Feb 13, 2010

Customer Service

Update February 13, 2010 I changed this from Good Customer Service to Customer Service so that I could include bad service as well.

Sears let me down. While their parts department gave excellent phone service, when it came to getting an appliance repaired they let us down. We scheduled an appointment for a repair to the dryer, and were home all day. They never showed up, and then claimed that they had come at 10:00 that morning, and no one answered. We got another repairman after that.

I bought an Epson 4490 scanner in March of last year, and while the scanner is good enough for some things, it’s probably not good enough for high end graphic work, and I gave it a 1 star review on Amazon, because I thought it’s workmanship was shoddy. After some casual looking around my wife found some slides that I did in the 1970s, so I started scanning them. Some of these were shot on infrared Ektachrome file. That’s the film that gives the strange colors to the Are You Experienced album shown over on the right. (The photo was shot with a fisheye lens and infrared.) I had some photos that were shot and showed a deep blue coloring throughout the frame. When the slides were placed on the transparency unit, they would not scan in the proper orientation. I called Epson, got the usual runaround before connecting to a live person, and they were unable to resolve the issue. It got bumped up to another tech, and he was unable to resolve the issue. Both techs were barely comprehensible, and they sounded like the Martian character in the Looney Tunes cartoons. I finally resolved the problem, and figured out that it was because the backgrounds of the slides were too dark.

No good points for Epson, and no link to their scanner. There is a link to the Jimi Hendrix album though.

January 1, 2010 I wrote an entry a while back about dealing with idiots who can’t manage to spell “Thomas” correctly. I think it’s time to mention some companies that give good customer service.

Lexmark—I have one of their color laser printers, and while it’s pricey, particularly for the color cartridges, their support staff is good, friendly, and competent. I don’t recall ever losing my temper with them. I can’t say the same for Comcast, our cable company, which belongs over on the left side of the curve.

Amazon—I ordered a copy of Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads, a five volume set. It came with two copies of volume one. I sent a message to Amazon, and if I recall correctly, I also requested a phone call. (Amazon has a feature that allows you to request a call back to your home phone.) I received a call immediately, explained the problem, and received a replacement set the next day.

Sears—We bought a snow blower back in 2003, and haven’t had much use for it. Just before Christmas we got 20 inches of snow. The snow blower still worked, and we managed to clear the long driveway (over a hundred feet), but the tire on the right side went flat. I searched the Sears site for replacement parts, and couldn’t find the tire. So I called their support line. They answered immediately, and were able to retrieve the model number of the unit purchased, and the part numbers that I needed to order.

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