow pages so we are now paying for an ad for a company name that we don't use. And to really rub our faces in it they raised our rates by 22% (their punishment for being a fool for another year.) Well, lesson learned here. No more yellow page ads for us. No more phone calls, no more meetings, no more chance to even talk to us. We don't do print advertising anymore, anywhere. Time to leave the dark ages and time to stop advertising to people who are stuck in them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Scott Reads Bible Going Strong

My really cool Bible reading podcast is doing really well. I think that the reading quality is improving and the selection of versions is really cool and the best part is that I have managed to not miss a single day yet. That hasn't been easy. Only made it by less than an hour tonight.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Why I Don't Trust Doctors

I have been too busy to keep up on SGL over the weekend so I am posting this link about medical autrocities in the UK. I am sure that the same things happen here in the US but we weren't the first to get it on the front page of the Times. Maybe this will help more people to realize the reality of what they are doing. But it doesn't seem likely that anyone doesn't understand the medical facts by this point.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Tofurkey Day!

this is an audio post - click to play

Or maybe that should be, Happy Faux Turkey Day! Hmmm...

Either way, I hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving.

Today was the ninth annual Sonic Brass Thanksgiving Dinner at Nick Tahou's in Rochester, New York. I can't believe that we have been going there since 1997! Nate, Joe and I have been there every single year. Simpson was back this year!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Technorati Breaking Down

I was listening to IT Conversations' coverage of the Blog Her conference recently and heard some statements about Technorati's inability to maintain accurate information and that their claims of crawling all updated pages in seven minutes to be wildly exaggerated because people were seeing their own posts not crawled for up to a week if ever. So I decided to look into it. I have been watching my own blogs on Technorati and have begun to notice that even after several days or possibly several weeks of having my one blog tagged as "podcast" and "sheep", Technorati still reported that there were no blogs at all with those tags. I also noticed that many of my blogs report no links from anywhere even though I know that I link to myself, obviously, to and from every blog that I have. Not only that but I have seen my primary blog lose many of its links mysteriously.

In the end, it looks as though the Blog Her conference hit the nail on the head. Technorati is failing to live up to their mission and someone else is likely to step into that space and do a much better job very quickly. We should keep our eyes on Blogdigger, Day Pop, Bloogz or the very obvious Google Blogs. Google was the only one to return rapid results or to catch SGL even though we are a highly read blog.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mistake on Web Site Link

On the last posting I had a mistake and the actual link should have been I went back and I fixed the link and now you have it again here as well. Sorry.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Announcing "Scott Reads Bible" Podcast

this is an audio post - click to play

SGL Media is announcing a new podcast with me, Scott Alan Miller, reading the Bible one chapter at a time at Scott Reads Bible. I think that this is really cool and hope to find a lot of people checking it out.

Image Comment Verification

I have been getting a ton of BLAM comments on this blog and so I have enabled image verification for comments in the hope that this might stop the bots from being able to comment inappropriately on the site. If this doesn't work I am going to have to restrict the comments to registered listeners only.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Broken Cell Calls from Ithaca

this is an audio post - click to play