I love good customer service.

Receiving excellent service from a company / person makes me feel good…it makes me happy and makes me excited to revisit that company or person for future business.

The opposite is also true…I hate bad customer service.  I hate it with a passion.

I understand that great people and companies provide poor service occasionally. Every company has issues with their customer service.  Sometimes you catch someone on a bad day…sometimes you fall into a process ‘crack’ and your issue is missed.

The difference between a great company with great service and an average/poor company…is actually in the fact that the company / person realizes that they made a mistake and then how they respond to that mistake.  The difference is how a company recovers from bad service.

Recently I ran into a company that I’d classify in the ‘worst service’ department – at least initially. I’m not going to name any names here but I want to share the experience.

I ordered a device from this company to use for streaming shows and movies at home. Rather than order through a retailer like I normally would, i decided to buy directly from the company…big mistake on my part.

After a reasonable time, I received the unit. I unpacked it and plugged it in.  And nothing happened.  I unplugged everything and reattached it…again nothing.

I took the unit to another TV and tried it there.  Nothing.

After multiple attempts and much research online, I came to the conclusion that this unit was dead-on-arrival.  So…I went to the company’s website to find their support information to ask for help.

I submitted a support ticket…and was told afterwards that they’d be in touch within 48 hours.  48 hours is an awful long time to wait for a response…but I figured I’d give them a chance. 3 days later I still had no response.

So…I tried to call them.  Nothing…I couldn’t get to a live person.  So..I tried their live chat.  Nothing….it wouldn’t connect me at all.  So…I emailed them again.  Nothing.

Finally…I tried the last ditch effort…I went to Twitter.

Funny…after I ‘tweeted’ them that I couldn’t get any response, I received a response from their social media team.  It was quick, courteous and provided me with contact info.  Funnily enough…I also received a response from their Customer Service team within a few hours.

That response via email was short and worthless…it basically said ‘thank you for contacting us…please try to plug the unit in somewhere else’.  Worthless.

After a week of back and forth via email and attempted phone calls, I was still waiting for a resolution.  I’ve been told to call their 800 number to get an RMA for the power supply so I can get a new one…but I’ve yet to be able to get in touch with anyone at their 800 number.  Worthless.

So now I sit here waiting again. I’ve had this unit for a week with no luck. I’ve reached out to their service department multiple times with no luck.  Their social media team seems to be willing to help but I’ve yet to see any results from their intervention.

All i want is a working unit or a refund…but these folks don’t seem to understand how to respond in a manner that provides any level of confidence that they have a clue what Customer Service actually means.

This morning, I received a phone call from an engineer at the company who started the call with a profuse apology and asked for my address so he could overnight a new product to me.  He didn’t ask me for any particular details about the box that doesn’t work…he didn’t ask me to send it back or do anything else with it…he just apologized and said that I’d be receiving a new box soon.

With this one act, this engineer made a very bad situation much better. Has he redeemed the company in my eyes? No. Has he made up for their lack of service? No.  But…he has started down the right road.

This company is on the road to recovering from a really really bad situation…let’s hope they follow through on their promises and I have a new unit in my hands before the end of the week.

Still, the question has to be asked…can you truly recover from bad customer service? Although this engineer is working towards a recovery, will I ever trust this company again enough to order from them and/or recommend their products?  I’m not sure…we’ll see how the next few days go.