This post has nothing to do with MacMaven Consulting. However, this is an example of how important customer service is, whether you are hiring a computer consultant, or merely choosing a company to ship your product. (And of course execution is important too!)
Today I was supposed to receive an electric toothbrush from Wal-Mart. It was shipped to a Manhattan FedEx Office location that I selected on Wal-Mart’s web site. According to the tracking information it was on the delivery truck this morning at 7:01 am.
I went to inquire about the package at 5:30 pm at the FedEx Office. The manager told me, “We don’t accept Wal-Mart packages here anymore. This location should have been removed from Wal-Mart’s site. It will be returned to Wal-Mart.” I then called up FedEx’s 800 number. The phone rep assured me that the package was en route, and would be delivered by 8:00 pm to the FexEx Office. The FedEx Office manager assured me that if the package was delivered to her location, she wouldn’t return it to Wal-Mart.
Later this evening, I checked the tracking information. Sure enough, it says that the shipment was refused. Keep in mind, I didn’t refuse the package. FedEx was the recipient, and refused to accept a package destined for itself!
I called up FedEx customer service and spoke with Debra, in the El Paso Customer Advocacy group. She was very pleasant and tried to help. She attempted to reroute my package to have it shipped to a different FedEx Office. She called me back and ultimately couldn’t assist any further, because the package was already loaded on the outbound trailer. She did apologize though. Debra, thanks for the modest effort, but FedEx clearly didn’t go the distance here.
In short, FedEx sent a package from upstate New York to NYC and will be sending it all the way back. For a company that is supposed to be a master of logistics, this is quite a failure.
Let’s see how Wal-Mart’s customer service stacks up…
Update 3/21/14 – On 3/19 Letricia from the FedEx Office customer service media team reached out to me on Twitter. We had a phone discussion about the situation. Letricia’s position was that my package was returned because that particular FedEx Office location doesn’t accept ground packages. She said that I was not contacted because my contact information was not provided by Wal-Mart. I pointed out to Letricia that I was physically in the FedEx Office well before the package was officially declared “refused.” Apparently, talking with a customer face-to-face is not an acceptable contact method to rectify a service problem.
One correction to my original post. The package was actually returned to Bentonville, AK.
While FedEx gets an “F” for the handling of this, Wal-Mart gets an “A.” Crystal, the Wal-Mart phone rep, had a replacement order shipped right to my apartment, at no extra charge. I received it today. Nice job Wal-Mart! That’s how customer service is supposed to work.