Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Who Cares about Their Customers? Who Doesn’t? Website Responses Are Telling

The experience of contacting companies through their websites about problems provides some interesting insights into their real attitudes towards customers.

Who cares?
  • La Quinta Inns. 
  • Cheesecake Factory.  
  • Starbucks 

I reported issues to each of these companies over the summer and heard back from each within 4 business days—each offering an apology.  Starbuck’s sort of freaked me out (in a good way) because I sent the note at 6:30 pm and heard back at midnight.  I realized, at some point, that they must have an off-shore customer service team.  (Just a guess.)  

Both the managers of the La Quinta Inn and Cheesecake Factory I wrote about personally contacted me, one by phone.  

But other companies are another story:   
  • Delta.
  • Air France.
  • Loblaws

Delta responded within 48 hours, but offered an empty apology and made no effort to correct the situation (which was not a weather-related delay, which is beyond their control).  

Air France outsourced the response to a concern about a letter with a refund check that contained no refund check to Delta.  Writing on behalf of Air France 6 weeks after I sent my note, Delta told me that they couldn’t do anything (why the person didn’t refer the issue to the appropriate person at Air France is beyond me.)

At least these airlines had the decency to acknowledge the concern.

Loblaws? Happy to take my money; could care less about responding to my concern. 

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