Two stories of great customer service

This content is 17 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

It’s not often that I receive excellent customer service (a subject on which Guy Kawasaki has written a very interesting post) and when I do, I’ll shout about it. Today I got great service from not just one but two technology companies.

I’ve been thinking about buying an iPod with Video for a while now and a few months back, I had the opportunity to win one as an incentive for passing the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Live Communications Server 2005 exam. Although I was offered an 30GB iPod, I’d really like to fit my entire iTunes library on the device, so I asked for the 80GB model instead (offering to pay the difference). For various practical reasons that wasn’t going to work out, so I waited until it was given to me and tried to exchange it at an Apple Store. They couldn’t exchange it for me, but they did check the serial number and told me that it was sold by Amazon. Meanwhile I bought a protective case from Apple and was very impressed that there was no queuing up to pay – the store assistants could complete the sales process on the shop floor and e-mail me a receipt.

Next, I contacted Amazon, to see what they could do to help. In addition to e-mail contact service, Amazon (UK) has a facility on their website whereby they will call you back and you can talk to a real person and their customer service staff (in Ireland – note that they have not outsourced customer service to companies on another continent where English is not a primary language) were really helpful. It seems that I can return a gift to Amazon (within 30 days) and they will pay the postage and issue a credit on my account. The theory is that I can return the 30GB iPod and buy an 80GB model using the credit and some more money of my own. All I need to do now is to get hold of the original order number and I can complete the Returns Support Centre wizard on the Amazon website.

Of course, now I’ve finally got my hands on an iPod with Video, Apple is bound to announce a 6G touchscreen iPod with a large flash-based hard disk… oh well, c’est la vie.

4 thoughts on “Two stories of great customer service

  1. Unfortunately, this tale doesn’t end quite as well as it starts. The iPod was purchased from (not and although I’d be happy to return it for a $ price rather than £, it will involve shipping it to the US (at my cost, adjusted to take into account any shipping discounts when the item was originally ordered). Add to that the fact that only offers e-mail customer service and that seems to generate a standard reply (not even answering my question about whether I can use a gift credit at to buy goods at and I’m now a bit underwhelmed.

    I guess I’ll be keeping the 30GB model then.

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