I’m old. I’ve been around the block and back. I know how the world works and I’ve seen and heard about injustices to the little guy from major corporations. People complain. Big Business does NOT listen. But today, I found out that is not always the case.
Guest Post: Lessons on Listening
My friend and co-worker Abbe is back with an incredible story about being heard.
I’ll explain by way of two emails:
I sent this first one to the Ron Sargent, CEO of Staples, on Sunday, November 24
Dear Mr. Sargent:
Today it was my intention to purchase a laptop at Staples in South Philadelphia on Columbus Blvd. Instead, I was so disgusted with the customer service,I bought the same machine on Amazon.
Let me explain.Today when saw a laptop I thought I would like to try, it was locked and needed an Admin password. When I asked for help with this, I was told it couldn’t be done.
Well, I don’t want to buy a computer without first ‘test driving.’ And I said, very nicely,’ if I can’t try it, I’ll go elsewhere.’ He misunderstood what I was trying to convey, then finally realized and admitted he was unaware that the password was not entered. He entered it. Okay, fine and good.
After a few minutes on the computer, I decided to buy the machine. I told the same computer salesman. He then asked me if I would like to buy Anti-Virus software. I explained that I didn’t need any as my friend who fixes computers for a living, will install it for me. He didn’t take no for an answer telling me that Staples is losing money on this machine, implying it was my obligation to buy.
Again, I told him I was not interested and that I just wanted to buy it. Again, he said, ‘Well, I have to tell you about the Anti-Virus software.’ When I told him I didn’t want to hear it, I just want to buy this laptop, he would not let it go.
That’s when I told him I was going elsewhere. I liked this Staples store. I usually shop there, but no more. Was it really necessary to lose a sale because I didn’t want to hear about the software? I just wanted to let you know why I won’t be shopping at Staples again!
I also included my phone number and address.
This is the second email I sent:
Dear Mr. Sargent:
Approximately 2 hours ago, I emailed you to report why “I quit” Staples. About an hour after that, I received a call from Jeff Grejdus, Southeastern PA and Northern Delaware District Manager for your company. He apologized for what happened telling me that Staples takes customer complaints very seriously and was very unhappy with the lack of service I received.
I really appreciated the apology! Then he did something extraordinary; he offered me the same computer FREE! Seriously! I decided right then to take him up on the offer and to donate the computer I purchased from Amazon to the public library I work for as budgets are very tight!
I was a loyal customer before this happened and will continue to be a loyal customer of Staples! Thanks so very much for your unbelievable quick response (on a Sunday).
The lesson: sometimes, the little guy wins one and sometimes Big Corporations go above and beyond. Thanks Staples, you had me when Jeff called and said “Hello.”