MrConsumer had two great customer service experiences over the past several weeks, and these companies deserve public praise. Click the red “xx Responses” button below to tell your own story of great customer service.
Company 1: Aldi
Aldi is a limited assortment supermarket, small in physical size, but big on discounts. Maybe 90% of their items are store brands. They are a worldwide company owned by the same people who own Trader Joes.
Two Aldi stories:
(1) Aldi sells baklava a few times a year. That is a heavenly Greek dessert made with flaky pastry, honey and nuts. It is not cheap — $5.99 a package — but MrConsumer decided to splurge. It was awful, virtually tasteless. A look at the ingredients revealed why: it was loaded with sugary syrup rather than more expensive honey. I emailed company headquarters to express my displeasure. Subsequent to that, I received an email back saying that I would receive a letter to take to my local store for a full refund plus $5.99 of whatever else I wanted in exchange. And that is not all. I got a phone call from the company that makes the baklava for Aldi, and they offered to send me an upgraded product in replacement. It turned out to be only marginally better, but it was the thought that counted.
(2) The Aldi near MrConsumer is only a few months old. While their everyday prices are lower than supermarket prices for comparable items, when they have a closeout or clearance on an item, those deals turn the clock back 25 years price-wise. For example, last week, they had 6 oz. bags of pecans which are normally three to four dollars these days for only 99 cents (since they were about to expire). And just today, they had frozen hamburger patties for 66 cents a pound (in a three pound bag for $1.99.) Crazy prices, right?
The problem with the clearance items is that they are usually not segregated and nothing calls your attention to them. They are price marked with white index card size signs just like all other items usually. Most shoppers will overlook these items they are so inconspicuous. I don’t have the patience to scrutinize every display, and rely on my memory of what the price was before, and what it is now. But, I also don’t want to miss out on deals like these.
So I emailed Aldi again to suggest that they use yellow colored signs instead of white or find some other way to make these great deals stand out for shoppers. I also mentioned that one of the two aisle scanners in the store has not worked since the day the store opened. To my surprise, I received a call from the district manager (on a Saturday) acknowledging receipt of my suggestions, and she wished to discuss them. Wow!
Company 2: Vistaprint
Vistaprint is an online printer, best known for offering free or cheap business cards. Since they were advertising 500 business cards for $10 and free shipping, MrConsumer decided to get some. After designing the card, a few problems cropped up: in preview mode, the Consumer World logo looked jagged, and I was unable to bold some of the fonts.
I called their 800 number and wound up at a call center somewhere in Jamaica. The woman I spoke to, who spoke impeccable English, was terrific. She offered to create a proof of my card for free (instead of the usual $1.99) so I could see if the logo would really come out jagged (it did not). She also had a creative solution for getting my name to appear bold, when the font I had chosen did not have a bold option. (She double-printed my name, one on top of the other, to create the appearance of a heavier-weighted font.) Sheer brilliance! And she even gave me a second proof free of charge.
My hat is tipped to these two companies for providing excellent customer service despite their low price orientation.
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