Thursday, April 07, 2011

Good and mediocre corporate bureaucracies

We have had a dripping faucet for a while and I finally got around to trying to fix it this week.  The story about disassembling is long, but I did disassemble the faucet to the point of pulling out the cartridge.  No matter how much or how hard I pulled, it wouldn't budge.

I called Moen's customer support and arranged for next day delivery of the cartridge.  The support service person said the package would include a tool to dislodge the cartridge.  All I needed to pay was for the shipping!!!

It had not arrived by two this afternoon, and so I called Moen back.  The customer support person told me that it was shipped by FedEx and gave me the tracking number.  She told me that it had arrived at the FedEx location and would be delivered by three.  No package at three.

I went to the FedEx web site and checked the tracking number.  The latest item is that it arrived at 12:25 a.m. at the FexEx location in Memphis TN from Las Vegas NV.  Memphis TN?  Is it on its way to Duluth GA?

I crawled the FedEx web site and found an 800 number.  I got a voice activated computer.  It said that the package would be delivered by three.  I could not break out of the cycle of getting the same response.  Maybe I should have said that I would like to speak with a person or punched zero.

This latter is another example of corporate efficiency at the cost of effectiveness for the customer.

But the story doesn't stop there.

I did find a feedback email form for FedEx and sent a message about the runaround and stalled status.

I also checked a Memphis paper and found that there was a big storm on Monday in Memphis, with thousands of homes and businesses still without power this morning.  Does that mean that some aspects of FedEx were not functioning fully?

I called Moen back to check if they could tell me more.  Not much, but the person told me she would send another, then I might have a spare.

Later yet, a FedEx representative called me to tell me that I would receive my package tomorrow.  I brought up about the storm and he said it was Monday but that lots of places had no power.  He did seem a bit harried, and so I didn't say much more.

Other than having to punch a few numbers to get to a live Moen representative, I would give them high marks for customer service.

In general, I would give FedEx low marks.  Probably in normal times, their tracking system would be a great help, but the computer voice recognition system needs lots of work.  FedEx does gain a few points for the phone call follow-up.  But they lose them for not having a backup for their tracking system, including a notation of problems out of their control.