Danze – Great customer service

One of the things I always like to write about is great customer service, those unexpected moments of absolute excellence that surprise you and tend to make you a customer for life.  This time, the award for amazing customer service goes to Danze, a popular faucet maker.

D455158Several years ago we remodeled the kitchen and bought a new Danze faucet, D455158.  (A quick disclaimer: I did not pay the MSRP. You can get one for a lot less elsewhere.)  It was new then and now, 5 years later, one little part broke.  The little aerator screen disintegrated and fell apart.  Unfortunately, Danze used a special little screen that cannot be replaced with a generic 2-dollar Ace brand one.  This screen served as the aerator and also as the base for the spring mechanism that switches faucet from spray to stream.  These screens weren’t even sold online and the only way to replace that one little piece was to buy the whole spray head for around 50 bucks.  I decided to call Danze.

I called Danze to see if they had any better options for me.  The customer service guy was a little brusque when he took down my information and listened to my explanation of the problem.  He then confirmed my address, told me that the replacement part will arrive on Tuesday and hung up before I even got a chance to inquire about a form of payment.

I was pretty excited thinking that I just scored a free aerator screen.  Imagine my surprise when on Tuesday I discovered an entire 50-dollar spray head in the mail.

Now, I don’t know if there was an official recall notice on these spray heads or if the customer service rep was just feeling extra generous that day.  But when a company stands behind their product and so effortlessly fixes a problem 5 years after the product was purchased, that’s a great customer experience.  Don’t know when again I will need to replace a faucet in my house, but odds are good that I’ll be looking at Danze again.


SafeCopy Backup – Great Customer Support

When your boss repeatedly points out that you haven’t blogged in a while, perhaps you should listen and pick it up again.  Besides, this is good…  In a world of negative blog posts and customer-to-number conversions, when I come across exceptional customer service, I like to point it out.

Earlier this year, when Mozy decided to raise its prices, I switched to Safecopy backup.  In addition to lower price, Safecopy runs much better on my laptop not draining the battery with constant excessive CPU usage; and it backs up networked drives, too.

After few months of using Safecopy, I suddenly went over the 200GB space allocation.  I accidentally included some extra folders from my networked drive, which took me over the limit.  Unfortunately, Safecopy has a problem when deleting backed up files from networked folders: they simply don’t delete.  I worked with a support engineer, Kevin Woods, who readily admitted that this is a problem that they are working on.

So to help me out, Safecopy increased my space allocation to 300 GB.  For free!

Thank you, Safecopy, for not telling me to delete extra files one-by-one or to pay for the extra storage.

You have a very happy customer.



Maui Jim sunglasses – great customer service

It seems that in today’s economy, as companies look to cut costs and save money, more and more often it is customer service that suffers the most.  Rather the quality of customer service.  That’s why, every now and then, when I happen to come across outstanding customer service, the kind that makes me go “Wow”, I feel that I want to tell everyone about it.

I have always been a fan of Maui Jim sunglasses: they are pricey but I feel that they are worth it.  Over 2 years ago I bought a pair of rimless nylon glasses, the kind with plastic arms that use tension to wrap around your head – no hinges.  Some time after the purchase, one of the arms broke.  I sent the glasses to the warranty repair service and they fixed them.

Last winter, I broke one of the arms again.  I don’t if it was my carelessness or very cold temperatures of the last Chicago winter that caused the plastic to become brittle.  Whatever the cause, I felt like an idiot and kept the broken glasses for several months, thinking that at some point I should replace them.

On a whim, I called Maui Jim customer service and admitted that I broke the glasses and didn’t know what to do with them.  They suggest I send them in, include a check for $10 and my contact information.  I spent a couple weeks waiting for them to call me, thinking that they would ask me to pay for the repair.  Instead, after 2 weeks or so I received my sunglasses.  They were repaired.  My check was also in the box with ‘VOID’ written across it.  A note in the box apologized for the inconvenience, explained that the fee was waived and included a new 2-year warranty.  

Guess what brand of sunglasses I will be buying next.  If you said ‘Maui Jim’, you’re probably right.

Ed (Brill), my response or more on customer service of airlines in general

Ed, your comment brought so much to my mind, that I didn’t think I could fit it all into a response comment of my own…

Every time I fly, which, I admit, is not nearly as often or as far as Ed, I can’t shake the feeling that since 9/11 most airlines have come to view their passengers as necessary evil, a nuisance of sorts, with first class and premier level passengers, perhaps, being the only exception.  I generally don’t fall into either of those categories and if United could make the same amount of money transporting live stock, they would rather give my ticket and my seat to a cow.  The overall goal of the airlines seems to be one of cutting costs and looking good to Wall Street analysts at the expense of passengers.  It’s like a giant human experiment with everyone an unwilling subject: how far can we squeeze the passengers without them rebelling?  I think if the airlines could get FAA’s approval, they would replace Boeings and Airbuses with Stolypin cars.

I understand that charging a premium for certain seats is the policy of some airlines and that they have to protect their revenue stream.  However, once the doors are closed – “armed” – it is not like the plane is going to dock mid-flight over Ohio and take on more passengers — those seats are going to remain empty and will generate no more revenue.  At that point, if the circumstances permit, i.e. the flight is only half full, and the airline cares about the comfort and satisfaction of their paying customers, they might want to offer at least certain passengers to take more comfortable seats.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to walk through the cabin and spot people who are the most uncomfortable: tall people, heavy people, people squeezed in middle seats.  Offer them to move somewhere else.  Some of the older passengers, for one, will certainly appreciate the offer to stay in the front and not have to schlep all the way to the back of the plane with their carry-on luggage.  To me, this would fall into the category of common sense.  Alas, common sense is anything but common and even less so when it comes to most of the airlines of today.

There are exceptions, of course.

Air Mexico automatically reserves front rows for their older passengers and minors traveling alone.  That’s common sense.

Southwest, which is my favorite domestic airline, on “empty” flights would anything but force extra snacks and drinks on its passengers.  That’s common sense.  Compare that with United sharing each can of Coke between 3 passengers.

(Perhaps, I’m exaggerating, but I don’t think I’m too far away from the truth.)