Saturday, January 31, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
My name is Perry Littrell. I had the misfortune of being a customer of your company on January 20, 2009 thru January 21, 2009. We chose a moving coordinator WeHaul, Inc. based on a binding, so long as it didn’t cost them any money, quote that was significantly less than a competitors binding quote and ended up costing us significantly more than what was quoted.
We understood that this wasn’t your company’s fault. We didn’t complain to your employees, we didn’t tell your movers to bring all of our property back. We complained to WeHaul, who told us to stiff your company to recoup our loses.
We didn’t, because we didn’t think that was fair to you.
And when your employees called with a move-in time between 4 and 7 p.m. on the 21st or on the 22nd between 8 and 11 a.m. if the 21st move-in time couldn’t be accomplished; we didn’t complain. We understood. Things sometimes arise and besides our contract said that the move-in period was between the 21st and 23rd. So when no one called at 7 or arrived by then, we assumed your company would be delivering our property sometime between 8 and 11 a.m. on the January 21.
We didn’t call to complain. We didn’t demand any compensation for our lost 3 hours.
Then when your employees called at 8:15 p.m. to say they were on their way, we simply asked that they wait until morning, as we had previously agreed. You see, we have a 2 year old daughter who was already falling asleep on our couch, the only piece of furniture we had in our new apartment, and didn’t want to wake her. They told us this should be no problem. As an afterthought, my wife asked we not be charged for storage as it was not our fault the delivery was over an hour late.
They said it shouldn’t be a problem, but they would call to check with Tracie.
Five minutes later we were called by Tracie, who informed us curtly that there would be a $250 dollar storage fee because your company was late delivering our products.
Understandably, we were upset. We had already been taken advantage of by one party in this move, and now we were having our prostate examined by your company as well.
My wife gave me the phone, which in retrospect was probably not a good idea, I start my work day at 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. is close to my normal bed time, I was needless to say tired and not in the most agreeable of moods.
I told Tracie the fee was unacceptable. We were paying quite a bit of money to your company for this move and we had already waited patiently for what was now four hours for our furniture which had not yet arrived, nor had there been any communication up until this point. I said the courteous and professional thing to do would be to wait and deliver our property first thing in the morning sans fee. She told me that your company could deliver our furniture at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of our move contract and that we should be ready to accept delivery 24 hours a day at any time during this period or be prepared to pay a storage fee.
This was approximately the time when I became rude, and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Tracie. While she was discourteous and unhelpful in all ways, treated my wife and I like vagrants, rather than valued customers who were spending over a $1000 dollars with your company, and made an extremely derogatory comment about me being chauvinistic despite my making no comments to her in any way that were demeaning to her sex (though I was rather pointed about her ability to do her job), she still did not deserve to have me use the language I did toward her.
I demanded Tracie contact her supervisor. I am not sure if this was you or someone in the department your company refers to tongue-in-cheek as customer “service”, but I was informed by Tracie he would not enjoy being bothered at 8:30 p.m. during his family time. I pointed out the obvious irony of her being concerned with her manager’s family time, while she was clearly not concerned with her paying customer’s family time. She did not seem to find the humor in my observation. Eventually, she did contact said supervisor. She then informed me, after contacting him, that we could refuse delivery and not pay a storage charge, but our furniture would be taking an all expenses paid 7-day, 6-night Florida vacation without us.
I thought about the joy this would bring my furniture to experience the warm Florida weather rather than the bitter Chicago cold, but made a cold-hearted decision that my family needed our furniture more than the furniture needed the vacation.
I then had a very blunt discussion with Tracie about the destination of her immortal soul, and gave her rather harsh, but ultimately sound advice for her love life and hung up.
Obviously, I did not feel fully vindicated with my pyrrhic victory as I ultimately accepted the fact that our furniture would be moved into my apartment at a time where the rest of the street was preparing for its evening slumber.
On a positive note, both Casey and Ezekial were very pleasant and cordial gentleman who did their utmost to be as quiet and efficient as possible when moving our furniture in under the dark cover of night.
By now you have probably thrown this note in the trash and berated your poor secretary for being foolish enough to put it on your desk. I seriously doubt someone in your position at a company so flagrantly disinterested in doing what is right by its customers has bothered to read a nearly 3 page complaint letter, but if you are still reading I assure you this letter is coming to a rather quick and tidy conclusion.
So what does this have to do with advertising and the business of marketing in general?
The time for self-absorbed presidents, aloof CEOs, and generally prickish General Managers is rapidly coming to a close. Our economy is in a downward spiral of trouble, which ultimately will change how consumers do business in this country forever. The internet is allowing more of the disenfranchised consumer base the ability to voice complaints about companies more concerned about the bottom line than providing a genuine quality product or service and allowing more potential consumers the ability to search the web to find out if anyone like them has ever had an experience like me and will use that knowledge to ultimately make decisions on how they spend their precious budgets. As marketers, advertisers, communicators we need to vigorously express this concept to our clients. No matter how much they spend on their marketing budget, if they do bad work and treat their customers badly, all the award winning advertising in the world won't save them.
I only wish that I would have had the time or prescience to look up reviews for these companies before moving. I might have then had the good sense to use one of their more customer-friendly competitors, but hindsight is 20/20 and I must deal with my mistakes, just like these companies will someday have to deal with theirs. But unlike them, all I will be doing is looking back on this letter and laughing at my impotent rage, while they look back on this letter while updating their impotent resumes.
I have made it a personal mission of mine to post this as many times as I can on as many different review sites as I can. And while I'm not sold that Twitter or Facebook is ultimately going to be the driving force of advertising and marketing, I think they are precursors of what will be the driving force of the most powerful form of marketing; word-of-mouth.
Take care, best of luck, and warmest regards,
Perry J. Littrell.
P.S. Ezekial and Casey really were super cool, its a shame they work for such gigantic sphincters.