The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

June 12, 2006


My email to them:

Guten Tag, meine Bestellung Nr. XXX ist heute angekommen, aber Sie haben mir leider eine falsche CD geliefert. Ich habe bestellt: Chet Baker Ensemble (Pacific Jazz) / Sie haben geliefert: Chet Baker Ensemble and Sextet (Fresh Sound). Bitte um Anweisungen bezüglich Rücksendung und Ersatz.

Their answer to me:

Dieser Artikel ( Chet Baker Ensemble [Audio CD] Chet Baker ) ist unterwegs seit dem 02/06/2006. Die durchschnittliche Lieferungsfrist beträgt 5 bis 10 Tage. Jedenfalls können wir Ihnen keine Lieferungsfrist gewährleisten. Diese Frist kann wegen Post und Zoll verzögert werden. Wir bedanken uns für das Vertrauen, dass Sie uns erteilt haben.

I don't know how many emails their customer service department is receiving every day, but my guess is it's more than they are able to read.

Posted by Horst on June 12, 2006 08:34 PM to the body electric | Tell-a-friend

dieter said on June 13, 2006 09:34 AM:

Was that Amazon? If so, go to your account and follow the indications in the section: Sending back your order.

Still, even if they don't manage to read their e-mail, they should at least read the subjects...

dieter said on June 13, 2006 09:35 AM:

Addendum. CRM is no replacement for customer relations ;-)

Horst said on June 13, 2006 09:43 AM:

No, it was not Amazon, because if it had been, I would have gone to Your Account and followed the instructions for sending back my order.

dd said on June 14, 2006 02:04 AM:

I used to work for a large internet provider once, and one of my main duties was answering support emails. on a good day, I answered about 150 - 200 mails per day. how? easy: you scan each mail for keywords and use mail templates to answer.
customer uses the words "modem" and "connection", I send him the template that explains how to re-install the modem. customer writes "slow", I send him a confusing and highly technical list of init-strings, some snippets from the rfc, and the pricelist for adsl.

this works fine in about 80% of the cases. for the remaining 20%, I used the following template:

sehr geehrte/r...
das von Ihnen beschriebene problem kann verschiedenste ursachen haben. wir möchten Sie daher höflich ersuchen, uns zur eingehenden fehlerdiagnose telefonisch zu kontaktieren.

if the woman who signs the mails of this online dealer really exists, then one must assume she's the only one answering german mail. and if you look at the amount of feedback they get, I'd think she recieves quite a few emails every day. so don't expect her to actually read them.

oh, btw, my favourite template was the one I used for customers who wrote that they couldn't send or recieve mail (this happened quite often):

sehr geehrte/r...,
da wir Ihre nachricht erhalten haben, gehen wir davon aus, dass das senden mittlerweile wieder einwandfrei funktioniert. wenn Sie diese nachricht erhalten, können Sie sicher sein, dass auch der mailempfang auf Ihrer seite tadellos klappt. sollte dieses mail jedoch wider erwarten nicht bei Ihnen ankommen, ersuchen wir Sie höflich, uns zur eingehenden fehlerdiagnose telefonisch zu kontaktieren.

Jann said on June 14, 2006 06:14 AM:

Whenever possible I deal with this type of problem by phone, even if I have to scour the website for a customer service number, and/or wait 15 minutes for a customer service rep. Any misunderstanding regarding the nature of the problem or what would comprise an acceptable solution can be quickly corrected when dealing with a "realperson", as we say here sometimes, (meaning an actual person, talking to us on the phone). Also since the calls are monitored for "quality assurance purposes" and the customers are frequently asked a "few questions" regarding their degree of satisfaction with the encounter, there is a high level of motivation to provide good customer service.

Horst said on June 14, 2006 08:54 AM:

Yes, based on the way they are talking about "Claire" on the website and the kind of answers she's giving, I wouldn't be totally surprised if it turned out that she's a mailbot. But I agree, they must be getting tons of mails.

BTW, the whole thing has been solved now. I sent another (this time bilingual) email explaining the whole thing again, and while they didn't answer my question what to do about the wrong CD and whether they could send me the correct one, they instantly refunded my money.

dieter said on June 14, 2006 09:44 AM:

1. sorry, didn't want to sound patronizing.
2. funny kind of solution. Will you use the refund to try buying the CD elsewhere? And are you going to keep the wrong CD?

Dr. Renaud said on June 14, 2006 09:16 PM:

WRT dd's comment: I am currently working with a customer relations company that is building a system to automate this. If a customer sends in a ticket with the words "modem" and "connection" it will automatically send the template email to help them fix it.

It's only the user's second request that actually makes it to a real person.

Horst said on June 15, 2006 11:43 AM:

dieter: 1.: No problem, it just seemed odd that you assumed I didn't know the parcel return process, given that I receive parcels from Amazon at an almost weekly basis...

2.: That is my dilemma now. I'm not sure whether to return it or not. But since they refunded all the money, it's probably only fair to send the CD back, even though they didn't explicitly tell me to (in fact, Amazon has sometimes explicitly told me to keep a wrong/damaged item rather than send it back). I have now ordered the CD from (USA). It's slightly more expensive there, but at least I can be sure (I hope) to get the correct one there.

dieter said on June 16, 2006 02:24 PM:

Horst, you *must* keep us informed about your fate with :-)

Horst said on June 29, 2006 11:16 AM:

I received the correct item from 17 days after I had ordered it.

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