Every month or so, I get together with a couple women I worked with in a former life. Our team was pretty close-knit so when we moved on to different positions, it was important we stay connected. Though these dinners at first resulted in rants about our respective workplace experiences, they’ve mellowed to friendlier topics like politics, religion and who we believe is the best hairstylist in town.
During our last meet-up, my friends were sharing their individual yet similar experiences with coffeemakers. It sounds riveting, I know, to have an entire discussion about coffeemakers, but it resulted in a money-saving strategy that I feel compelled to share.
Without going into the mind-numbing details, each friend called the manufacturer of her coffeemaker when it died. By chatting with a rep about how long she owned the device and whether it was prudent to have it repaired, each friend received a new coffeemaker for free or at half the selling price. In fact, one friend had her Starbucks coffee machine perish after just two years of use. She brought it to her local branch and walked out with a new one, free of charge.
It’s important to note these experiences occurred with several different coffeemaker manufacturers. This level of customer service isn’t limited to one forward-thinking company; it seems to be the norm for most of them.
I’ve discussed the success of simply asking for what you want before, but to be honest it wouldn’t occur to me to contact the manufacturer of a broken item unless I’d recently purchased it. If my coffeemaker finally died after 17 years, I’d go pick one up at Sam’s Club. Thanks to this conversation with my friends, I’ll think twice about this approach.
Have you had a similar experience with replacing broken items? Any examples of requests gone wrong or more examples of great customer service?