18 March 2014

Hafiz Adewuyi

DealDey/Konga customer care - Absolutely non-impressive

Given that I'm not the kind that says too much, I'm not exactly given to ranting. However, after numerous service delivery failures to me by both of these affiliated companies at different times, I think it's a necessity to put some words down and not just keep the grievances burning inside of me. I shall move in reverse chronological order, mostly because it's the latest whose details are clearest in my mind.

1. Sewing Classes Deal: 
Remembering this simply makes me shake my head at the degree of irresponsibility and mediocrity in customer service that widely characterizes businesses in Nigeria. One would think a modern company, founded and headed by respectable and well-educated persons would stand out in this area. Alas, common men who only care about how much they're taking home at the end of the month and lack the ability to key into their company's vision have found their way in hordes into these companies. Pardon me for this indiscretion, but this is the only explanation for the poor response my messages to DealDey help has gotten since yesterday, on an issue whose resolution or otherwise holds high consequence for me.  

The situation becomes even more pitiable, considering my experience in the hands of ASOS customer service. Yesterday morning, I had complaints both for ASOS (UK) and DealDey. Being a long-standing issue, I chose to draft the ASOS e-mail first. The message was really very simple: "I've not received an order I paid for since last year August". Truth is, I knew in my own heart that this inquiry came way too late. For this reason, I was merely following the "what do you have to lose" line of thought, without much positive expectation. 

Shortly after hitting send on the ASOS e-mail, I carefully drafted the e-mail below to DealDey help as well (see below):
Good day,
I'm here to lay a complaint concerning my order (referenced in subject) and with coupon no: 1403053233.The deal is a one-month sewing classes deal which I signed up  for two weeks ago. Seeing that there was no starting date in the Fine print or highlights, I assumed one could pick any four weeks (One month) to do the training, so long as one showed upon before the coupon validity period has elapsed.
So, last weekend I called the merchant, only to be told that I had already missed two weeks out of the training. This was without any form of notification from either the merchant or DealDey that the training had started and that any week missed was value lost.
I am still very much interested in the training. In that light, my request is simple. If the merchant insists that they cannot deliver the full value of this deal to me any longer, my money paid for this deal should be refunded immediately. I am yet to redeem the coupon.
Thank you.
I hit send as well and was very optimistic that I would get a good response in a few hours. Little did I know that this was not to be so. I was in for a day of irony.

ASOS sent me a first non-automated response about five hours after I sent my inquiry. As soon as I replied to their response, the conversation continued in several subsequent messages; of which the wait for a response from the last receiver never exceeded an hour, throughout the length of the conversation. By close of business on Monday (yesterday), the conversation was over and the customer care reps. (extremely courteous) had activated (on behalf of ASOS,) a full refund to my MasterCard (because the items I had ordered were out-of-stock). In addition, I was given a discount voucher (10%) on my next SIMILAR ORDER!

I'm still grappling with believing that I am getting this pampered just for having my order lost in transit. My mind also cannot conceive a universe where the merchant did not show considerable scepticism at my claim, being that it took so long for me to report it. All they requested me to do was provide a simple explanation of why it took me so long to report; I did and they did not argue. As soon as I truly get my refund in my account (refunds take a few days to be settled), guess who is gonna make their money back... ASOS.

In my view, only a company with a focus on providing real solutions to people out there could handle such a sensitive situation so graciously. Clearly, they saw beyond the immediate loss that refunding my lost order would mean to them. Likewise, their priorities apparently are not on extracting as much value from each customer as possible, at any cost. Au contraire, drawing on my yesterday experience with them, I can easily deduce that the company mission is to create a safe and convenient fashion shopping experience for anyone in the world and would not compromise anything in making sure that none of their day-to-day actions contradicts that mission.

Enough of surfing in the wild waves, let's return to the shores. It would be expedient at this point to declare one sad fact: from the time (about 38 hours ago) when I sent my first inquiry to DealDey, I have received two messages from DealDey:
1. An automated e-mail which is pushed to you as soon as you submit a new request;
2. One non-automated response from a customer care rep. which basically advises me to be assume an open-ended wait, while their sales manager contacts the merchant for clarification:

Olubunmi Ajayi, Mar 17 15:16:Good Morning Hafiz,
Our sincere apologies for the challenges experienced with redeeming your coupon.
Our sales manager has been contacted regarding your complaint and the merchant would be contacted for clarification.
Please we indulge your patience as we would give you a feedback once we receive a confirmation.
Once more we apologise for the complaint and for any inconveniences this may have caused.
Thank you.
Warm regards,
Customer Support
Helpline ---- 01-4406237

The response quoted just above came over 7 hours after I sent the first e-mail and one or two reminders. I could bet on it, that, had I not sent any reminder yesterday, I would have been on my own as far as getting a real response is concerned. Alas, the response quoted above happens to be the last I got from DealDey (till date). Today alone, I have sent about 7 reminders to their care e-mail, basically asking them to keep me updated with the progress of their follow up on my complaint. Sadly, each one of my messages was greeted by a resounding silence from the other end.

A dedicated and exceptionally honest (gist for another day) customer has an issue and the best you can do is push his case (which is rooted around his fear of not getting full value for money paid) to almost zero priority. Yes, that is what I think has been done with this case. Except of course, the merchant lives in a most remote part of the world and also insists that communication with him should only be by means of physical mail. Even if this was the case, courtesy only demands that since the customer clearly feels threatened and has been showing this by asking for feedback numerously, that you reply to him on the exact state of things and how long resolution might take due to present circumstances.

Unfortunately, the group of dick-heads that must fill this customer service unit have decided to go mute. Not even one of them has the brains to know that a short follow-up with Mr. Sales Manager, and consequent feedback to customer would go a long way to keeping his company's reputation. No, they chose the easy path that their colleagues at sister: Konga had shamelessly chosen in the past, in a similar case with this same customer; freaking SILENCE!!!

TO BE CONTINUED... ***yawns***

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