Let me tell you a story of bad customer service:
Last night, I used Novatech‘s website to check availability of a memory upgrade I need for my PC. It showed the item to be in stock. So, today, I drove 25 miles to their shop, which they encourage people to do, in order to purchase said item, rather than going through the rigmarole of setting up a corporate account and waiting for it to be sent – I wanted to do this, even though they offer free delivery, because I didn’t want to be delayed. No problems so far.
On arrival, after queuing for five minutes or so (queue of about 7 or 8 people, one person serving, two others chatting in full view of waiting customers – not good), I explained what I was looking for, only to be told that it was out of stock. Thinks I: fair enough, these things happen. So I asked if I could pay for the item, and have it sent on when it was available again.
Graybo: What?? No??
N: Well, you can, but there is a delivery charge of £4.95.
G: But your website says you deliver things for free.
N: Yes we do, but only if you order it online.
G: So, even though I’m prepared to pay you now, in cash, and even though you offer free delivery if I order online, AND even though your website told me the item was in stock in spite of the fact that it isn’t ….. you won’t send my DIMM for free?
N: That’s right.
G: That’s ridiculous.
There are little puffs of steam coming out my ears at the moment. I’ve just fired off a terse missive to their customer service department (how strange – their website seems to have no place where you can make complaints or offer feedback). For a business that claims to be so very customer oriented, they really are not. Maybe I should offer some consultancy services?
UPDATE: I’ve just had a telephone call from Novatech. They are going to send me the memory upgrade, carriage free, and are happy for me to send a cheque to them rather than set up a full corporate account. I’m appeased.