This post is off topic. It has nothing to do with debt reduction, real estate or personal finances. However I can't resist a great customer service tale, especially when I'm the beneficiary. Besides, this sort of ties in with my recent post. Read on:
A year ago my beloved Canon Powershot A70 began doing funny things. The LCD viewer was getting grainy and often faded to black.
A friend informed me that this was a commonly recurring problem with Canon digital cameras and that the company would probably repair it for free.
Encouraged, I....um....put it off and did nothing for a year. But I got my buns in gear this month and decided to get the camera fixed. I was pleasantly surprised....shocked even....at the incredibly responsive customer service I received from the folks at Canon.
Judge for yourself. Here's the timeline of my repair experience:
- Sunday, Feb. 1st - I searched for repair info on the internet and fired off an email to Canon USA
- Sunday, Feb 1st - 2 minutes later, Canon responded with an automated acknowledgment
- Sunday, Feb 1st - 10 minutes after my first contact, I was contacted via email by a customer service tech who acknowledged my problem and asked me to run a simple troubleshooting routine to isolate the problem.
- Sunday, Feb 1st - I ran the test and responded in about 15 minutes to the tech's request.
- Sunday, Feb 1st - 34 minutes after my initial contact, I received another email from the tech explaining that I would be receiving a prepaid UPS return label and a return authorization form from Canon USA.
- Tuesday, Feb 3rd - I received, via email, the return label, an online link to track my shipment, shipping instructions and a list of the UPS free drop off points nearest to my house.
- Wednesday, Feb 4th - I dropped the prepaid package containing my camera into the UPS stream and received a short email survey, asking about my tech support experience.
- Wednesday, Feb 11th - Canon USA notified me that they received the camera for repair.
- Friday, Feb 13th - I received an email that repairs were now complete and the camera had been shipped back to me.
- Monday, Feb 16 - I received my newly repaired camera, shipped 2-day delivery!
- Costs incurred by me: $0
- Number of times I was contacted by Canon USA: 7
- Number of years my camera was out of warranty: At least 2
- Number of days from my first inquiry to taking receipt of my repaired camera: 15
Small businesses have gotten it right for years. This experience gives me great hope for the future of large business in this country.