Custom Search

Friday, August 30, 2013

TIAA-CREF vs Goodwill: Customer Service

I mentioned yesterday that I had two dispiriting--nay, upsetting--customer service experiences with TIAA-CREF (my retirement people) yesterday. I could just feel the reps reading from their scripts and I didn't like the scripts. How about some empathy, people? Empathy about over-complex systems that make things difficult and time-consuming for the customer or client or whatever it is I am. Well, let's just skip the details. Bad customer service.

Now a true tale of good customer service from Goodwill, of all places. Miss Em and I had an errand near Goodwill (yay!!!) so we had no choice--had to go. There hidden amongst the "designer" purses was something I wanted, but seemed so unlikely a find that it wasn't even on my karmic prayer list: a push mower. Frugal Son wants one, actually. I couldn't get the mower to push; neither could the young woman working. But Matt the manager emerged and showed us how to do it. I was nervous because it was $25.00, squeaky, and I wasn't sure if it REALLY worked. So I asked Matt if I could return it. He called HIS superior, who said NO--one can only return electronics.

Matt then reduced the price to $20.00 but was firm on no returns. Miss Em and I were unsure--did it only need some WD-40 or was it a piece of junk? Miss Em had the genius idea of testing it on the lawn outside. We asked if she could try it. Permission was sought from the manager in the back room. A big fellow emerged and said I'll do it for you. We all traipsed outside where, instead of Miss Em, the big guy mowed the lawn. He was fast!

We bought it. Thanks for a good customer service moment Goodwill. Mowing the lawn was definitely not on this guy's job description.


Diane said...

Great story. Thank you for telling it. This squares with what I know about Goodwill. Employees have seen a lot, and many have had tough lives, and the ones I know are kind and understanding as a result. The best.

Shelley said...

Well, yes it was good of him to help you out; then again, I think it was in his JD to sell the thing. Still, not everyone would bother. I just closed an account that was impossible for me to handle all the security stuff they (in India) piled on. It wasn't just me being stupid, either. When I sent the email saying I wanted the account closed, ICICI Bank's customer service person sent me a long rambling email full of justification, along with the promise that my check would be along within 2 weeks. Instead, a month later I got another email notice that my statement was ready for viewing. I sent another email with the promise of following up with the financial services authority here and finally got the account closed...a major hassle but one less thing to put down on the form for the Department of Treasury who wants to know about every single one of my bank accounts...very tedious indeed, but I comply!

Duchesse said...

Delightful story. Agree w/Shelly- but also, probably a nice little berak from office work.

Duchesse said...

Sorry for typo, that should be "break".

Frugal Scholar said...

@Diane--Most of the current employees at my GW are great. They used to hire a lot of crabby people.

@Shelley--Like everyone else, we have suffered through many similar situations: wrong info, papers lost, etc etc.

@Duchesse--I am the queen of typos so no need to correct!