Double Postage From Aeropostale

There should be consequences for poor customer service.

I’m reading Empowered by Forrester analysts Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler. They talk about the impact of what they call groundswell technologies – the 21st Century technology we associate with the Internet, Social Media  and Smart Mobile devices – on how Empowered Bookcompanies can and should do business. Their book, as you might expect, is full of empowered employees they call HEROs who go the extra mile to make things better. It’s a great book, you should read it, and I’ll write a full review of it at some point. For now, I feel empowered to use some groundswell technology to demand my pound of flesh. Sometimes the best way to describe how TO do something is to show how NOT TO do it. Here goes.

My wife recently purchased some jackets for my girls from p.s from Aeropostale via their website. She specifically waited for a day when they had a free shipping offer. When the jackets arrived there was clearly a mistake in size: she had ordered medium, these were extra-large. She called Customer Service.

The customer service rep was curt and unapologetic. The mistake was clearly on our part and there was nothing the customer service rep could do to help. She checked the order in the system and it said extra-large. My wife believed her. Her resolution option? See if this would make you a satisfied customer:

  1. Ship back the extra-large jackets – at our expense;
  2. Order and pay for new jackets, including shipping – no honoring the original Free Shipping offer we had;
  3. They would credit us for the jackets when they received the return.

My wife really liked the jackets so she reluctantly complied.

Funny thing. When she printed out the email confirmation to include in the return she checked the order. Sure enough, it said “medium.” She had indeed ordered the correct size.

So, not only had Aeropostale customer service been curt and unapologetic, they were wrong!

So folks, please go ahead and forward/tweet/share this story of poor customer service with all your friends, relative, neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, and total strangers.

Not for me. No. There are many more egregious wrongs to right besides my lost $20 in shipping. Do it because that is the power of groundswell technology to initiate change in Corporate America. When we operate in ignorance,  they fail to incur the costs of their incompetence.  Shed a little light so the next person will fair better than I.

And read the book. It’s really good.