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Monday, May 12, 2008

It's not about customer service

It seems like customer service is a lost art for most businesses these days. If you order your meal to-go and they give it to you on a tray, it can seem like they are ticked off at you when you remind them that you ordered it to go. Some businesses excel at taking care of their customers, most of them seem to not care if you ever come back.

A few weeks ago, my son broke his glasses and I took them in to get fixed. This company was referred to our eye Dr. It was a reasonable price (cheaper than buying a new pair) and they had a guarantee (see the red box below).

The repair was good and my son was able to wear his glasses again. I thought the only time I would mention this again would be when I heard about someone who needed their glasses fixed and I would be able to recommend this place.

Unfortunately, my son had an accident and the repair broke. "No problem" I figured, since it was under warranty and I could just get it fixed again.

I dropped by after work, but the guy at the counter said he could cover it under warranty, but without my receipt, he wouldn't be able to honor the warranty. He said they were not computerized and couldn't look up my information. I dug around at home and found it and brought it with the next day.

The next day, I stopped by again expecting to get the glasses repaired under warranty (as promised in writing on the receipt and verbally the prior day). Michael (different guy from the day before) said they wouldn't cover under warranty because "titanium flex-frames are excluded". I asked him where it said that on the receipt, he couldn't say, but just kept repeating "not warranty".

So now my son has an appointment at the eye Dr to get his annual checkup and will get a new pair of glasses. Paying for the new pair of glasses is not a huge burden for me, but what about the people in this kind of situation that cannot afford them. How many people or kids are walking around without their glasses (and struggling to see the board in school as a result) because of this kind of breach of contract?

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