Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
Click on the picture to go to my website. These are 1' x 1 1/2" pendants.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Customer Service...the good, the bad, the non-existent

Is it just me?  I am constantly amazed at how crappy customer service is, in general!  My husband and I have said for years that if we treated our customers the way many, many companies do, we would not be in business.  Recently, I have been even more disgusted at the lack of service, and just feel the need to share!  I'm going to start with the worst one, so I can end on a more positive note!

If you read my blog regularly, you probably know that I have had many problems in the last few weeks with my e-mail.  WEEKS!  Almost a month without a solution that I would call satisfactory!  And we PAY for this service!  Well, we used husband cancelled the Tech Help part of our "service" and swears that they will never, ever be allowed to log into my computer again!  They (our provider - I am not ready to publicly out them, as I feel they could make my life worse if they wanted to!) screwed up my brand new computer so bad in February that we had to pay Microsoft $100 to fix it!  Now, they say that they are not equipped to handle the number of recipients that I send to for my newsletters.  This all started when I sent out my last newsletter about signing up for our new program called "Surprise" (I haven't been able to follow up with my customers on that - so go sign up, if you haven't already - lol!).  They say that there were too many recipients, and the server marked it as spam and jammed up our server somehow so that we couldn't send at all.  Bad thing is, we didn't realize it for who knows how long.  The e-mails appeared to be sent.  I won't go in to all of the details, but Tech Help could not figure it out and then lost all of my contacts - which means all of my customer contact information was GONE.  Fortunately they were finally able to retrieve a partial list, but I have spent hours upon hours trying to recreate the list.  In the meantime, we still could not send e-mails.  My husband was on the phone with them one night until 1:00 am and back on again at 6:00 am.   Hours and hours and hours of wasted time.  All for a service that we pay good money for.  Infuriating!  All they want to do is blame someone else.  Fortunately my husband knows a lot about all of this, and he knew they were full of it!  Some of them talked down to him on the phone, treated him like crap, and did not fix the problem.  He finally contacted a VP of the company, who thankfully responded right away and got us to a level 2 rep who actually resides in the U.S. and really knows his stuff.  This was after TWO WEEKS of fighting!!!  It took this guy all of 15 minutes to discover what the problem was, and he diligently worked on it until it was fixed.  There are still some issues that Level 1 Tech Help caused that we are trying to work through.  The good guy (haha) is calling again on Saturday morning to see how things are going and if there are any more issues. It's just unbelievable to me that you have to go through all of this to get to someone who knows something.  I think the Tech Help people that you can reach simply follow a list, run scans, and blame someone else.  I honestly don't think they know much more about computers than I do (which is very scary!). So...Tech Help Customer Service = Non Existent!!

Next up...I have seen many rants online about Rowenta irons - people being disgusted with them spitting and leaking.  I have had 2 Rowentas in my quilting life and both of them have ended up leaking and spitting.  They still work fine as a dry iron, but not for steam.  So, yes...that stinks, but realistically, we are talking about almost 20 years.  Honestly...I don't think that's too bad.  So when I have seen rants about Rowenta irons and people want opinions or suggestions, I have always defended Rowenta, after all...nothing is going to last forever, especially when water is involved.  Some time ago, my 2nd Rowenta started spitting, and I knew that at some point the steam would completely give out, so when I received a catalog from Nancy's Notions in the mail, I checked out the irons and found one that did NOT have auto-shut off - as that's important to me for what I use my iron for.  I ordered it, and put it in my closet to have on hand when mine kicked the bucket.  Well, you know how time flies, right?  A few weeks ago, my iron really was spitting and spewing out some brown stuff (you are welcome for that description) while I was getting ready to steam down all of the wool onto the border of my Sunflower Gatherings quilt.

  I happen to love this quilt, and it was a TON of work, so the last thing I wanted to do was ruin it.  Yep...broke out the new iron.  Guess what?  Upon the very first use, it was spitting water!!!  And it also left a white residue on my fabric, even after I cleaned the face plate.  I couldn't remember when I got the iron, but have since learned it was 3 years ago.  Yikes!  So, I called Rowenta and explained the situation (still not knowing at that time how long it had been sitting in the closet) that I had had it for over a year but had never used it, blah, blah.  You know that they said?  Too bad, so sad!!  Ok, well they didn't say that, but they wouldn't do anything about it.  I was really ticked.  I mean, I know that I've had it for awhile, but it is a brand new iron!  She tried to tell me that I was using the wrong water (I used tap water, which is what they recommend), but regardless...this is the very FIRST USE!  Ugh...super frustrated and definitely lesson learned - always try it before you fling it in the closet for later use!  I pretty much chalked it up to a lesson learned, but vowed to never support Rowenta again. Rowenta Customer Service = Bad.

 I continued to use the new iron, but was just mad every time!  So one day I decided to call Nancy's Notions and explain the situation to them.  This is when I learned that I purchased it 3 years ago.  I told them that I realize I should have tried it, yada yada.  Guess what?  THEY REPLACED IT FOR FREE!  That's right...FOR FREE!  I had to pay shipping to send it back to them, which is fine by me.  I received my new iron just a few short days later.  It doesn't spit, and there is no white residue!  To everyone who is still reading this boring post, take this into consideration and support Nancy's Notions! I repeatedly told the lady how much I appreciated this, and her reply was...we have great customer service; tell your friends!  I'm not sure if I will ever buy a Rowenta again because of the lack of care from them, but I will definitely order from Nancy's.  Nancy's Notions customer service = Awesome!

I can think of several more companies that I could rant about the lack of customer service, but you probably have read enough.  So tell me, how do you feel about customer service, as a whole, in today's world?

And to leave you with something soft and furry...
Ozzie better not complain about the service he receives.  He meows and I jump!


  1. Oh my what a time you have had! I totally agree with the lack of customer service. In fact, it amazes me that some stores even have a "customer service" desk. I mean shouldn't every employee in the store be "customer service"? I do like Nancy's Notions and I am glad to hear they resolved one of your problems. I don't use steam in my iron any more because of all the problems I have had. I just spritz water and hope for the best. Good luck and have a great weekend!

  2. How do these places stay in business?!

  3. Wow, your computer issues would be enough to send many of us over the edge!!
    I agree that customer service is woefully inadequate in so many companies--especially when you are dealing with someone in another country that is disconnected by language and experience barriers.
    Glad to hear of a company that stands behind their products--and I love your closing comment about you and Ozzie. : )

  4. I feel your pain! Customer service seems to be in the hands of people who have no knowledge of the product, don't care, and simply follow a script. My niece Stacy does this kind of script-driven customer service, and everyone in our family now refers to bad customer service as being "stacyed". It's enough to make you scream.

    As far as irons are concerned, my biggest question is why almost every iron now spits and leaks, when my 1974 GE and my mom's mid-1950s GE are still going strong, and have never spit or leaked once! Seems like manufacturers changed the design so that irons now fail quickly and we have to buy new ones over and over again. I received a Panasonic iron as a gift recently, and I hate the darn thing. Takes a full 8 minutes to get up to the right temperature, which isn't hot enough for cotton anyway. The steam turns itself off every time I set the iron upright, and I have to turn it off and on again. And the auto shutoff often turns the iron off before it ever gets up to full heat! And all those things are supposedly what it is supposed to do, per their horrible customer service reps. (Picture me screaming and pulling my hair out...)

  5. Can't say that I have any good or bad customer service stories at the moment but more and more I'm noticing that store clerks don't say thank you. Have a nice day, but not thank you. I try to say both at my office...

  6. I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!!!! I have been around computers since 1966 and am very lucky that I love them and math! BUT, I have learned long ago to do a few things. Number 1. When you call a company and you get someone overseas, request to speak to someone in the USA. This usually gets you to an American. Number 2. When dealing with computers, always ask for a Level 2 technician. The first one is the dummy who has to read from the book and will ALWAYS screw your computer up. Number 3. All companies have the "air-heads" on the front line. They no nothing about their company, nor do they have a clue as to how to provide service. I bet we could have a full day of "experiences".
    Here is an example. New broadband company (we are rural) I found out they were charging us city sales tax. When I first called about it they said that I needed to call the Post Office! WHAT? How stupid. I put in about 20 hours and finally got to the Texas State Comptroller office and they have the company "working" on the over charging of rural customers. It is not a lot of $ but it is the fact that when you add up the number of people who are rural in Texas and using their service it can add up. To top it off, The company bills the customer for the city sales tax, then the company sends the money to the State Comptroller (bulk check), and then a bulk check is sent to the city! The clincher - The city has no idea who sends what money or from what company (who is collecting).

    By the way - I have every iron out there for quilters. I now use the Continental dry iron - Amazon sells them for exactly $23.00. I have already used one up but purchased two last year and they are wonderful for quilters - NO STEAM! NO CUTOFF! Hubby fixed me a connection where a timer will cut it off every 30 minutes! Here is the name for the iron. Continental Electric CP43001 Classic Dry Iron $23.00 from Amazon.
    Again I feel your anger and pain. Until things change in our country service will get worse!

  7. I agree that customer service has generally gone down the tubes, in the U.S. anyway. Thanks for highlighting a business that provides good service. I always want to support the few, the proud, the helpful!

  8. Thank you for sharing your views on customer service! It tends to be a mixed bag with good, bad, and indifferent levels of service. Also, thank you for sharing about Nancy's Notions. Off to check them out. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  9. Oh my goodness, the comment about Ozzie made me laugh out loud! I don't think he's going to complain, at least not until after his nap. I've never ordered from Nancy's but I will go check them out now that you've shared your stories. Fingers crossed your luck changes for the better for a while!

  10. I'm so sorry you are having troubles! Wow! I know it's frustrating! It seems as business owners we are always fighting a tech problem of some sort. It never ends! For me it's been printers this year. Oh and production and then there's emails and credit card fraud as well. LOL. We'll get through it! I had the same issues with my latest Rowenta and finally just use it without steam. I have another iron that I use with steam that doesn't leak and I like the system...I switch the one I plug in to use and it is working out great. I will never be steamed with hot steam when I don't want to again! ( one of the issues with steam irons is that when the steam is off they still steam!). Have a great day!