A Surprising Story of Good Customer Service

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GE Microwave Broken

A Microwave Similar to my Broken One

They say that bad customer service is talked about much more than good customer service and I completely understand why. Last night I was about to write a post entitled “I Hate This Company” because of a crappy situation.

I posted about it on Twitter and then a very surprising thing happened. The company contacted me through Twitter without me directly engaging them. I was shocked. So what happened to cause me to hate this company and what happened when they contacted me?

The Angering Event

Just a little bit over a year ago I bought my first house. The house didn’t come with a microwave so I had to buy one because I use microwaves a decent amount of the time. We settled on a counter top GE microwave that was a little less than $100 since we would eventually be remodeling the kitchen to include an over the stove hood microwave. It worked fine until this past Monday when we returned from our cruise.

Monday afternoon I received a call from my girlfriend while I was at work. The microwave wasn’t working properly. It looked and sounded fine. It would run but it wouldn’t heat anything up. I wasn’t happy but I figured we could get it fixed with the warranty that was likely included. That was until I pulled out the manual…

The limited warranty only lasted one year and we had bought the microwave over a year ago. I was disappointed but figured the next step would be to call GE and see if they could help me. I called their appliances number but every time I went through their automated menus I would get hung up on or told to call back later. This infuriated me. As a last ditch effort I filled out their contact form and figured I’d never hear back from them. Just so you know, I still haven’t heard back from my form submittal as of Tuesday evening.

The last thing I did that night in anger was write a tweet that ended up being the best thing I did. I wrote, “Time to write an I Hate GE Post… my grandpa had it right – Never buy a GE product. Microwave quit 1 month after 1 yr warranty expired.” (If you want to follow all of my tweets, follow me on twitter!) It was true, my Grandpa had so many bad experiences with GE that he vowed never to buy another product from them because they always broke. Now I was ready to take that same position until…

The Surprising Reaction

I woke up Tuesday morning to the following tweet from GE: “So sorry. If there’s anything we can do, pls let us know >Megan”. I was shocked mostly because I didn’t put anything in my tweet to alert GE. They must search for any mentions of their brand and respond accordingly.

She gave me a contact email and I sent them my story. I explained that I bought this microwave a little over a year ago and that it just quit heating. I knew the warranty had expired but I expect appliances to last more than a month past the expiration of the warranty.

They responded quickly, to my surprise, and said they were sorry for the experience I had and requested the model number and serial number of my microwave, a copy of my receipt, my home address and telephone number.

I gave them all of the info I had but I somehow had misplaced my receipt. (Another reason why I should consider a Neat Desk or Neat Receipts scanner I suppose…) I was super bummed but figured I’d see if they could help in any way.

The Result That Made Me Change My Mind About GE

I received a response from the representative that shocked me even more. They said they’d be willing to give me a Good Will Certificate for up to $90 to replace my broken GE microwave with a new GE microwave. I could buy a new microwave today and when I get the Good Will Certificate in 7 to 10 business days I just have to detach part of the certificate and mail it in with the receipt for my new GE microwave to be reimbursed. I must complete this within 90 days or else it will expire.

I was floored. I didn’t even have my receipt and they were still willing to help! I still have had a bad experience with GE’s product but I am willing to give them a second chance. They impressed me with their high level of customer service through Twitter and who am I to turn down a mostly free microwave? Hopefully this new microwave lasts a long time and GE can prove that all of their products aren’t going to break.

*Side Note* In retrospect I realized another option. Since I know I bought this on my credit card I could have use their warranty extending service to get it fixed or replaced. I’ve never used this though so I don’t know the details for how it works but at least be aware of this option.

Have you ever had a similar customer service experience? Share it below! Good customer service should be rewarded more often!

photo by: SmartGoat

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

Comments

  1. It’s a shame that we’ve gotten to a place where good customer service is so rare that it needs to be celebrated like this.

    Glad you got it worked out – other companies I’ve had great service from are Ultimate Direction and Apple (though Apple’s service seems to have become less hassle free than it used to be)

  2. That’s great they took the time to do that, I’ve never ever heard a company go out of their way like that (I’m thinking of Time Warner Cable, At&t, and many other notoriously awful customer service).

    Nice Lance, I haven’t had such an awesome experience in customer service, but hopefully will soon.

    When I worked in a Bank, if a customer was having a rough day, I would sing to them through the drive-thru, that was my superior customer service lol

    Cheers!

    • Haha well hopefully it was great singing which cheered them up or awful singing which made them laugh, either way a unique way to go about it.

  3. I got really pissed at CenturyLink a few months ago, tweeted about it, and within 20 minutes had a random tweet from somebody that works in the customer service department. He gave me his email addressed, we exchanged some emails, and he got all of my overcharges taken care of and my promotional prices back (even when 2 people at CenturyLink told me there was nothing that could be done).

    It’s great to have companies that take care of things like this. It’s certainly pretty neat and they’re obviously getting some good pub out of the deal. It’s nice being a blogger sometimes.

    • It is amazing how companies can suddenly fix things sometimes… makes you wonder how many are telling the truth that they can’t do anything.

  4. Wow, it looks like it worked out great in the end. I think part of the reason why it’s surprising is thst manhy companies today give crappy customer service…and that’s putting it nice. I don’t really have any similar stories, just common airline issues that sre to be unfortunately expected from many of them.

  5. That’s great that they came through in such a good way. Hopefully they also get some positive exposure from this post as well. I’m glad you posted it, as many people will fail to post good experiences on their blogs or twitter pages, but instead will only post the negative. I’m sure companies greatly appreciate seeing both!

  6. Funancials says:

    I was only going to mention the credit card perk of doubling the manufacturers warranty, but you covered it! I’m going to start tweeting companies I’m upset with…seems to have the quickest response time.

  7. Justin @ The Family Finances says:

    Great story, and I’m glad it all worked out. Honestly, I think in the past I would have simply bought a new microwave and not even thought twice about it. This is a good reminder to check into warranties and such even on things like microwaves.

  8. Wow! That’s a fantastic story. I’ve had great customer service at Disney, but usually I feel the way you did: overcharged and underappreciated.

  9. Many (40+) years ago, I owned a Mercury Capri and the alternator went out just after the warranty period. I contacted Ford (regional office) and they took care of it. This is nothing new, most companies will respond positively if given a chance and you are willing to get to the right people. Persistence wins!

  10. Black & Decker just redeemed itself in my eyes. The blender that we spent $60 on — because it was better quality than the generics — quit. After three months. Yeah, it was still under warranty, so I suppose they had to help. But their service was courteous, helpful and quick about returning my call.

    Plus, they’re not making me send in the whole blender, which would be costly and aggravating. I just send in part of the cord and they’ll send a new blender.

  11. Mandy @MoneyMasterMom says:

    Derek had a run in with Norton Anti Virus a few months ago…… we were renewing our membership and assumed the “special” renewal price was a good deal. We were annoyed to later find out that it is actually cheaper to google Norton, and buy a new 1 year subscription from the website. Derek really took it to customer service because it was a sneaky trick! hmmm I should add that sneaky trick to my post of marketing tricks. Thanks for the idea!

  12. Wow that’s awesome!

  13. That’s really neat that they responded to your tweet that didn’t even go to them! I have been using twitter a little bit for customer service stuff lately, but I generally go directly to the company. Yesterday I tweeted Subway to ask how much their breakfast sandwich costs in Toronto because I was writing a post… as of yet, no response!

  14. I’ve had good customer service with my Bissel vacuum and my kodak printer. It’s such a pleasure.

  15. Pam@thesavingsblog says:

    That’s beautiful, you know i have this thought. Maybe social media is the best NEW GROUND for customer service we should prefer nowadays. I mean like, with all the people so connected to the social media who knows this works better than calling them on their hotline when we know we aren’t even gonna get the slightest of their attention. I am surprised they valued your complaint upon seeing them at Twitter. And can you imagine if they ignored your tweet and then you eventually wrote and posted the article your were planning to write? still i wouldn’t think it would do a huge impact to GE but i am really surprised. Maybe we should give these companies a little try somehow.

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