We bought a Sunbeam Humidifier in Barrie in November.  It was on super sale, only $17.99, so it was worth the drive to go buy it.  The store return policy was within two weeks of purchase, and wouldn't you know the humidifier started causing problems a day or two before the return window was to end.  We were set to return it, but a giant snow storm got in our way and we missed our window. The other return route was to contact the manufacturer (Sunbeam) and try to get the problem resolved with them.

Enter phone phobia.

I'm great when I'm on the phone (my hours of used in-plan minutes can prove that), but depending on the nature of the call, actually picking up the phone and dialing can be a problem for me.  Especially if I perceive the call as having a conflict.  In the case of calling Sunbeam, I just avoided doing it, convincing myself it was an added hassle to my day that I just didn't need.

Until two weeks ago.  I woke up with a take no shit attitude and dialed.  And it was the best customer service experience I have ever had.  I don't remember the woman's name, which is unfortunate, because she was kind, funny, attentive, knowledgeable, and she really wanted to help me.  I explained the problem (the unit kept shutting off on it's own) and she trouble shot with me for a few minutes and then said: "We'll send you a new one."  She then said that the model I had was no longer available and she would tell me the details of another model and see if I would "accept it".  The model she described was amazing, and retailed at over twice the price I paid.  I told her that and she said: "In replacing your unit we are comparing features not prices, so we want to ensure you get the features you wanted."  Amazing!  I asked about the old one, and she said not to return it, just put it out at the side of the road.  I told her that she won at customer service, and she said: "We're Sunbeam.  We stand behind our products."

Once off the phone I discussed it with John and we hypothesize that the original unit we purchased must be a trouble unit and it is probably easier for them to just send out a new one rather than go through the hassle of trying to fix something that might not be fixable.  Whether that is the reason or not, my $17.99 humidifier turned into a $44.99 humidifier, and I still have the broken one!

Not only did I have the best customer service experience, they sent my humidifier over 2000km via UPS.  Starting in Missouri on Feb 8, I tracked it's journey across America and into Canada, and I am awed by the complexity and efficiency of the shipping process.  One week after departing, it arrived at my door right on schedule.  I Google Mapped my humidifier's journey, and I can't believe all the effort that was made to send me a free humidifier!

View Larger Map

I have been running the humidifier steadily since I got it yesterday and so far so good.  I can't imagine they would ship a broken one 2000km, but if they did, I know that their customer service is excellent and I will have no trouble phoning them.

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, February 16, 2011 No comments


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