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Three Strikes – And You’re Out?



Here’s another customer service rant.  You can choose to not read it if you don’t want. ^^

My wife and I not quite-so-recently ordered a sofa for our new abode on the 17 October.  We’d anticipated that our house would not have been ready till sometime early November so we set the delivery date for 17 November, which should have been more than enough time for them to customise the sofa in the colour that we wanted.

Three days before actual delivery, the furniture retail store Picket & Rail, called us up to apologise that they’ve made the sofa in the wrong colour (blue) and not the maroon that we wanted, and asked for another week before delivery.  We said ok, because our house wasn’t quite so cleaned up as yet.

A day before the second delivery date, Picket & Rail called us up again to inform that “oh dear, we’ve made it in the wrong colour again”.  This time, they’ve made it in red instead.  OK, they’ve gotten closer in the colour palette, but it was nonetheless annoying.  One more week’s delay.

On the third scheduled appointment (1 December), our sofa arrived.  In the wrong colour.  Again. And it was even back to blue. Exasperated, I called the sales agent to express my extreme displeasure over this unpleasant experience.  I am normally forgiving, but three times in a row is unacceptable.

In her defence, she blamed everyone she could think of – the contract manufacturer, the delivery driver, the warehouse grunts.

Excuse me a second.

Do you seriously think a customer cares where the ball was dropped in your organisation?  As far as customers are concerned, the process should be transparent. It doesn’t matter if the delivery driver had a bad day, the warehouse guy is blind, or your salesman’s handwriting is so illegible your order department read it wrong. 

If promises are broken to the customer – in his/her view, the entire organisation is at fault.

PS:  Picket & Rail promised to call me back on Monday to reset the delivery date.  Today’s Tuesday, and they haven’t called.

Do you think they deserve another chance?