Thursday, November 29, 2007

Renewed Faith

Is it just me or does it seem as though customer service has really hit the shitter these days? I mean, where are the smiles that used to be on the faces of store owners and their clerks? The ones that sincerely said, "Thank you so much for shopping here and supporting me and mine." Hell, what happened to them actually saying that? My first job in customer service was some 20+ years ago when I worked behind the register at our local Burger King. The owner demanded we treat the customers as they were...the signers of our paychecks. Later on I worked the customer service desk at Ames. We were told the same thing. The customer is always right (No, I don't necessarily agree with that given the fact that I once had to take back a pair of tighty white-ies that had skid marks in them because the customer complained that the waistband had stretched out of shape. I will give him that the waistband was indeed stretched but it was clearly due to the fact that they had been worn much longer (years most likely) than the one time he claimed they had been. Yutz.) and you don't ever engage in argument with them. At the end of the week, they sign your check. This has been pounded into my brain since I was a teenager. I always greeted customers with a genuine smile and an overwhelming desire to help when needed. I wish that same level of concern and willingness to help was extended to myself on the odd occassion I've needed it. Instead, I'm normally met with a rude attitude that spoils my entire day. Sad.

Imagine my surprise when this little lovely turned up in my mail last week.

You see, I recently placed an order with BMFA for 3 hanks of STR. I waited as patiently as I could for it to arrive. For the first 2 weeks I skipped down to the mailbox everyday. After that, I ran down and excitedly threw open the door of the mailbox just knowing that it would be there waiting for me. It wasn't. I checked the status online which showed it had indeed been shipped. I called BMFA and left a message asking if they could possibly tell me when it had been shipped.

I immediately got an email back showing that my package had been delivered to Saranac Lake on November 3rd. I checked the USPS website. Sure as shit, there it was in black and white in front of me. Delivered to Saranac Lake on November 3rd. The next question was where in Saranac Lake because it hadn't been delivered to my mailbox. I called the post office. I left the tracking number and asked that they pretty please check to see where my poor yarn was. They said the postmaster would call the next day. A week passed and the postmaster still hadn't called. I called again. The postmaster told me my mailman remembered that package with that tracking number because it was in a huge cardboard box and he went out of his way to bring it up and leave it on our porch where he then scanned it. I paused. It was only 3 hanks of yarn. Why would it have been shipped in a huge cardboard box? I explained this to Ms. Postmaster and told her that I had indeed received not just 1 but 2 huge cardboard boxes (I finally got my act together and started shopping for Christmas. This is a big deal for me since I normally put it off until a few days before.) within a few days on either side of November 3rd but that neither of them contained my yarn. That was when all hell broke loose. Ms. Postmaster became quite irate and told me that my mailman gave her his word that it was that exact tracking number and that exact huge cardboard box. When I tried again to nicely explain that it couldn't possibly have been and beg for help in tracking down my yarn she really flipped out. I asked what I was to do and who else I could speak to for help. She told me she was it. I asked for the name and number of her supervisor. She told me she didn't have one. I told her I didn't appreciate her unwillingness to help me and she told me I was being ridiculous and I needed to give it up. I told her she was being rude and obnoxious. I think I might even have used the word bitch. She agreed and said that was her and I was stuck with it and then hung up.

I called BMFA again to see if they could offer any suggestions on where to go to get help. They suggested I try the post office once more. (I hadn't told them yet what had happened at the post office already.) I smiled to myself, took a deep breath, and resigned to the fact that I would have to suck it up and go in to the post office the following morning when they reopened. In the meantime, I started calling phone numbers in Albany trying to find out who supervised Ms. Postmaster. Guess what, she really does have one that she has to answer to. I left my complaint and was satisfied to know that someone was actually willing to listen to my concern. (Notice I didn't say that they cared.)

The following day Ms. Postmaster called. I thought she was going to tell me they had found my yarn. Nope. But she did apologize and told me she would go look for my package herself. She called later and said she hadn't turned up anything and if I would bring her BMFA's mailing address as well as an invoice for my purchase that she would get my money refunded. OMG!!! I couldn't believe it. I thanked her very muchly and wrote BMFA to let them know. I told JoAnn all about the incident the day before with Ms. Postmaster and how I was really dreading having to go down there. I was so excited to know that I would be getting my money back so I could reorder the yarn because Hard Rock had been chosen by Duder for socks for her. Her eyes lit up as soon as she saw it and she jumped up and down screaming she had to have it for socks. This is why it was included in my order.

A few days later that gorgeousness above appeared like magic in my mailbox with a card from JoAnn. Yes, she gifted me a hank of Hard Rock to make Duder's socks with. Can you believe that? Anytime I've asked a question of BMFA I've always been met with extreme friendliness but this my friends really takes the cake. They totally went above and beyond and I will forever be grateful for it.

JoAnn, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and for being so thoughtful, caring, and unselfish. You have truly renewed my faith in customer service.


Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, I'm going through the same issue with BMFA and my post office as we speak - BMFA is stating that the package was delivered on Nov. 16 and my mailroom has not seen hay or nay of it. :-(

Shelby said...

Wow!! That is pretty impressive! I am glad they did agree to refund your money. I hate the post office sometimes! I had that happen with some yarn from an etsy seller once, and after I had written it off completely, it showed up in my mail box. I was completely shocked!

Maureen said...

What a crazy merry-go-round! I love the colorway that arrived on your doorstep! Good luck with the socks!

Knitting Mama said...

Not only in the USA has this been happening, but in Canada too. I think the entire postal system EVERYWHERE needs a wake up call. Too much mail goes missing.

Glad though you finally got your yarn, because lost STR is truly a shame!

Leslie said...

I can't say I'm surprised about the post office management being rude. That's been my experience in this little town for 20+ years. I hoped it would improve when the old Post Master retired, but no such luck. It's another example of how "lifetime appointments" are a bad idea.

I'm glad you got your yarn though! It continues all the good stories we've heard about BMFA.

Anonymous said...

That experience is familiar to me too. Our local PO has lost more packages on me than I care to remember, but at least you got some satisfaction. I had to just suck it up and the gifts I had mailed out were being enjoyed by someone, but I'll never know who.


roxy =^o^= said...

Glad you got your yarn. BFMA is generaaly a great company so I'm not surprised they stepped it up for you :)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Anne aka roxy from the knittyboards/Ravelry