Friday, February 5, 2010

How not to do customer service

Received today in response to a form I submitted. Read to after the "Original Message Follows" line and correlate that to the response.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting the Philips Consumer Store.

Please reply back to this email on whta your concern is about, so we may
further assist you.


Philips Consumer Store
Customer Service

Original Message Follows:
A shopper has emailed customer service with a request. The following
reasons were selected for the contact, and the specified email address
was given for contact.

Selected Reasons: Other
Shopper Email: dschirf(at)
Shopper Comments: This was featured in an e-mail I just received:,
but it's out of stock and there's no way to add it to the cart.

If an associated requisition exists, the following fields were
Order ID:
Order Date:
Site ID:
Site Name:
Shopper Name:

Order Summary:

Digital River


  1. We're doomed as a species.

  2. If it really was "whta" and not "what", I'd be rather encouraged by that response. It suggests it wasn't sent automatically but that an actual human typed it, albeit with a typo.

    I'm thinking there must be a blog devoted solely to customer service responses. This would be good fodder.

    Thanks for commenting on my cat photo!

  3. I had some back and forth with these guys. After a few rounds with different CSRs (ostensibly), the upshot was that, if I want the headphones featured in the e-mail's banner, I'll have to go back to the site when they're in stock (it's up to me to keep going back and hoping), order them, then reply to the original e-mail thread with the order number, at which point they'll give me the discounted price. For most people, this is too much effort. For a product that was featured in an e-mail promotion. How not to do online marketing 101. It's sad, because Philips does a good job of making the site and promotional e-mails look good and seem relevant.

  4. I'm sure Philips doesn't know that you're a writer with readers from all around the world. If it did, it would be sending you new products for free all the time!

    Anyway, I hope you get the headphones!

  5. It’s great to see good information being shared and also to see fresh, creative ideas that have never been done before.