The Tale of Three Companies

This is the tale of my experience with three companies’ post sale service — Coway, Aerogaz and Rinnai.

Coway offers a periodic service — every two months. The technician would call a day before or in the morning that he is coming to set an appointment. So far, the technician has been punctual, arriving exactly the the agreed time. The technician was courteous and professional.

A few days later, a personnel from the Coway office would call for a feedback. Did the technician come for service? Was he neatly dressed in his uniform? Was he punctual? Did he clean the work area? On a scale from 1 to 5, how would I rate him?

I bet it is because of this follow up call, Coway’s technicians know that their performance is constantly evaluated, and therefore, they do their best to serve their customers.

My experience with Rinnai’s technician about two weeks ago was less than pleasant. He told me that one of the filters had to be replaced but it’s not in stock. When I asked him when it would be available, he rudely answered that he didn’t know. He even raised his voice and berated me that since I’m the one using the product, I should know which parts need to be replaced and when.

What the _______? I didn’t pay for service so that a technician can come into my house and be rude to me. I told him to finish his work quickly and leave. The moment he left, I called the customer service and requested for the email address and telephone number of the manager. I then wrote him an email, relating what had happened. To the manager’s credit, he responded to my email on the same day. He expressed his shock at the technician’s behaviour, apologised and promise appropriate action will be taken.

I think it might’ve been about two years ago that the Aerogaz product I used required servicing. I called Aerogaz and the person I spoke to informed me that their technician will drop by at my place. I requested that the technician come in the afternoon and she agreed to send him over at 3.00 p.m. On the day of the appointment, the technician called me at around 11 a.m. and said he’s coming in half an hour. It told him it was not possible because I was at work and the appointment was at three. He said he can’t make it at three and didn’t bother setting another appointment.

I called the Aerogaz office to complain about it and the same woman then agreed to set another appointment on a different day. The second time, the technician arrived at the agreed time.

Fast forward to November, 2010. On Monday, I called Aerogaz because the product I’m using requires service. The person I spoke to said that the technician will come on Wednesday and will call me that morning to set an appointment. So today, I waited till noon and no one called.

I called Aerogaz office to inform her that the technician hadn’t called me. She nonchalantly said that she didn’t know why the technician hadn’t called and asked if I had called the technician. I told her that I didn’t know the technician’s phone number and she gave me his number.

I called the technician and he actually asked me if he could come tomorrow. I said, No, tomorrow is not convenient for me. Besides, his office agreed that he is to come today. He then said that he would come at 2.00 p.m. The technician arrived at 4.40 p.m.

The technician told me that he specialised in repairing gas cookers whereas mine was an electric cooker. I said to him that I informed the Aerogaz office that mine is an electric cooker. Apparently, the office person assigned the wrong person to come to my place. Excellent!

One thing for sure, Aerogaz’s customer service has gone from not so good to bad.

It makes me wonder… why does one company understand the importance of customer service while the other two seem to have a couldn’t-care-less attitude.

Coway’s service says: We appreciate your business and you as a customer, and we do our best to provide the best post-sale service.

Aerogaz’s and Rinnai’s service says: Thank you for your money. We have a post-sale service so that we can continue taking money from your from time to time. Other than that, we couldn’t care less about you.

Will I recommend Coway to my friends? Definitely. I’ve been telling my friends about Coway and their excellent service. That’s word of mouth recommendation — free advertising for Coway. Will I buy more products from Coway? Sure!

Will I recommend Aerogaz and Rinnai to my friends? Nope. Will I buy from Aerogaz or Rinnai again in the future? Probably not.

I guess in the case of Aerogaz and Rinnai, it’s the consequence of having employees who turn up to do just enough work to secure a pay-check at the end of the month. Their employees are not interested in doing their best to serve customers because they don’t feel that it would benefit them personally. And in the long run, the company will lose out to a competitor who appreciates their customers and understands the importance of good customer service.

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