The Tale of Two Toothbrushes

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We've written here on this blog about lousy customer service, really lousy customer service, as well as lousy advice from customer service. I figured it was high time to pat the customer service dept. on the back because, let's face it, more often than not, we DO get amazing service in this country. (If you've ever spent a year in any part of the Middle East, or even Italy, you know what poor customer service is really about.)

So here's an uplifting, and slightly comical story that happened to me recently at Target. It all started when I bought the Braun toothbrush you see pictured here. For a couple months, the thing worked like a charm; brushing never was easier. But then, out of nowhere, I couldn't get the toothbrush to turn off. No matter how hard I pressed the off button, buzz buzz buzz she went. The only way I could turn her off, was by putting her back on her cradle/charger.

And while this seems like a fine solution, it meant putting the toothpaste on the bristles while the thing was still on the cradle, not an easy task in vertical position. So I took it back to Target and they replaced it—no questions asked.

The second Braun worked well for about six months, but then the same thing happened. And this time, it wouldn't always turn off when I put it on the cradle. I'd also lost the receipt for the second one and, because it wasn't on my credit card (seeing as it was an exchange), I couldn't prove how old it was.
But Target was so kind about the whole thing last time, I thought: what do I have to lose? So I put the buzzing toothbrush in a ziplock and headed back to Target where I stood in the returns/exchange line as people giggled and stared (buzz buzz buzz). When it was my turn, I held the ziplock up to the woman working the register and she laughed, opened the bag, and tried to turn the toothbrush off, to no avail. So she shelved it with all the other returns and this time gave me store credit after I explained it was my second lemon.

So what did I do with the credit? I used it to buy a 6-pack of old fashioned toothbrushes that require no electricity. And when I walked past returns after an hour of Target shopping (because you can never get out of the store without spending at least an hour and $50), the toothbrush was still on the shelf, buzz buzzing away. I could have bought the lemon at Wal*Mart for all they knew, and here they'd not only given me store credit, they were now suffering the rest of the day as the thing buzzed on the shelf behind them. Now THAT'S customer service.
What about you all? What's the best service you've ever received? Or how about the biggest lemon you ever bought? Certainly the Braun toothbrush takes the prize for this writer.

June 9, 2008 - 12:33am
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