When customer service won’t help, we do: Roseman
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Jan 18, 2016  |  Vote 13    0

When customer service won’t help, we do: Roseman


You need quick help with a consumer problem, but can’t reach anyone who will listen carefully and try to resolve your complaint.

I love connecting people to higher-level problem solvers at large companies. There are great rewards in straightening out a dilemma just when a consumer is ready to give up. Here are a few examples:

Case #1: Expedia

Cynthia Lam booked a trip for four adults and two children (a five-year-old and an infant) to Disney World. She and her husband chose Expedia, a large online travel agency.

“There were some issues with Expedia’s web page, so my husband spent an hour and a half on the phone. At last, everything was booked and we told our family we were scheduled to leave Jan. 3,” she said.

But the confirmation email, sent Dec. 12, showed a booking for only one room. The package she saw online was for two rooms.

Expedia promised to review the recorded conversation and get back to her within 72 hours. Nothing happened. She tried again several times. Nothing happened.

Finally, she was told it was her error. Since she didn’t want to pay $1,000 more for a second room, she’d have to tell a disappointed 5-year-old he would not go to Disney World.

Resolution: Expedia absorbed the cancellation fee for another booking she made and worked with the original hotel to book a second room. In total, it covered $1,144 in costs.

“While records do not show agent error was a factor in this case, Expedia.ca is committed to creating a positive experience for its users,” a spokesman said. “The customers are now on their trip and were satisfied with the quick resolution Expedia.ca was able to provide.”

Case #2: Staples

Debbie Anderson bought a $670 Lenovo laptop from Staples in 2013, along with a $150 extended warranty. When the screen hinge failed in December, she was told it was covered.

After waiting three weeks for a repair, she had to contact the claims department about a buyout, since Lenovo couldn’t supply the parts.

Staples’ warranty said it would provide a replacement product for the same value of the original product. But since its liability was limited to the depreciated value of the computer at the time of her claim, she was offered only $400 for a buyout — and only in the form of a gift card.

“I have one choice, to accept this minuscule amount, which means I have to give even more money to Staples, less than two years after buying my laptop, in order to get a replacement,” she said.

Resolution: Staples vice-president Pete Gibel received my forwarded email on Sat., Jan. 2. He responded right away, asking if he could call the customer.

On Mon., Jan. 4, Staples offered a full payout for her laptop, plus the return of her hard drive. Anderson was happy to see a large company stand by its warranty.

Case #3: Bell Mobility

Kathy Murphy was trying to help her father. He was travelling in Chile with a friend who developed a serious skin infection and was flown to a big city to see a specialist.

“My dad has had a heck of a time trying to make things work with Bell Mobility,” she said. “It was a challenge for him to buy a travel package and the carrier they assigned didn’t work.

“I ended up paying off his December bill just so they wouldn’t block his account. But Bell wouldn’t let me increase the travel package because I wasn’t authorized.”

Resolution: Jason Laszlo, a media contact for Bell Canada, referred her complaint to the executive office. Within a day, Murphy was notified that the spending cap on her father’s plan had been removed, allowing him to make more calls.

Case #4: The Beer Store

Peter, known as @GOvoygr on Twitter, asked me to track down his missing deposit on a six-pack of O’Doul’s amber de-alcoholized beer.

Zehrs, a supermarket chain owned by Loblaw’s, charged 10 cents for each bottle to ensure they were returned. But Zehrs sent him to The Beer Store for a return of the deposit — and The Beer Store sent him back to Zehrs.

Resolution: Kevin Groh, a Loblaw’s spokesman, said Zehrs was correct in charging for the deposit. The Beer Store does not sell the O’Doul’s product, but does give back deposits paid for it.

“Given how rare it is to see these returns in our locations, we have sent a memo to all our Beer Store team members reminding them about this deposit issue,” said spokesman Bill Walker.

“We will also reach out to Peter on Twitter to make sure he is aware of our policy and to ensure the deposit will be refunded to him the next time he visits his local Beer Store.”

Toronto Star

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(2) Comment

By Jeff | JANUARY 23, 2016 10:28 AM
Ellen Roseman has been very helpful to me two or three times over the years. If anyone can fix a problem, it will be her!
By Jon | JANUARY 20, 2016 03:38 PM
Our City of Cambridge staff and officials are not listening to the complaints of the residents. We get tax increases and are being forced to support legacy projects with no respect to the lack of funds and the complaints of taxpayers. In the meanwhile, our Mayor is getting a paid trip to Dubai, compliments of our tax dollars. We need help. We need someone to get our Mayor and City staff to listen and do right by the residents of our city.
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