Out Of Service

Some places are better than others with customer service. It seems in this day and age that you have fundamentally three levels of service.

  1. Overly friendly, generally great service.
  2. Meh-I'm-just-making-a-buck-for-a-living service
  3. Dreadful, awful never-shopping-here-again service.
Today I had the misfortune of a number three experience. It was the local Office Depot, where I had placed an order for bookmarks, a placard and some color copies. The service was bad when I placed the order - the clerk had to ask me twice for the flash drive with the files on it because he never saved them to the computer's hard drive. 

This was followed up the next day by a phone call saying he needed one of the files on the flash drive and could I email it to him?

But he left no email address on the voice mail, of course.

I emailed the file back and yesterday later I got an email telling me my order was done. So today I went to pick it up. 

And...they couldn't find the order.

It seems that clerk Jarrett had put 2/3 of the order somewhere and despite being an area the size of my living room, none of the three clerks could find it. Meanwhile, they took turns punting my problem between themselves while one or the other:

  1. Helped another customer
  2. Called Jarrett (No answer)
  3. Looked in the same places the clerk before them had just looked
Of course when I was eight miles away, I checked my phone and there was a message that they had found my order and I could turn around and come get it if I wanted. 

Um, no.

It was up there as one of the more disorganized operations I've worked with. I've worked with them in the past, because they're one of the few print services that do things that I need for my book promotion. They're much cheaper than buying those kinds of things on the web via Vista Print or other such places. 

The downside to this is you get what you pay for. 

Another example of crappy service was the other night when we took my mom out to a favorite old steak place of ours in St, Paul, Mancini's Char House. We used to always love going there with mom and it's been eight years since we went, so we thought we'd try it.

When I checked with one of the hosts, he was short with me and pointed me in the direction of another. She was rude also and told me to go wait in the lounge and they'd call our name because they were "backed up."

In the lounge the waiter (a young kid) didn't offer to clean off our table and was short with us too. 

The waitress was a bit better, but the mood had been set. We probably won't go back. When you spend the kind of money we spent to eat, you expect a level of service more like #1. 

My wife and I get that #1 service every Saturday when we go to coffee at the Steaming Cup. Friendly clerks, friendly waitstaff and people who seem to enjoy their jobs.

In this day and age, with so many businesses competing for consumer dollars, customer service is critical. People need to be aware of that. I am quick to write a good review, but will do the same for crappy service. I think it's only fair that businesses know how they're doing.

Blogging off...


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