Snow caused havoc this Christmas in the UK. Trains stopped, roads became chaotic, while airports failed to have enough de-icer fluid to function properly. (Nope, the UK is not very prepared for such weather).
Meanwhile, Christmas shoppers faced a challenge to do their shopping, and retailers struggled to open.
With more people in the UK shifting to online retailers for their seasonal shopping, the big question was whether the deliveries would get through.
Many companies, big and small, had to deal with shoppers concerned whether the gifts would arrive in time for Christmas day.
Two such companies were Apple (big) and Total Wargamer (not quite so big).
I had bought stuff from both companies before Xmas, both for the first time and both of whom had guaranteed delivery before Xmas.
As the big day loomed, Total Wargamer, a small business that sells Warhammer stuff, assured me that the parcel would arrive. When there was only four days to go, I chased a second time. Their response was phenomenal:
I am worried it hasn't turned up yet as it should have done by now. I will re send today by Parcel Force 24 hour courier and hope that you receive the resend or the original package in time. If you do receive both of them, please let us know and post one back. We will of course refund you for the cost of postage.
I hope you are happy with this, hopefully you will receive one or the other in time.
That response gave me the assurance that someone was really concerned about customer care, and that the company were going to do everything they could to make sure I got the package.
The package arrived in time, and my perception of Total Wargamer rose.
This small company was ready to take action to help me out. The outcome is that they have won a big fan and a customer who will come back again (Thanks to Vicky and Paul).
Well, I bought the photo album from them. On the site, they guaranteed delivery for Xmas if ordered by a certain date. My son and I took time to select the photos and did the layout together. I ordered (to find only then that VAT and shipping was on top of the advertised price - nice touch Apple). I then waited.
Needless to say, it didn't arrive. I chased a few days before the 25th. The customer service representative sent me nicely crafted responses with phrases such as:
It was a pleasure to assist you with this. Take care and have a wonderful day.
Take care, and please know we wish you only the best.
whilst pointedly failing to answer my concerns.
They pointed me to the UPS site to track it - it was their fault apparently. Her hands were tied. Oh and the day before xmas, they blamed it on the weather.
They offered to refund the money, which is fine but my issues about delivering on promises were not addressed, and I am still waiting.
So two companies.
Both facing the same challenges at Christmas.
One company showed a willingness to take action to help a customer. One company shared platitudes and little else.
Apple, please go have a word with Total Wargamer. You might learn a thing or two about customer service.