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A Study in Customer Service

It isn't often that you can experience the opposite ends of customer service within a couple of hours. Today I had the opportunity to experience the best and worst in customer service.

First, the best: A few months ago we changed our health insurance company and the agent was one of those fortunate people who actually got past my natural inclination to hang up on salesmen. She was able to get us a policy at a much lower price and found us dental insurance all for a price lower than our old policy. This week I got a letter from the insurance company saying our policy was in default for non-payment and all claims were being rejected even though we were set up on auto-pay.

Instead of contacting the insurance company I sent a note to our original agent and told her the situation. She contacted the company on our behalf and got the mixup resolved. She sent us a note saying the insurance company had messed up the auto pay and we would need to send a check to cover the missing time period. Within an hour she called me and told me to ignore the email because she had talked to them again and gotten them to get the auto-pay established and gotten us a free month of coverage so I wouldn't need to send a check. Can you beat that?

On the other end of the spectrum, I dealt with Chadwicks which is a catalog clothing company. I ordered a gift certificate for my wife that all the ads on the website would be emailed to me in time for Mother's Day. I got an email confirmation of the order but never received an order number.

I waited and waited and right before Father's Day I sent a note to customer service asking where the gift card was. I got an auto response telling me that it would arrive within 8-11 days after placing the order. Since this was almost a month later, I wrote back telling them that their auto responder was wrong. I never got a reply.

At the beginning of this week I sent another email asking for the certificate again. I got the same autoresponder as before. I sent another note to customer service and received a reply that the original gift certificate was probably stuck in my spam folder. I checked, it wasn't and sent a reply back. That was four days ago.

Today I wrote again and finally received a gift card number through email. No apology. No free gift. No acknowledgement that anything had gone wrong.

Which company do you think I'll be recommending to others? If you look at Chadwick's Bizrate ratings, they only have a 75% positive rating. Our rating is close to 100%.

Oh, if you want to talk to our health insurance agent about a new policy, leave a comment and I'll send you her number.

One comment

  1. Please let me know when the The Parish Book of Chant is available. Thank you.

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