Sometimes You Have to experience Bad Service to Realize What Good Service Is
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- Written on: March 13th, 2007
Service is what Schrock Innovations relies on to keep our customer loyal and ensure the ongoing success of our business. We always strive to make certain that our customers leave our doors happy, and if they don’t we try to figure out what happened and how we can prevent it from happening again.
I literally LIVE this motto day in and day out, so it came as a pretty big shock to me to experience the bipolar opposite of good service myself. My refrigerator stopped cooling properly, and as knowledgeable as I am with computers, I don’t know squat about refrigeration.
Never having called a refrigerator repair company in the past, my wife and I opened up the yellow pages and called a repair company to come out and work on it.
After waiting a week for our appointment, the repair man called at 11:45 to make certain we were home for our 12:00 appointment. They had my wife’s phone number incorrect, so they called my cell phone, which was listed as a back up number. I was in a meeting, so I let the caller go to voice mail.
Literally two minutes later – 11:47 am – I checked my voice mail and called back to confirm that my wife was at home and waiting for the repair company. The operator told me that since no one answered when they called both numbers, they simply skipped our appointment and could not come out for another week. Needless to say, we did not have them out at all after that.
The second company we called was quick to come out – same day service in fact. But then I found out why they were so “available.” Their repair guy didn’t speak in complete sentences. He mumbled something about a sealed system and told us he would get back to us that day about the warranty status on the fridge. He collected a $65 service fee for “diagnosing our problem” and then left.
At about 7:30 that night the same mumbling technician called us back to say that our fridge might be under warranty. I was excited at the idea of a free repair, but that excitement faded quickly when he told us that we would need to call another company because they did not service Maytag appliances (yes the ones that are never supposed to break down).
We were both a little dumbfounded as to why this company would charge us $65 to come out and work on an appliance that they know was under warranty when they did not service Maytag warranties. We emailed the owner about the charge and he gave us a canned response (obviously he has answered this question before). So the next day I called and spoke with the manager. I asked her why her company did not simply refer us to the authorized repair center in the first place. I suggested that the company had ripped my wife off and asked for a refund of our $65.00.
After refusing the request for a refund, she responded with “we saved you a ton of money by referring you to a company that handles Maytag warranties.”
I sat on the phone silent for a moment as the shock of what she had just said moved through me. With a new touch of annoyance in my voice I repeated what she had just said back to me to make certain I understood what she meant.
“So you are saying that you could have just fixed the problem even though it was in warranty and charged us a boatload of money to do the repair,” I said. “I am supposed to feel good that you did not take advantage of us while you had the chance?”
The conversation went downhill from there, and needless to say, we are not getting our $65.00 back.
The next morning we called another repair company. We described the problem to them, they diagnosed it over the phone, got here the same day. The problem (a bad compressor) was fixed by mid-afternoon and it turns out it was covered under warranty. However, there was an additional $65 service fee for their trip out to our house.
After this whole ordeal, I found myself asking how I would have handled the situation if I was the second repair company. If a Schrock customer came in with a Dell that was under warranty and asked us to put it on the bench and diagnose a problem, we would charge them the minimum bench charge for the technician’s time. We would check the warranty status of the PC, and if the problem they were experiencing was covered under warranty, we would let our customer know that Dell would fix the problem for free.
So up to this point, both of our companies would have done EXACTLTLY the same thing. But this is where Schrock’s added value service would have kicked in.
We would have offered to handle the RMA process with Dell for the customer. We would have called, waited on hold, put up with the horrible accents, got the right parts shipped, installed, and then return shipped the defective part back for our customer. When that computer left our Service Center it would have been working again, and all it would have cost was the minimum bench cost. We would not have handed the PC back to the customer and said call Dell – That will be $80, please (oh and by the way, we could have screwed you but we didn’t).
It has been quite a while since I was burned by the bad service of a company, and it reminded me just how important it is to our continued success that Schrock Innovations continue to be Lincoln’s service leader in the computer repair business.
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