Saturday, January 26, 2013

Awarding some kudos

Once in a while, you get some customer service that is just astounding for these times, or perhaps you run into a product that is just something special.  I've been fortunate to do both recently.

First, a big hats off to Springfield Armory.  Very shortly after the current gun grabbing lunacy hit, I decided that perhaps I ought to buy a few more high capacity assault magazine clips for my evil black assault pistols.  I checked my usual suppliers; everyone was already out.  I looked at Springfield's online store and they had them, and at pre-panic prices, which interestingly enough were equal or lower lower than my usual suppliers' prices. So on day 3 after the noise started, I ordered 5 magazines from their on-line store.   They were in my hands in a bit over a week.

A few more days pass, the noise is getting louder, and I decided that more magazine would be in order.  This time I uncorked an order for over a dozen for 4 different pistols.  Their site was really slow, and I just said to myself, "Uh-oh...."  It's also worth telling you that they were quoting 6 week delivery times at this point.

A couple of days later, I get an email from them that their site had drastically malfunctioned and while the orders were in the system, the credit card payments weren't, and that to complete them they would need the middle 8 digits of my credit card emailed to them.

I work in IT, and there is no way I'm buying an email like that.  I checked the email source carefully; nothing appeared wrong.  I sent them an email and told them nicely that there was no way I was doing this by rmsil and I wanted some other method, one involving a live person, to get the information to them.

The next day, I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize and let it go to voice mail as is my habit.  Checking, it was a nice lady from Springfield, calling to complete my order.  I back checked the phone number she gave me; it was their customer service number.  So I called and we got things straightened out.  We also talked just a minute about the situation, and told her thank you for the efforts they were expending, not just for me but for all of us.

A week later, I got my magazines.  A week when they are quoting 6 weeks.  Folks, that's how you make happy customers.

Second, a big hats off to the folks at iRobot and the loyal customer base they have built.  I've had a Roomba for some time now, and have been relatively well pleased with it's performance in a house with 5 cats.  That's a lot of cat hair to deal with, and it does so quite well.

Well, today it started making a loud clicking noise, then stopped and spouted off an error message.  I Googled it up and found it on their web site.  Their suggestions didn't work, so I started going down the result list.  The next one that looked good was one that required some significant dis-assembly of the unit.

Now, as Mountain Man and I have lamented to each other for some time, everything these days is meant to be replaced, not fixed.  If it breaks, oh well, time for a new one.  Not a Roomba.  It's all put together with screws and tabs that can be lifted without breaking.  Rather than chintzy plastic strips for hinges, things have proper hinges (still plastic, but a hinge).  Screws are almost all of the captured variety so they don't get lost.  Having seen the guts of the thing, the materials are top quality, even where they don't show.

With he instructions from the community, I was able to solve my problem (I had to take the drive train apart for a good cleaning and lube).  It took about 15 minutes.  The Roomba is now happily running around the floors of my home, cleaning up cat hair as I type this.

Color me impressed.

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