Gimme That Customer Service!

As we are Canadians, it’s unfortunate that up north we sometimes don’t have the same products available to us as Americans do through Amway US. Part of that is your regular supply and demand but the other annoying part is our regulators that we have up here. ie: Body Key Appetite chews – they’re like raspberry Starburst candies and chocolate Tootsie Rolls and meant to help curb hunger between meals for those on the Body Key weight management program. The States have had them since Body Key launched. Up here, nope. Still being checked out and we’ll have to wait for the feds to “OK” it. Its definitely annoying. Especially in the case of XS flavors.

Ahh yes, XS. I am a self admitted Coca-Cola fiend. Ever since high school I loved my Coke and whenever I’m doing a project online, gaming or watching a movie, I need something fizzy. Preferrably Coke. The tough part is that there is an INSANE amount of sugar in the stuff. Not only did it do a number on my teeth over the years but that amount of sugar consumption is never a good thing. So when I got back into business XS became a perfect substitute for me. Very little to no sugar and it gave me my fizzy drink that I wanted. Originally the Cola flavor was available in Canada about 2 years ago. And then it got discontinued.

I was disappointed until I learned that it was still available in the US. And on top of that, there have been some other flavors released that were only down South. We would see other business owners enjoying them and we would chat it up and we heard good things. Luckily we’re within a 30 minute drive of the border from where we are, so a few weeks back we put together an American order to pick up in the States. Finally we could try some of these mysterious flavors and I would finally get a taste of my long lost Cola Blast.

We ordered some of the Body Key stuff that wasn’t available in Canada yet but also we got a case of Electric Lemon Blast (tastes like Mikes Hard Lemonade – no booze though ;)), Cola Blast and Summit Blast (7-Up/Ginger-Ale Combo flavor). Through one of our crossline buddies we learned about this really nice ship to the US service called Ship2Blaine. There’s a bunch of places you can ship American orders to and then pickup in the Blaine/Peace Arch area but this is run by a nice family that uses the proceeds towards their kid’s college fund. Its also by donation. We’ve used them twice to date and its been great! Plus its a nice little drive. Semiahmoo park is minutes away and provides great views of Drayton Harbor.

So we get there and find our shipment but notice one of our boxes of XS are missing.
Instead of getting this:

20130416_221620

XS Summit Blast

We got this:

XS Black Cherry Cola Blast

XS Black Cherry Cola Blast

Now, we were glad that we weren’t shorted on the amount of XS cases that we had ordered, but we were disappointed that we didn’t get the flavors we had asked for. That, and the Summit Blast is a larger can as well. So we had paid for a more expensive product and A: got the wrong flavor and B: a smaller size product. So we headed home and the next business day I called up the corporation. Not only did they do the obvious thing and send us the correct XS that we have originally ordered, they told us we didn’t have to return the other case! So we basically got an extra case of XS for free. Amway’s regular policy is that they have a 180 day cash back guarantee. They just ask that you return the other product. That’s their normal policy.

So long as I have been in business I’ve seen Amway go against their own return policy multiple times to provide that extra push of customer service. I happen to currently be employed by Rogers – anyone who is a client of their’s or has done business with them, knows about policies. Its the same for many large corporations – policies are in place as guidelines. Policies for returns, refunds, exchanges, buyers remorse, billing disputes and so on. There’s policies all over the place. But its what large corporations stick to. Whenever you need a favor or an exception against these policies….ohhh man you know you’re in for a battle. Start with front line customer service – then you go to customer relations / loyalty then you go to their manager and so on and so on. Its tiring.

Within 10 minutes after explaining what had happened, providing the lot number, the agent had sent out a replacement order of XS for us and I got on with my day, enjoying a can of Black Cherry Cola as I went courtesy of the corporation! Last year Nikki had a purse from the Personal Accents line start losing its inner lining. This was after the 180 day guarantee by the way. One phone call, 15 minutes and she had a new purse on the way. That’s nuts! I haven’t seen other companies do that! There have been a tonne of other stories from other people that I’ve listened to over Kate and while Amway does have its policies, its got to be the most easy company to deal with that I’ve experienced in regards to customer service on the phone. Their product support/quality assurance thus far for us has been exceptional for us both as customers and as business owners.

The tough part about getting the replacement XS is that it could only be shipped to the address we had used for the original order. So we had to drive back down to Blaine. We chose one of my days off and made an afternoon of it. Tuesday afternoon at the border is fun. We drove right up and got right across both ways. After picking up our order we drove down to Semiahmoo Park. The tide was out and it was a warm sunny spring day. So Nikki and I got a chance to explore and enjoy some quality time on the beach. If you have a chance to go in the afternoon I recommend it. We saw a crane, an eagle and there was a large group of Harbor and Leopard Seals sunning themselves on the breakwater docks that chatted at us as we walked over to their location. As the tide was out quite a long way we walked on a bed that was all muscles and barnacles. I’ve never seen the beach so thickly covered in them before. There was also a lady who was digging away in the dirt with a rake which we could only assume was digging for clams etc. I hope that wasn’t the case, though since there were ridiculous amounts of signage warning people to not catch and eat any shellfish due to the red tide season or something about poisonous chemicals in the shellfish.

All in all, it was a good day and not only did Amway make up for their miscue, they made up for it in a more than fair manner. Can’t complain about that.

~ C

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