Yesterday was a great day for scoring customer service victories. And, it showed that company purchase/exchange policies aren’t always as rigid as thought. First, a little background. In the last few weeks, Mrs. Edge and I purchased three items: $250 Best Buy Gift Card, boots on Gilt.com, and an HP tablet case. Concurrently, two other factors came into play with these purchases: American Express’ Sync promotion offered $25 back on a $250 Best Buy purchase, and, Gilt’s boots purchase wasn’t technically eligible for a return we learned. Here we go.
Saturday morning, I wake up to start a return of both the tablet case and boots because neither fit. Called HP to get a Return Merchandise Authorization number from a customer service rep. He searched for a suitable exchange, but no luck. No proble, I thought. But, he didn’t something surprising. Instead of just giving me a credit after I returned the case, he simply credited my PayPal account and said to keep the tablet case and give it away! Score!
Next, I proceed to Gilt.com to start the boots return. Uh oh….the item is unavailable to be returned due to its markdown. Mrs. Edge and I discuss the matter. Why don’t we contact their customer service to see if they’d make an exception for a loyal customer, she suggested. Mrs. Edge mentioned that I was the one who told her that it “never hurts to ask.” Brilliant! Gilt.com has a handy online chat feature, and after explaining my story, within about 5 minutes the rep started the return process. 2 for 2 and it’s only 10am.
It Never Hurts to Call Customer Service
One more call left to do. My Best Buy gift card purchase didn’t trigger the automatic statement credit that American Express promised with its sync promotion, $25 off of $250. No problem, I knew I was registered for the promotion, so this shouldn’t be an issue. I called customer service and the representative knew right away what had to be done to manually credit the account. After a few minutes of waiting, she announced that in about a month I’d receive the statement credit. Bam! That about topped it for me.
The point in all of this is, inevitably, you will run into problems with your purchases. Some are easier to fix than others, especially given the circumstances I mentioned above. The solution is not to get upset but to see if there are alternative remedies. I believe store and company policies are typically guidelines to protect them, but are somewhat flexible. In turn, be flexible yourself and suggest store credit as a remedy, rather than simply a refund. Store credits are great for them because you might even end spending more, and great for you because it’s usually an instant transaction. Refunds can take several billing cycles to process.
Don’t get mad with poor customer service, get even!