I’ll start by again giving the true definition of customer service:

Great customer service is solving the customer’s problem or meeting the customer’s need with as little involvement from the customer as possible.

What does this mean? It means that customer service is not about being nice, it’s about solving problems and saving the customers from time and resource waste. For example, if I must wait on hold for an hour to reach someone to help me, no matter how great that service person is, the actual service delivered is still sub-par.

I recently made a camera purchase through Amazon from a company called BIG VALUE INC. At checkout I was presented with a number of expensive shipping options. I chose 1-3 day shipping. The order was placed on 12/28. I immediately received an email telling me it could take 3 days to just process my order and then add 3 days of shipping.

In my opinion, that is deceptive advertising. I expected my item within 3 days. I paid extra for 3 day DELIVERY. I wrote the company and explained that I had hoped to get the camera before New Year’s.

Here’s the answer I received:

NO WORRIES – that is shipping out today on a 1-3 day shipping.

A couple days later, I received tracking information that said I would not receive the camera until January 5th. 9 days including the order date. Yes, there was a holiday in there. But still, I was told, “NO WORRIES”.

When I wrote to complain that the camera would not arrive until January 5th, I received this reply:

“According to shipping time the order was earlier than expected. Please note that UPS did not deliver on New Years Eve/ New Years Day, which is why it is being delivered tomorrow 1/05/10. 

We received your order on 12/28/09 with an expected ship date of 12/30/09 and it shipped out promptly the next day 12/29/09 on an expedited 3 day delivery as ordered, via UPS tracking number : [number provided] and is on time according to this calculation, being that it was a holiday weekend.

NO WORRIES – we understand your e-mail and have refunded you back the difference between a standard delivery and an expedited service on your order. ” ($3) Whoopee

So now the excuses flow. I understand weekends, holidays, UPS. I get it. But that’s not what what I was told when I purchased and it’s not what I was told when I wrote to them about the delivery date the first time. By this point I found their “NO WORRIES” slogan annoying as hell. All my exchanges with BIG VALUE INC contained that very annoying phrase, “NO WORRIES” and always in full capital letters.

The camera arrived on January 5th. It was as expected. I gave BIG VALUE INC 3 stars because they did not do what they said they would do—deliver by New Year’s. But I’m not that mean. I really gave them 3 stars for being annoying with “NO WORRIES”. It sounds to me like “WE DON’T REALLY CARE”.

Now it gets interesting. After I posted the 3 star rating, they actually wrote me with instructions to change my review. I needed to log into my account and make the changes. “NO WORRIES”.

That really annoyed me. I would never, ever deal with these people again.

Yes, they probably want to give good service and their ratings are important to them. But BIG VALUE INC needs to learn how to give great service without being so damn annoying. Can you imagine instructing a customer to change a review? It’s like a threat. I didn’t like it at all.

Think about this, please. There is nothing more frustrating than a gate agent at the airport who sweetly tells you she can’t help. Bad service accompanied with a smile and a cheezy slogan like “NO WORRIES” is a lot worse than just bad service.

Chris Reich, Customer Service Consulting