February 18, 2008

Blogs .vs. Blockbuster

My experience at Dell doing customer care aided me in getting my money back from Blockbuster today.

We rented "So I Married an Axe Murderer" last week, primarily for my daughter who is a Mike Meyer fan and enjoys our 70's and 80's culture. The DVD had a flaw and around the final chapter it stalled. I tried it on my PC and it did the same thing.

I would have run it through a disc doctor but it is not my property. It was rather disapointing evening. So today I hoof it the two miles and tell them it was defective.

Jason, the slightly bewildered clerk informed me that they did not have another copy. So I asked for a refund. He started working on the register and informed me my refund would be in the form of a store credit. I had my sales slip with me and the CC I placed the original charge on.

We have found ourselves renting less and less and with my current situation I would prefer to have the money then a credit. So I asked for a refund of the $4.29. Jason had to go back to the back of the store to talk to a manager, when he returned I was informed that there will be NO refund only a store credit. I asked if it was policy to not give refunds when they rented a defective product. I was told he manager had informed him that there was no refund. He did not seem to understand the term policy.

So I asked if there was a corporate phone number, he cherrfully pointed it out on the recept and let me use the phone.

Soon I was talking to Vicki in customer care (more likely a third party contracted call center). Vicki asked if there was a different movie I would be interested in seeing. In all honesty there wasnt. She seemed to verify that there was not another copy of the movie I wanted, not sure on that.

Next she informed me she would open a case number and someone would call me back in the next 3 days to discuss the matter.

You get this? I pay to rent a movie, it doesnt work, they will not give me my $4.29 back, but they will set up paperwork to have someone call me in a few days. In my businessmans mind I can see the 15min of this phone call has already cost them more then $4.29 and I'm really starting to get annoyed. Vicki said she could call the store but, she doubted she would have any more luck then I did.

This is the point in the narrative where I explain how Dell customer care experienced helped. At one point we in customer care received some additional training on call excalations. That is, certain key words and phrases that signaled us to either push the customer higher up the food chain or stop the bullshit and grab your ankles.

So, I am on the phone with Vicki, who is about to write up this case report so I let fly with one of the phrases. "Man, I cannot WAIT to blog about this hassle"

There was about a two second pause and I thought I might have been hung up on. I threw out a 'Hello?' and Vicki responded as if startled. She informed me she was getting ready to call the blockbuster store in question, before, making the case notes out. Hmmm, that seemed like a change in plan.

Next the phone line rang and Jason the guy I talked to originally picked up and a short conversation took place. Vicki came back on the line and said Jason would be glad to put the credit back on my card.

Behold the power of the Blog.


flyingvan said...

I'm always for standing up for yourself in those situations. I do feel for Jason though...We don't rent movies (they are free from the library, just not as current) But I continue to re-learn the lesson of not paying anyone to do anything for me or the house; always a disappointment. Hmm....I'll blog my story...

shoo said...

SO you reneged on your implied deal that if they did what you wanted, you wouldn't blog. After word gets out, they won't fall for that again.

Lee said...

Shoo, at best it was a solicitation of an offer. It was not responded to by Vicki so any deal at that point was null and void.

However, it was a statement of fact not unlike 'I cant wait to buy food at taco bell'.

Given the nature of customer care your conclusion is invalid.

ronnwaters said...

Shoo's right. Just don't be surprised if you have a tragic and fatal "accident". They're like that you know.

Anonymous said...

LOL lets hope you dont have one. Great idea on pulling the whole blog thing. Your daughter isnt the only one who likes that movie. Glad to know you got your credit back. Maybe i will try pulling that...oh wait i dont rent movies. Anyway love nae