A local company was recommended to me by a key client of theirs.
For privacy's sake, I'll say they make "widgets" and call them "Widget World."
I needed a custom widget and they said "no problem!"
Their quote seemed reasonable. They didn't tell me that they don't actually make the widget I needed; it was farmed out. The sub misunderstood the quote she got from Widget World and instead of making the wood widget I ordered, she made an aluminum one.
When Widget World told the sub we needed wood, the sub said there was no way to make one for the price I was quoted -- it's twice as much.
Widget World told me what happened and said it was their fault so they'd pay the difference, but they'd have to use a new sub, because they were no longer dealing with the first one.
The second sub made the wooden widget, but it was twice as big as the specs.
Widget World didn't check the new second widget when it came in and just delivered to us. They leaned it up against my front door and scratched the door in the process.
I called to tell them the problem, and they were upset and defensive. Why? Because they have no idea what customer service is.
They asked if I would accept the widget, even though it was twice the size we had ordered.
I said no, and they said they'd "think" about how to solve the problem.
I offered to pay the difference between the cost of wood and aluminum because I didn't want them to feel stuck.
They appreciated that, but said they now couldn't figure out how to tell the second sub they had to re-do the widget.
Apparently, taking responsibility for not having checked the specs before and after the job is not something they necessarily do.
At least not in this case.
Also, Widget World is part of a national chain, which kept billing me for the item even though I had never received what I ordered.
Eventually, I asked Widget World for my deposit back and offered them the widgets back (both incorrectly made ones).
Also, I had given them one of my own wooden widgets as a sample, and when I asked for it back so I could use it they returned it. Also by leaving it leaning up against my office door. This one didn't scratch the door -- but the sample widget was damaged.
Were they apologetic?
Did they offer to make it right?
Were they embarrassed that a key businessperson in the community recommended them and that they had fouled up over and over again?
Anyway, I found another widget maker and the order was made without a problem.
That's not the punchline, though. This is:
Earlier this week, Widget World called me. Did I still have the wooden widget that was the wrong size? They wanted to use it as a sample for another customer.
I gave it back to them. They need all the help they can get.
Labels: bad customer service, customer service, David Weiman, marketing jewelry