Thursday, April 2, 2009

Customer service, Warenties and Gurantees

My husband bought Transformers Stratego, a board game by Milton Bradley. It was on discount at 'The bargain shop' and I think I know why....
It was missing the stickers you put on all the little pieces, in other words the game was unplayable.
That was about a month ago, today I looked at the box and they listed their website. From there I navigated the page to find the customer service phone number. I called them during regular business hours and explained that I bought the game a month ago and told them about the piece that was missing. She then took my information and said that they would be mailing me the missing stickers for free.

This is the kind of service I regularly get when I call companies. I say this because I know that people are afraid to call companies to complain sometimes, but they will usually do their best to satisfy your needs.
Did you know that most companies guarantee their product? They want you to be happy with it!

Here are a few more examples of times I have called customer service and been totally satisfied.

Last year I bought a $50 breast pump for milk for my baby. I only bought the one for occasional usage, not the heavy duty one and I used it too much and it broke. I called the company that made it (the first years) and after walking me through some troubleshooting steps and found it was beyond repair they replaced it with a more heavy duty model. I only had to pay shipping to send my broken pump back to them. I saw the newer model at the store and it was worth $150! 

Several years ago after Halloween I bought some Halloween M&Ms discounted at the store. They came in small individual bags and I was putting them in my lunch. I was disappointed to find that some of the bags of candies only had 2 or 3 M&Ms in them, so on a whim I emailed the company about it. They called me a few days later, apologized and mailed me coupons for $10 of free M&Ms. Funny thing though, Christmas was coming so just after the holiday I stocked up on $10 worth of discounted red and green candies. That was a lot of candy.... 

Pretty much the same story about Bicks pickles. I bought a jar of mixed veggies and there was only one pickled onion in the jar, sent them an email and they called me get my information so they could send me coupons for 2 free jars of pickles. Well the coupon didn't state what size the pickle jars had to be so I went to the superstore and got the biggest jars they had. This was just last year too.

More recently, my baby gate broke (1st choice brand). From wear and tear I guess. I called the company and they mailed me a form to send them back with the broken piece from the gate. I am now waiting the coupon for a free baby gate to replace the broken one.

Here's my point. Companies have a customer service and will guarantee most anything they sell. They want you to be a happy customer and want you to try their products again. They hire people to do this. Nervous about calling them, send an email. There are often email addresses on the company website as well as phone numbers. I have also never had to prove purchase with copies of receipts when contacting the companies directly. 

Stores also guarantee the items they sell. I know many big box stores will accept exchanges on many products so long as you have the receipt. Wal*Mart is particularly good when it comes to returns with a receipt and will exchange anything within a year so keep those receipts! I find a lot of stuff from Wal*Mart breaks so this is handy to know. 

I wonder though. With the board game I called about today, could you call about a game you bought used? She never asked me where I bought it, just when. They do want you to be able to use their game and play with more people to get them to buy their own copy too so it wouldn't be stealing unless you lied if they asked whether or not you bought it used.
I will have to try it next time I buy a used board game that is missing pieces. But then again, sometimes it's fun to use random marker pieces.

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