Rob Smyth

Friday 13 February 2009

A Support Antipattern

Yea, a negative post about a company. I wondered if to mention the company, but in the online community we have a responsibility and, I recon, these guys have raised the bar in how to not treat a customer.

Last week I placed and order with I-Tech and to their credit they delivered what I ordered fast. But on receiving the order I realised I made a mistake. I ordered the wrong item. Yep, no doubt, my mistake. I can use the one I ordered but another would be 'better' (I can live with that).

So, I was wondering if I could exchange it for the one I wanted. I emailed the company making it clear that it was my error. I would have only been 'disappointed' if they said a 'sorry ... but no' but the treatment I got was ... well ... 'disappointing'.

Here is a good lesson on what not to do ....

I sent my first email to 'sales', my first surprise was their response:
Please write the email to our RA department. Their email address is

Okay, so sales does not talk to 'RA'. So I forwarded the email to 'RA' (twice). They did not respond. Hmmm, not a good impression so far. I went back to to tell him/her/them that I had not got a response ... now I getting a real bad impression of this company and then I get the response:
Was the item opened?
I told them in my original email, but okay ... pressures of business. Some poor bugger sitting at a desk. So, I respond that I had not opened the box. The email form 'RA':
If the box had been opened, we wont be able to accept your return.
What! Why tell me that? Why try to aggravate your customer for no reason? Okay, now customer relationship is not the best but then I get another email from 'RA':
Sorry, I just spoke with my supervisor, according to our company policy, we can not exchange an item simply because the customer ordered the wrong item or changed their mind
"simply because the customer ordered the wrong item" ... true, and no doubt this is what the supervisor said, but gosh, not the best customer communications. (thx for the 'Sorry' though).

You gotta wonder about the management of this company. They did deliver what was ordered well. But, if there is a problem with the order?

Good script for the next 'The Office' TV series?