BEING NICE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE – Marilyn Armstrong

Usually, by the time I call customer service, I’m already mad about something. It’s just the way life is in these crazy days of long hold times, people who speak some other language, but whatever it is, it’s definitely not one you speak.

Kaity and camera (and phone too)

Last night I went to look at an order I placed on Amazon. It was for a camera. Birthday present for my granddaughter. Believe it or not, she has finally worn out her camera. I offered to get her a new one last year, but she really loved that Canon and couldn’t believe it could ever wear out.

Well, they do wear out. If you read the fine print, every camera has a “designated number of shutter hits.” Usually, it’s somewhere around 150,000 which sounds like a huge amount, but if you take a lot of pictures, over the course of seven or eight years, you can run up some pretty big numbers. A few weeks ago she admitted the camera was slowing down and not delivering like it used to.

I wasn’t surprised. In the olden days, we’d send the camera into the shop and have it rebuilt, but you don’t do that with electronic cameras. When they die of old age, you replace them. In the time since I got that camera — 2011 I think — the Canon DSLR has undergone considerable changes.

In keeping with my understanding of what she really wants as opposed to what I want for her, I knew she wanted the same camera. New. Faster. But basically, the same otherwise. So that’s what I got her.

From the Canon T3, we have moved up to the Canon T6. It is not one of Canon’s top cameras, but that’s what she wants. She has lenses — one for each birthday.

Kaity looks for something to shoot …

I found a seller on Amazon who had the camera body only, no lens. Just the body, battery, charger, eye-cup, strap with and a full warranty for a good price. I bought it.

And when I went to look at delivery schedules, there was a big “PROBLEM WITH ORDER” showing, but no information about what the problem could possibly be. Since I had already paid for it, it wasn’t money.

There were only two other possibilities. They ran out of the camera and I was supposed to wait for them to restock (no way) — or they realized they needed to raise the price. In fact, they had already charged me $10 more than their list price. I really hate when they do that.

I had a funny feeling they were going to ask me for even more money. I noticed in their new listing, the camera’s price had gone up by more than $50, which made it the same price as every other Canon Rebel T6 camera.

I didn’t have time to wrangle with the seller. Since I hadn’t placed the order directly with Amazon, I understood it was sort of their problem, but also, sort of not.

It was late, maybe two in the morning. I got a customer service woman on chat. I explained this was a gift and I didn’t have time to turn this into an extended issue. I needed to just cancel it, get the money back, and order the camera somewhere else.

I said: “This is a really popular camera and there are tons of them on Amazon and elsewhere. I wasn’t expecting a problem or I’d have ordered sooner.”

Honestly, I forgot to order. I meant to, but I was looking to see where the best deal was and didn’t actually order one until a few days ago. I wasn’t expecting a problem, so I didn’t think it was a problem.

Kaity

I told her I understood it wasn’t entirely in her control since Amazon was not the seller, but I could not wait a week for them to figure out what to do … and surely there was nothing to prevent me from canceling. They obviously hadn’t shipped it.

She assured me I’d she’d make sure it got canceled and I’d get all my money back. Then she sent me a letter saying “thank you for being so nice.”

No one ever says that to me because usually, I’m not all that nice. But Amazon has been good to me, so I try to be nice in return. They always try to work things out for if they can. Not only did she say thank you, she gave me the secret telephone numbers to get hold of Amazon service directly! That’s like the keys to the kingdom. NO ONE gets those numbers.

Canon Rebel EOS T6 DSLR bundle

Plus a $30 credit — for being nice.

Me?

Ultimately, I bought the camera where I usually buy cameras. It cost a little more, but I got the normal zoom, which I knew Kaitlin wanted. It came with a case, a few filters in a nice little case, battery with charger, a good quality SD card, and Corel software.

I spent an extra hundred dollars, but she got a better setup — and I know Adorama will ship it quickly, pack it properly, and provide a real warranty. They have a physical address in New York. I used to shop there years ago when I lived in New York.

Being nice apparently has some good points.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

29 thoughts on “BEING NICE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Amazon is no big deal in Switzerland except for books and often they don’t deliver, but I have my reliable sources for electronics. I never thought that cameras could wear out, just get out of date.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DSLRs wear out because of the mirror’s motion. It used to be when they got old, you sent them to a shop and they were repaired. But the electronic ones, they just get slower and slower and finally, stop working. Plus, they get dirty inside, especially around the moving mirror and since we don’t have people who fix cameras anymore, we just — buy a new one. I miss being able to FIX them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m thrilled it worked out for you and your grand daughter. I’ll bet she’ll be thrilled when she gets it. Congratz. And, what’s wrong with being nice? You obviously were or they wouldn’t have said so. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Can’t blame you for that! Sounds like Amazon works hard for their customers which is a good thing, but then lets face it, it would be the death knell of their company if they weren’t.

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    1. I was really just trying to be reasonable. And also, it was not really Amazon’s fault. They were just the platform. I didn’t buy it from them, so it would not have made any sense to get mad when they didn’t do anything wrong.

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  3. I”d say it’s a win-win situation all around, you have found a human at the other end of the shaggy stick, she was probably so relieved to find someone saying please and may I …and your granddaughter gets the camera she wanted. Happy news on a rainy day.

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    1. Ah, so you have yesterday’s rain. This is the FIRST DAY in a week it has NOT rained. But it will probably rain tomorrow. New storm coming.

      Yes, she really did like it and I hope it serves her as well as the first one did.

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  4. Isn’t it crazy when we are surprised to actually get good service….by someone who really and truly helps us?! Good for you, Marilyn. Nice Marilyn. 🙂

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  5. Glad it worked out, and what a lovely gift you are providing! I try very hard to meet everyone with respect. Not always easy, and I find it improves outcomes and reduces the wear and tear on me.

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    1. Kaity has some actual talent for both art and photography. I wish she’d get her act together, find a good school and turn it into a profession.

      I could almost see her salivating to get out there and shoot! This is the first not-rainy day in a week, so the timing was great. I also need her to test it out and make sure it works properly. It has a very solid warranty, but she needs to work with the camera and make sure it’s what she really wants.

      I hope she loves it. Now she has 4 decent lenses. And a much faster and agiler machine which is half the weight of the old one.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a nice gift, and what a nice grandmother you are to give it! She’ll treasure that camera. I had searched Amazon when I bought my camera, and yes the prices were a little lower, but I was so afraid I’d get one that was defective and then would have the hassle of trying to return it. So, I went to a local camera shop. I think I paid about $50 more than Amazon, but at least I can go back to the shop whenever I have problems.

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      1. I don’t know. There has been a lot of internet weirdness. I’m not sure it’s all WordPress, either. The pounding rain is causing a lot of transformers to malfunction and wiring to fail. Our television is balky and has a lot of problems, required a lot of reboots too. So it might be WP, but it might also be the internet provider each of us has. Some are better than others. Ours is pretty crappy, though they have improved some. Not enough.

        IF you are buying through AMAZON and not one of their sellers, they take very good care of you. But you have to be sure Amazon IS the seller. Adorama is an actual brick and mortar store in New York. I used to trade in my used equipment there when I was Kaity’s age. There are two or three shops like that in Manhattan and all work over the internet now, too. The only camera shop we had was a Ritz and it closed, so it’s online or nothing. But Adorama has always done well by me and they’ve really worked hard at improving their customer service. They put together nice bundles and often throw in a few extras, like a better guarantee, software or other stuff. Where I live, there simply isn’t much local shopping. The nearest real camera store is almost 65 miles away.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. so glad for Kaitlin AND you…. what a great gift this is too!
    And you know, just simply ‘being nice’ should be NORMAL to all of us and sadly it no longer is. I came back from UK and smiled at a random 12 people in the shops and parkings when I did my big shopping…. Guess what: NOT ONE SINGLE SMILE BACK…. they all looked at me as if I had two heads, was dim or had a facial disease. I wanted to jump back in the car and return to my safe, friendly and slow Devon. Being nice HERE usually means you are getting pulled over the table (meant to say something involving an item you use to put two planks together….). I am being nice ‘all the same’.

    Like

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