During our lives we make a lot of transactions. Some are personal, some are business, some are pleasant and others, not so much.  I have two customer service experiences I want to share.

The first customer experience I want to discuss has to do with a company called MultiView - they put together a newsletter for the MMIC (Motorcycle, Moped Industry Council) that is distributed to some 1,800 motorcycle dealers.

I had never read their newsletter, but the advertising offer they gave me at the end of September seemed reasonable. 12 weeks for $500.00 beginning in December.

At the time that I agreed to advertise everything was going well, but about a week and a half later all hell broke loose and things changed. I emailed to cancel the ad and was told the three day window for cancelling had passed and my request to cancel was denied.

So I expressed to them that I would have to send them post dated cheques to cover the ads, because this was a financial hardship.  They threatened to send me to collections because by the time we had this conversation, 30 days had passed. After some wrangling they agreed. Keep in mind this is the middle of October only and the ads haven't even begun to run.

After a few of the post dated cheques go through, I ask when my ads are going to begin running, and I got told that my account had been turned over to a collections company in the US and that my sales rep would no longer be handling the file.  WHAT? You had 4 post dated cheques, you have cashed three and I have been turned into collections, excuse me?  So I contact the collection agency - they do not have me on file.  I email the salesman back - ZERO RESPONSE.

I contact the company's collections department and leave a message.  The call that I got back was very contrite.  Apologies made all over the place, my account is paid in full, ads will begin running right away - they are so sorry for the miscommunication. They are going to give me two weeks of extra ads to make up for the imposition.

During the conversation I offered up some feedback as a customer - the fact that I have NEVER been sent a statement - the fact that all contact after the initial sale was made by me.  The fact that the sales rep just puked out that I had been sent to collections and never once picked up the phone to talk to me...

I reminded the manager in collections for MultiView that I talked to that I am in the same business as he is - but that I am the sales rep, the accountant, the Accounts Payable and Receivable department, editor, layout person and chief cook and bottle washer - I have no one to pass the buck to when things go sideways - I have to take it on the chin and put myself in my customers shoes to find a resolution. He agreed and thanked me for the feedback and promised he would coach his sales person.

So, while not a great experience at least as a customer I felt validated and some small measure of compensation was given.

The second customer service experience happened with a company called Premier Spa Boutique.

They sell skin care products.  I had purchased a complete line as I was out of products, the salesman, while high pressured seemed knowledgable.

One product in particular, not only did not do what it was supposed to but it actually harmed my skin.
I had used it for the full 12 days, exactly as recommended by the sales person.

I had called the company to talk to the sales person on the 13th day to express my dismay at the products claims and what had happened to my skin.  I was on the road, so did not have my receipt handy. After a number of back and forth emails with the gal in customer service, each increasingly rude on her part, I finally was able to dig out my receipt and give them the information.

The gal told me I had to go back to the store to get a refund on my card. Since the store is at Iron Cross Mills near Calgary, and I was in Vancouver, that wasn't happening anytime soon.

I was offered different products but as I expressed to them, if my skin is not happy with this product - I am scared to try others from your line.  Still no love.

So I spoke to the company VP - I see now why the customer service rep and the sales person are the way they are.

I was offered a 35% refund if I sent the unused portion of the product back - so I did - of the one product I had used for the 12 days, collect by Greyhound.

But I get an email back form the VP that what they wanted was for me to send back all of the products for a 35% refund.

So now they wouldn't even honour the 35% refund on the one product unless I pay the shipping fees they incurred when I sent the one product back collect, which is $75 because they had a courier go to greyhound to pick it up.

I told them in no uncertain terms what I thought of their ridiculous refund offer. I told them to keep their refund.

So I am stuck with product that my skin rebels against.

I'd rather give the stuff away to someone who has no reaction to it or throw it in the garbage and chock it up to a bad experience. I will not subject myself again to a company that is so rude when handling an issue like incompatibility.

Mistakes and problems happen in business - owners, sales reps and customer service reps are all human, products don't work with all skin types and people have allergies, sensitivities...

When a problem arises, it's an opportunity. To win the customer over, to learn the shortcomings of your product or service and strengthen it. OR it's an opportunity to piss a customer off for ever and for that customer to be in a position to vehemently resent the company and express it every chance they get.

As a customer and a business owner I have been on both sides of the fence and I know what I do when there is a problem that one of my customers experience.

The golden rule for every business man is this: 
“Put yourself in your customer’s place. – Orison Swett Marden

In the case of the two stories above, I appreciate what MultiView has done to correct the problems that have taken place, but now that I have read their newsletter and seen what little substance it has, I know I will not advertise with them again unless the results of the ad I placed with them are stellar. But if they are I would consider working with them and giving them a second shot.

In the Case of Premiere Spa Boutique - I will never darken their doorway again and would dissuade anyone from purchasing their products. If you have a skin sensitivity to their products, they are not going to resolve the issue with any kind of common sense - at least that's my experience.

Some companies get it - others don't - what kind of company do you prefer dealing with?
One that owns up to the mistake and does something to correct the problem or one that tries to rip you off or insult you?

There is a lot of news in the feeds today over at  I urge you to check them out to see what might affect your day or life as a rider.

I need your help to narrow down the filed of names for my Beaver mascot.  We have them down to the top 25, now we need to get them down to the top 5 - then we will hold a final round of voting and my Beaver will finally have a name... Check the suggestions out and help us narrow it down!!!!

I leave you with a few funnies, shared with me by friends on Facebook and via emails...
Have a fantastic hump day everyone!

Belt Drive Betty,
Editor & Rider

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