Canon excel themselves in customer service

Remember my post “For the want of 5p“? Well, I’ve another story to tell you.
On my Big Trip around Europe I lost my camera. It fell off the bike somewhere in the north west of Greece, up by the Bulgarian border, and I had to get another one in Thessalonikii. I chose Canon again – a red IXUS – and loved it, snapping away merrily for a year. I took it to the Arctic too. Somehow it didn’t quite take the strain and stress of my adventure lifestyle at the time, and passed away finally when I got back and was taking some photos in church. The zoom feature was damaged and I repaired it with my Leatherman, the glass of the LCD screen cracked, the casing had seen better days and eventually the shutter button fell off as I was framing the vicar (so to speak).

It was months out of warranty, but I decided to send it back, not least so Canon knew that their little cameras go to interesting places and they could evaluate the wear and tear. I sent it to the MD of course, (customer service departments rarely have the flexibility to be generous) with an entertaining description of its short life, and with the ready acceptance that it had not been looked after very well and they were not obliged to be kind to me. I also said it didn’t seem so strong as my other Canon cameras (I’m on my 4th) which was true.

Guess what? The short story is that Canon are mending it free of charge! The lovely lady in Customer Care sent me a warm and fun letter, entering into the spirit of the entertaining exchange, and Canon went onto my list of companies who know how to treat customers well. The camera hasn’t arrived yet but it will, and comes with another six months warranty – and a wise little warning not to try it again! Now THAT is up to Apple standards of customer care. Well done Canon. You’ve won my heart and go to the top of the class.

How do you look after the people in your life? Canon overlooked my humanity and were kind. They’ll be remembered for it.

Bilbo camper conversions won’t. The sad and uppity lady at the huge NEC mobile homes exhibition told me off for photographing her camper vans to get ideas for my own conversion. How silly! All the others were complimented by my interest, pointing out the features, chatting happily away and wishing me well. One guy said how people came back having converted their own camper and often bought a brand new one from them because they loved camper van life so much – for £32,000! Needless to say he WANTED me to take photos to remind me of how good his vans are.

And Canon didn’t expect the blog in their honour either. Want a good camera? Buy a Canon. The service is great and they love their customers. I really like being loved, don’t you?

For the want of 5p

Today I went into the Body Shop in Chichester for some shaving cream. It was to cost £8.00 – not a small amount for a pot of creamy paste, but I’d enjoyed The last one I used and liked it. Last time it cost £5.99. The assistant instantly offered me a ‘free’ £4 ‘gift’ if I spent another £8. I didn’t want the gift or the extra expenditure. At the till I dipped into my pocket and found I had £7.95.

The assistant held her hand open and waited. I didn’t have the additional 5p and eventually found another way to pay. The assistant pointed out that they would ‘give’ me another £10 off if I spent a further £25 in the next two weeks. But I had needed 5 pence worth of grace 30 seconds ago and it wasn’t forthcoming. I left the shop, walked down the street and decided I didn’t want the thought of using a cream provided by a company that needed that 5p so badly so I returned to the shop and got my money back. The Body Shop? I won’t be shopping there for a while.

Compare that with next shop I went into: Rohan, also in Chichester. The manager phoned one branch after another to try and get me a raincoat the colour I wanted in my size – sadly to no avail – AND offered me a further 10% off if he could get one! It took him 20 minutes. Sadly the blue raincoat I’d waited to get in the sale is no more. I’ll have to wait for the next production run – or something. Needless to say, I buy Rohan products because they are committed to me, not mean.

Five pence. The credit card transaction costs more than that!

I’m sending an email to customer services of both Rohan and the Body Shop to see what they have to say about today, and I’ll let you know what happens. In today’s competitive world no one can afford to lose a customer for the cost of 5p.
Or maybe they can? I wonder if L’Oreal would regard me as ‘worth it’?

Update:22.7.11. Two things happened today. Brian at the Chichester Rohan shop phoned me. They have found a blue raincoat in my size and will be delighted to give me a further 15% (not 10%) off. It is the last one for sale in the country. Well done Brian. And Rohan head office replied to my invitation to view the site. They had, and wanted me to say which store so they could personally credit the staff with my appreciation. I told them and have updated this site. They also apologised for not being able to get me what I wanted on this occasion. (Now they have of course.)