Thursday, March 20, 2014

Appliance retailer doesn't bother to put in modern information systems to support customer service

About a month ago, I came home and noticed an odd buzzing sound in the home.  It came from the refrigerator, GE, only seven years old.  It would come on and off intermittently.
I eventually tracked down the support number in Rockville, MD for Bray and Scarff.  It was about a week before a technician could come out.  He did say that it was a lose blade in the freezing compartment fan.  A part had to be ordered.  Should take 3-5 business days.
But then the company calls the following week and has to get my credit card number and doesn’t even order the part until it has the estimate.  No complaint about having to pay for the part then, but why didn’t the technician simply look up the part number and price on his phone to a database and collect the money during the visit?
Then I call a few days later and find that the Target Visa was declined.  They hadn’t called back.  I wonder if that is because it’s Target.  I use the card at a Target store, and it works.  OK, maybe I gave the number wrong, but why didn’t they verify it when I was on the phone.  All major customer service centers can do that now.  Now I find it won’t be here until the middle of next week.
What is so hard about supplying customer service?  Does the part come from China?  If it comes from an ordinary US location in the South or Midwest, it ought to arrive in two or three days at the most with normal UPS-style shipping, even on the ground.  

No complaint that something is out of warranty or wore out faster than usual.   Life happens.  But why can’t a major company provide modern customer service with modern inventory control for parts?  Autos do this all the time.  

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