Customer service story from … heaven

Thursday afternoon, August 2nd: Fotolog operations team sent me the following photo of a shipment of a Sun 6540 disk array. Essentially our new backup system:

Sun boxes

The equipment on the bottom was damaged, the boxes were stacked (inspite of Sun stickers saying "do not stack") and the entire package was wet, from what I gather not soaked, just wet.  

Backup is important to Fotolog — with 280M photos, billions of guest book messages and a vendor mess up a few weeks ago that corrupted our guestbook database, this wasn't what we needed.     But what started as a mess turned into a customer service story from the gods. The Sun team went right to work, through the weekend — by 9.24pm on Monday (2 working days) we had this sorted out and the shipping details for the replacement boxes.

Shortly after getting the picture and alert from my CTO I forwarded it to Jonathan Schwartz at Sun, asked for his help in sorting this mess out.    Within hours I got the following note back:

—————————–

From: Jonathan Schwartz .

Date: August 3, 2007 12:30:10 AM EDT

To: John Borthwick .

Subject: Re: Contact info

Instantly – stay tuned.

Let me know if there's anything I can do to help out – we will get this right asap.

Jonathan

—————————–

Instantly is a tall order but by Friday morning things were moving, they moved all weekend and by 9.24pm on Monday we had shipment details for the replacement boxes.   Great service, no finger pointing, no discussion of why and who let this happen — the organization and everything I saw was focussed on execution and getting the client (us) the drives.  

Communication was excellent the team sent frequent updates and Schwartz checked in periodically to make sure things were on track.     I know Schwartz from college days, but we haven't spoken since I left Time Warner — this was essentially an email sent into the dark morass of corporate America, which yielded fantastic results, way better than I could have expected.   I dont have the time to cull through the emails but I noted one from Schwartz cc'd a core customer service group email — suggests he has setup a mechanism to respond to issues like this, building processes like this is hard, particularly as you transition a huge business.   

Good stuff is happening over there at Sun.

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  • Mark

    Not all the customer services are bad..some are being good for their users..
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    • timada

      My worst but at the same time best customers service story was when my home was flooded. The Houston home insurance provider I was with said I didn’t sign up for flood damage cover, although I actually had and after 2 days of trying to prove this I was apologize to and given a 20% bonus in the damage cover payment for the inconvenience.

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    That picture is awful. No one would want that kind of service, even if insurance covers it, it will never bring back the precious time wasted.

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    That's a mess. And the equipments that were destroyed in such careless storage are such a waste. Let this be a lesson for all of us in making sure that our negligence won't put our necessities in harm's way.

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    Different point of view from that post. Interesting to say the least.

  • health plans

    You had use a wrong storage company, there are lots of companies that offers good service are those tings of yours are insured? I had been to several companies and I can say that the best customer service I had experienced is the SWBD insurance company

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    Lol, bad luck. But heck, shit happens.

  • StevenTaylor

    You are one of the lucky ones and some people just care about customer service. Few companies I know offer such great services as you described here.
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    This is cool, thanks for the share, I appreciate it big time, thanks once again.
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    Amazing! Good job – customer service is for wimps lol When you're luck is out – it sure is OUT.

  • timada

    My worst but at the same time best customers service story was when my home was flooded. The Houston home insurance provider I was with said I didn’t sign up for flood damage cover, although I actually had and after 2 days of trying to prove this I was apologize to and given a 20% bonus in the damage cover payment for the inconvenience.