I’m surprised at how much I like the little Canon I picked up before my last golf trip. The high-speed video mode works really well for dissecting a golf swing. The only problem is the beating it takes bouncing around the golf cart. I was careful to keep the screen side up to avoid banging it up too badly, but the lens side is pretty scratched up after just a couple of rounds. I decided to get an Invisible Shield to protect the big screen before it was too late.
I’ve been a big fan of the Invisible Shield since I got one for my BlackBerry. Everything was as smooth as I remembered as I placed the second order, paid via PayPal and choose the free shipping option.
The next day was when things got a little weird.
The day after I placed my order I received an e-mail notification of a “customer appreciation” sale, which offered me 20% off on my next purchase. I replied to the e-mail with a quick note. I figured that like most businesses I’ve dealt with in similar situations they’d apply the discount to the order I’d just placed. I was wrong.
Me: Can you apply the discount to the order I placed yesterday?
Them: Sorry, no.
Me: Can you cancel my order then so I can re-place the order with the discount?
Them: Sorry, no – it shipped already.
After trading a half dozen e-mails it was clear that they were quite happy to give me an RMA, let me return the original order, then place a second order using the discount. However they were just not going to apply the discount to the original purchase.
I tried one more time, a little more pointedly:
This is ridiculous. You are the ones that sent me the “we’re having a sale” e-mail a day after I placed an order and before I’ve received the product. You’re willing to have me ship it back, place a new order and ship me the product again, but you aren’t willing to cut out the middle steps and just apply the discount? Surely someone there can see this is ludicrous and simply grant the discount to the existing order and save us all a bunch of hassle.
For what it’s worth, I’ve been a big supporter of your products. A Google search for “invisible shield review” shows my very positive blog post as the first hit:
I’m really disappointed in how this has been handled so far. I’m hoping you’ll fix it in your next response to me.
I am sorry, this promotion is only available through the link you received in that email, and is meant for customers to do repeat business. I am unable to extend a partial refund to you, but you can still place a new order, and return the first order for a refund.
I’m not sure if they somehow thought this was my first order from them (if they did, then they are guilty of not reading my e-mails to them) and was trying to take advantage of the offer for repeat customers (which I already was), but I think they made a mistake.
The kicker in all this? The 20% discount offered is only 2 bucks.
Before I got the “customer appreciation” e-mail I was happy with the price I paid for my order. I was an enthusiastic supporter of their product which helped drive other sales for them. And I didn’t go looking for the discount in question here, they e-mailed it to me.
ShieldZone made a mistake in how they handled this with me. They can keep their $2 – they lost a lot more than $2 worth of goodwill in this exchange. They’ve still got a great product and I continue to use it on my camera and BlackBerry, but I’m no longer a cheerleader for them.
On the bright side, this sort of experience makes me think hard about the customer service and support I offer my customers; which is definitely a good thing.
- My post has since moved down to the middle of the first page for that search. [back]