If only everyone had customer service down cold

Column by Michael Alcorn
Posted 7/31/21

Everything you need to know for life can be found in Star Trek. If you’re smart enough to listen. For instance, one lesson I learned from Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott “Fool me once, shame on …

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If only everyone had customer service down cold


Everything you need to know for life can be found in Star Trek. If you’re smart enough to listen.

For instance, one lesson I learned from Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” There’s a chance he got it from somewhere else, but in my mind, it will always have come from him.

To illustrate: two weeks ago, our refrigerator died. Great timing, right? Middle of July… who really needs to keep their food cold? So, off we go, my wife and I, hunting for a new refrigerator. Of course, the first stop was Amazon, but… That would have taken too long. It’s not like they have a distribution warehouse right in our back yard. So to the stores we go. (which, for me, is a lot like yellow alert), and we end up finding a decent deal on a great new refrigerator at a big box store which shall remain nameless, but we will refer to as Store B. Bad news, the fridge is not in stock; good news, the warehouse up in Wyoming has one in stock…

… and it can be delivered in 8 days.

At this point, I need to back up. Five years ago, when we bought the refrigerator that pooped out on us, we actually bought several kitchen appliances all at the same time, from two different stores. Both stores promised us delivery on our timeline. The scheduled day of delivery arrived and, in perfect Colorado form, it was snowing that morning. Early in the morning, we get a phone call from Store B, telling us that conditions are too bad out and we won’t get delivery as promised that day, that day being the day before a holiday in which we were planning to use their appliance. And, to make matters worse (for Store B, that is), literally while we’re on the phone being informed that conditions made delivery impossible, a big old truck from Store A arrives with their share of our brand new appliances.

In other words, our experience to this point with Store B’s delivery service has been … unfortunate.

So you’re going to have to imagine my surprise when we got a call from Store B on the morning of our scheduled refrigerator delivery, telling us that the refrigerator was not in town and would not be delivered today.

I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise, given our history, but in retrospect, shame on me.

In case you’re wondering why we didn’t just go with Store A to replace the refrigerator, well … The refrigerator was the second of the three appliances we bought from Store A that have died on us in the short five years since we purchased them.

I know the supply chain is what it is right now, and I know that there are any number of reasons beyond the control of the people who promise things that could influence the successful delivery of a new large appliance. But, seriously, Store B has a worse batting average with us right now than the Rockies do with runners in scoring position on the road.

The point? If you have a company that delivers on its promises, stick with them; if you have a company, strive tirelessly to be a company famous for its reliability.

You don’t want to end up in a Scottish proverb.

On a different subject, my wife and I witnessed an auto accident the other day. Thankfully, nobody was injured, in spite of the terrifying sound of two cars trying to occupy the same space at high rates of speed. But the reason I’m writing this is because within seconds there were three people out of their cars checking on the two drivers, and fourth on her phone with emergency dispatch.

Remember: in spite of your experiences on social media, there are still far more good people in the world — in Arvada — than not. Go Team!

Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Valkyrie’s Kiss,” a finalist in the ScreenCraft Book Competition, is available now at mjalcorn.net. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.


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