Saturday, August 20, 2011

And Sometimes You Win One

Here’s a story about customer service. I’ve been involved with customer service in one way or another for the balance of my working life. Customer service is something I pay close attention to. Of course, I’ve also been a customer for pretty close to the same amount of time, so I know this sword from both ends. It’s certainly made for some interesting experiences.

Sometime last year I found myself in need of a new computer printer. I didn’t use my old one enough and it basically dried up. No amount of head cleaning or Q-Tips with alcohol would get it printing again so I began looking for a new one.

I’m not really picky on my printers. I need them to work and print legible pages but I don’t need photo quality work or special features. Affordable ink is a big plus, as are separate color and black ink cartridges.

I found a printer on sale at Target, a Lexmark X4650, that seemed as if it would fulfill my needs. In addition to printing it had a scanner that seemed like it would be useful, and it was on sale; that's always a big incentive for me.

For a while the printer worked well. Then it began having paper feed issues. The paper wouldn’t go all the way into the printer and only the latter half of the document would be printed on the top half of the paper. Very frustrating. After some troubleshooting I discovered that it fed better if I kept a pretty thick sheaf of paper in the tray. Then that stopped working. I ended up having to reach over to push the first sheet of paper into the printer when it was getting set to print. Very frustrating. Finally, the print quality went south. The first half of a document printed fine but the second half faded to the point of illegibility at the bottom of the page. I tried everything, head cleaning, alignment, wiping the ink cartridges on a clean lint-free cloth in the prescribed direction, nothing worked. More than frustrating.

Cruising the Lexmark website looking for solutions I happened across customer reviews for this printer. The balance of these reviews were pretty positive so I could only think that I had one of the few exceptions to the rule. I also found an email address for Lexmark Listens, a customer feedback opportunity. I took the opportunity to send them an email begging for help in getting my printer working so I could quit hacking up hairballs every time I needed to print something.

Here’s where things got interesting.

After a few days had passed with no reply I figured Lexmark was like many companies and really only wanted to hear about their customer’s good experiences and they really weren’t going to help me.

Then I got their email.

I was shocked.

The Lexmark customer service representative apologized for the issues I was experiencing and noted that most of their customers had great results with their printers, they really weren’t sure why I was having these issues and didn’t know what to tell me to assist in getting it working properly.

Would I like a new printer? The one I have is discontinued so they’ll have to upgrade me to the latest model.

Wait… what? Would I like a new printer? A better one? In this day and age of questionable customer service and companies edging their customers into taking the blame for their issues, Lexmark was apologizing and offering me a new printer. I accepted!

The new printer was sent out that week via FedEx, overnight, no less. I haven’t installed it yet but I am sure it will install and work without a hitch.
At this point I can’t say enough good things about Lexmark.

Their email to me was the proper level of compassion and apology and their treatment of my issues was exemplary. I could not have asked for better customer service. Lexmark is a company that I feel good about recommending.

Note: I was at a friend’s house the other day doing some sewing and noticed that they have the same printer model that was giving me hairballs. They said it’s worked great for them and given good service. It sounds like I really did get an exception to the rule in mine.

Happy archery... and printing!

3 comments:

Chevrolet W-Series Turbocharger said...

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Guy Taylor said...

Thanks, Chevy. I really appreciate that.
But I do have to apologize to readers for not keeping up on the posts. I've got ideas for writing but I just haven't taken the time to get them into print. I'll try to do better and get back into at least semi-regular posting.

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