Monday, January 18, 2016

Customer Service!

     In December, the base of my wooden office chair (it matches my old oak desk) broke for good.  I reglued the center wooden piece but it was getting to be more glue than wood, and the wood broke again in a few days.

     I thought I would have to get a new chair, but remembered seeing chair bases in the Van Dyke's Restorer's catalog. In my experience, they sell quality stuff and it is priced accordingly.  I ordered the base and it arrived in a few weeks, drop-shipped from the manufacturer.  I let it sit in the box until I had time (and weather!) to get a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil on it.

     So, when I unpacked it during a warm spell, I was pleased with the sturdy, graceful construction but distressed to find one of the socket inserts for the rollers was missing!  I went ahead with the finishing -- no telling how long the weather would hold -- and called Van Dyke's on the next work day evening.

     Got the usual helpful-but-noncommittal line (and you can't blame the customer-service operator for that -- all she can do is send the complaint up the line; she was pleasant on the phone, which can't be easy, call after call), and went looking for a replacement part in the meantime.  Over the next few days, it became apparent that the sockets were unusually heavy-duty (which is good) and replacements were not available locally (not so good).  The base was made by and drop-shipped from Frank Chervan Inc., who sell only wholesale: they make very fine furniture frames, not finished furniture.  So I called them.  Couldn't speak with a human but I left my particulars with the nice robots, not especially hopeful.  A $2.00 part from a wholesale manufacturer?  Never happen.

     About a week later, a lumpy envelope arrived addressed to me.  The return address was Chervan and inside?  The missing roller socket.  Not a thing more.

     I don't know if Van Dyke's or my phone message was the cause, but either way they were as good as gold, and no faffing about: the missing part, promptly and without a quibble.  Now that's customer service!


Raz Raxxaffian said...

Good for you!
My favorite office chair has been sidelined for more than a year due to a non-repairable crack in the mounting frame. Welds have been tried and failed.

There used to be used office equipment stores everywhere, but now they have seemingly gone the way of the dodo. One would thing that in this buoyant economic climate there would be more of them, not fewer.

Opposite year continues with a vengeance.


Anonymous said...

Customer service seems to be hit-or-miss for me. It *could* be my sparkling personality.

*cough* :)

Please consider dropping them a note of appreciation, it might encourage more companies to be nicer to their customers...

pigpen51 said...

there are good people everywhere. sometimes, they are able to help like this. I am sure they were glad to be able to do it. quality companies tend to attract quality people.