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Crappy Customer Service

I was reading Capital Ideas [3] today and the lead post was titled “Bad Customer Service: Baskin Robbins” and it was about the promotion Yahoo! ran yesterday where registered members could print out a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream in celebration of Yahoo!’s 10th anniversary. If the closest Baskin Robbins was too far away, I may have run into this very scenario. In essence, he brought the coupon in and Baskin Robbins wouldn’t honor it. Now you have a disgruntled customer posting on his blog about the awful customer service of an ice cream chain that isn’t doing as well as, say a Coldstone Creamery (they’re awesome by the way).

This got me thinking about my own customer service troubles. There was this one time that I brought in a coupon for 50 free prints to the Kodak PhotoCenter in a Target. The manager looked at the coupon (it was a printout from the Target website) and then looked me as I was just caught shoplifting baby clothes. She asked me I had ever used the coupon there before (no, I just printed it out that afternoon) and then asked me my name and practically scolded me. She told me that she had my name on record and that if I tried to use it again she would report me. Report me to whom? I gave her the coupon and took my prints. The prints were absolutely awful. Kodak prints terrible terrible digital photos. How do I know? I printed out the same photo from Snapfish, Target, and ShutterFly and the Kodak’s were the worst by far. I wrote Target a letter and was told that the Kodak photo centers are their own company and I left the matter alone. Don’t go to the Kodak booth in the Target in Silver Spring, MD.

Well, that’s a case of bad customer service. I have several instances of good customer service. I once bought a 12 pack of Diet Cokes from somewhere and they had no syrup! I called up Coca-Cola (number printed nicely on the can) and after I told them some tracking numbers so they could do quality control stuff, they sent me a nice metallic coupon for a free 12 pack. I probably should’ve tried the rest of the Diet Cokes but two of the 12 were bad and so I tossed the other 10. Starbucks once sent me two coupons for free drinks (anything you wanted) after I complained about rude service from a Starbucks in a rest stop. So some companies are on top of their game and others just don’t get it.

I suspect that if Murray complained to Baskin Robbins management, they’d send him a letter and a few coupons for the treatment he received at that franchise.