Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Naming names

You may have noticed by now that I don't generally name specific brands or stores. There are several reasons for this but most of them come down to the idea that I don't think it's going to be generally relevant to most people. There are stores and brands I won't use for reasons that have nothing, directly, to do with frugality. And my local prices may be completely irrelevant to yours. I may occasionally name one for special reasons of quality, though.

One area that I may occasionally make a comment about is a particularly good or bad experience with a store or brand, and I won't name one for a bad experience unless I've given them the opportunity to correct the problem (and I'll try to include their response here).

So, today, I'm going to name one as an example of amazingly good response to a complaint. At the beginning of February, we had a day with a combination of time sinks (i.e. extreme cold weather, exams, papers, and exhaustion), and we decided to call for pizza, something we only do a couple of times a year. Because of my digestive problems, the only one in town that makes pizza I feel safe eating is Blue Baker. They're pricey, but they make particularly delicious white pizza.

I called and was told they were fairly busy so it should take 45 minutes to an hour. Around 65 minutes later, I called to check on it, in case the driver was having trouble locating us (very common). I was assured that they were just running a little slow, and 10 minutes later we got a call from the driver saying he had just reached our street, and we guided him in and got the pizza. We opened the box and discovered it was completely cold.

I didn't really care that much about the slow delivery. Things happen, and I'd rather the driver be late than in an accident. But the fact that we'd paid a high price for cold pizza bothered me, so I sent a polite e-mail to the company about it. I had a response from the local manager within HOURS, apologizing, telling me that they would look into what happened that it arrived so late and cold, and asking for my address and order total.

Within hours of responding with that information, I had another e-mail, and within a couple of days, I had what appeared to be a hand written card with another apology , a check refunding my pizza total, and two coupons for free items in the hope I'd consider giving them another try.

I find this remarkable, almost stunning, customer response. No excuses, no waffling, and far more than I'd expected. It's not as if we were regular customers either; their computer records had to show that we'd only had pizza delivered 2 or 3 times in a year and a half. And yes, we have since used one of the coupons plus the refunded price of the pizza to buy pizza from them again. Delivered hot and delicious and much faster, and it pretty much ensures that if we do call for pizza, it will be from there. My one hope is that no one got into serious trouble over the late, cold delivery that night; after all, things happen.


Portia said...

Rarely have I heard of customer service this good! This place is a keeper for sure!

Ami said...

That's awesome. You ought to print this out and send it to them anonymously (so they don't think you're trying to get free stuff).

Amara said...

I miss Blue Baker. Such good pizza.