The customer cares about two things: getting what they paid for and feeling that it was worth the cost. As a Realtor, I think of this often. I certainly feel the responsibility of this commitment when I sign a Buyer's Agency Agreement and/or a Listing Agreement. I would hope my appliance sales store would feel the same thing.
We bought a washing machine a year ago. The first one they delivered didn't work so they brought another. It too didn't work. We suspected they simply tried to fix the first one and redelivered it to our house in the guise of a new machine. Don't know for sure. Regardless, this machine also worked erratically for the year but it worked just well enough to keep us from dealing with it.
Then, days before the one year warranty expired, it conked out completely. That was almost two months ago. Next week, we'll be getting a new machine.
We've spent hours on the phone with the retailer (Maytag store at Laird and Eglinton), the manufacturer (Inglis Canada which is located in either Tennessee or Georgia, not sure which) and the service man (the only accountable one of the lot) and it's been an adventure to be sure.
Without getting into the sordid details, after three service visits and many weeks without a machine, we "now qualify" for a replacement. In other words, only after we were inconvenienced enough would their system kick in and actually help us. That's annoying to say the least. The new machine is being shipped from the U.S. today.
However, what really pisses me off is the attitude of Bill, the guy who sold us the machine in the first place. At no time in this did I feel he was on our side. He advised us to call head office (there's no way he was going to). He gave us the phone number of the service company (that's not his job). He did everything besides own up to the fact he sold us a dud.
The real kicker in all this was when he was driving by one day as I was walking along the street and he pulled over to talk to me about this. As he was going on and on and on about how it wasn't his fault, I suggested that I wasn't interested in his analysis but rather was only interested in getting a new machine and why didn't he just send us one. He would have nothing to do with that.
So, I feel even more strongly now that as a Realtor (it would be the same if I was a Maytag salesman) and I screw up, I'm accountable and will whatever it takes to make it right. That's my duty to my customer and I'm ok with that. That's what the customer paid for and that's what they expect. One things for sure. Replacing a washing machine would have cost a lot less than not replacing it because that fellow will never see my dollar spent anywhere near his store again.
My friend and favourite columnist, The Star's Ellen Roseman wrote about this a few days ago. In this article, it was the retailers who came to the rescue. Bill would be well advised to read this real soon.