Don't get me started. *wink*
Some best business practices that work:
- Actions speak louder than words.
- Under promise and over deliver.
- Don't be a jerk. (Ok, maybe I snuck that in…but still, great policy, right?)
- The customer is always right.
Amazon is my go-to site. Customer reviews are invaluable clues to the real performance of products. Plus Amazon has phenomenal product / customer support and they deliver to our door in 2 days (for most items). It's a no brainier! We've made 98% of our online purchases on Amazon for over 15 years.
I wanted a juice extractor to step up my nutrition game. I wanted to consume the whole raw food, not just the juice. The Nutri Bullet (NB) infomercials sold me. "To Amazon for research", I cried. Yup, customer comments supported the product claims. And, though listed by a 3rd party, it was fulfilled by Amazon. Ta-da! We have a winner. I placed my order faster than you can say 'cha-ching'! It arrived in 2 days and I quickly put it to good use.
Fast forward 1 month, I had an fluke issue with the extraction blade. I contacted NB for a replacement. After all, it comes with a 1 year warrantee, right? Wrong!
NB's customer service rep quickly, and sternly (where'd the 'tude come from?), informs me that I 'bought it from an unauthorized seller which voids the warrantee and I should have bought it from NB directly.' (taking this personally, are we?)
After negitiation, and getting management's weigh in, they finally relent to replace the blade, but I 'must pay shipping and handling.' Ok, it's only $3.99 so I agree, just to get the damned blade already!
Now…I've bothered to climb up on my soap box. No sense wasting this vantage point. So, I take it one step further and ask Miss Sternvoice, "How can a consumer possibly know which vendors are, or are not, authorized? I was on Amazon. It was on Amazon. So I bought it."
Her brilliant answer... "You should have known better and bought it from us directly."
I kid you not! With this oh-so-helpful response, I couldn't resist one more reach. "So you won't honor your warrantee on your product, regardless of where I bought it? It's your product!"
I get... "You should have gone to our website and read our warranty policy."
Wow, NB! Way to go. Chastising a customer who's in need of assistance is not one of the rules for success. (See above Don't be a Jerk rule.)
I knew I was fighting a losing battle. I also knew that I'd use every ounce of life out of this thing and, once it wore out, I'd give my money to a different company for a different product, which I'd absolutely purchase from Amazon!
Since then, I contacted Amazon to inform them of this ridiculous issue. In 10 minutes flat, they settled my hash, retained a long-time customer and I happily tucked my soapbox away…well, once I finished this blog post.
They say, buyer beware. Absolutely! But I add, vendor beware. With the social networking and blogging lifestyle, word of mouth goes viral quickly. Consumers are people too! And we won't go away quietly when you misfire!