There is one thing that perturbs me, drives me bonkers in fact and that is poor customer service. I've always been in service related jobs and providing quality customer service has always been my goal. It is not always the goal of others in service related industries, mostly when I am the customer.
This story is one of good ones.
Awhile ago I bugged my loved ones to purchase a gift for me that would satisfy one of my dreams. That of owning an above average digital camera, so that I could preserve the family memories that mean so much to me. They generously bought me my beloved Nikon D40 SLR camera. I snap more photos than normal, so much to the annoyance of that family. (a collective sigh, as you may KNOW what I mean)
I started uploading the photos on to my hard drive, shocked at the amount of space it consumes. So I made another purchase, an external hard drive to store the photos on. I carefully moved archived photos onto the drive, every smile, every fond family gathering, vacation, wedding and newborn to toddler stage has been carefully cataloged and stored there.
Last week I uploaded some recent photos for work to my drive, and noticed that the drive was no longer recognized by my computer. I fiddled with everything I could fiddle with. I unhooked the drive and rebooted. I opened the tower of my computer and disconnected thing-a-ma-bobs and thing-a-ma-jigs and memory cards and you name it. Using my powerful can of air I blew out every conceivable opening of dust and suspected trouble makers. Still no connection. I connected the drive into another unrelated power outlet, noticing then that the light did not come on the power adapter. "Simple fix", I thought.
I returned to the site of the original purchase. Target. They told me that they no longer sold the hard drives, and that they didn't carry such power adapters either. ( funny, I only had bought this about 8 months ago) I was to call the manufacturer, Western Digital. I searched the net, found Western Digital's web site also noticing that they no longer carried my make and model, the power adapters didn't make the shopping list either. I phoned WD, and after a long while on hold spoke with a customer service rep who in a monotone flat voice told me that the adapter was out of stock, I should check back in a few weeks to see if they carried it then. Maybe yes, maybe no. She really couldn't direct me either way.
Panicked slightly, I thought maybe the Geek Squad at Best Buy could help me. Off to Best Buy, where a slightly geeky guy shook his head and said, sorry you are out of luck. I asked if there was a way to retrieve my picture files off the drive, and without even looking at me he said, No, sorry you're out of luck.
Sunday, while I was off to meet my daughter at the local cinema, I arrived early so I thought I'd go into the nearby strip mall and ask around at Radio Shack. The guy at Radio Shack listened to my story intently, and when I drew in my last breath, said, No problem, just buy this hard drive casing, pop your old drive out of the casing and snap it into the new one and you should be good to go.
I excitedly brought in my broken hard drive the next day and they opened up the casing, snapped the new one into place in no time flat.
I re-hooked the drive and still couldn't find it on my directory. I returned to the Radio Shack guy, thinking I was a sucker, but no, he just had to tighten up the screws inside as the drive had some extra space and had become loose with the movements it took for me to wedge it in between my printer and the walls of my computer case.
Sure enough, this time it works! There are all my precious files and folders carefully named. The guys were awesome! Polite and wonderful...they didn't even blink an eye!
Here's a shout out to Radio Shack. I couldn't believe the great customer service they provided, not only by making the right move...but by not just looking over my head and telling me that I was screwed. Thanks Target, thanks Western Digital, thanks Best Buy with your fancy Geek Squad, all who really didn't care if retrieved my photos or not. They didn't offer options, they said, sorry you are screwed. But Radio Shack cared enough to offer a solution, an affordable solution, and they did all the work. They didn't just sell me the equipment and send me off to install it on my own. They popped open the box and installed it all for no extra cost.
Just thought I'd take a minute to congratulate them, to let others know. Hey go take a look at your local Radio Shack, they have all sorts of gadgets and the customer service was right on!