"I know your column is called Gripe Line," Wayne wrote recently, "but I wanted to relay a good news story. I recently purchased a Dell Vostro for my daughter from the Dell Outlet. The next day I went to check the status and the site said it had shipped but the wrong computer was listed. It was a slower system with no dedicated video card. I called Dell and was eventually connected to Irwin. English was not his first language but customer service was his major skill. He explained that he could not tell which computer was in the box but he promised to call me when the computer was delivered and work out any issues. He assured me that he would issue a return if necessary and that Dell would pay the return shipping. When I next checked the shipping status, I was told my Dell would be delivered that very day via FedEx. It was a Saturday so I was a little skeptical. True to their word, though, it arrived. And, true to his word, Irwin called me on Saturday to see if I received the correct computer. He also let me know that he was off Sunday and Monday but would call back on Tuesday. And he did! The Dell Outlet may have minimal staffing but it did come through for me and did a great job of following up."
Wayne's letter -- and the holiday season -- got me thinking.
My mother always told me that you get more results with honey than with vinegar. So how about if we take a minute to dole out some honey? Let's take a little time over the holidays to recognize companies -- or individuals -- who went above and beyond. I think if Bob Cratchit could find a few good things to say about Ebenezer Scrooge during the holiday season, we can all recall something that went well for us.
So take a minute to think about it and send me your stories by Dec. 19. I'll post them throughout the holidays. It will be our gift to the tech companies we usually gripe about.
One evening earlier this year, I was working crazy hours trying to get my accounts in order for tax day and I ran into some snafu with QuickBooks. I don't recall the problem, just the late-night frustration of not being able to get the software to do what I wanted it to and the certain knowledge that I would be unable to get any help at 11 p.m.
I sent an e-mail to Intuit but decided to give up for the night since I was sure I wouldn't get any help until morning -- or more likely, for days or weeks. Seconds after my e-mail went out, my phone rang. Seriously! It was less than a minute. I don't know how the guy could have dialed the phone that fast. But it was, indeed, Intuit tech support. When I marveled at the response time, he told me, "We try to respond quickly this time of year." He was intelligent and funny, knew the product, and didn't ask me any inane questions. Then he got my problem solved in just a few minutes.
OK, your turn.
You can still send gripes, of course, but if you've got something to contribute to what I will call the "Bob Cratchit Hall of Fame," send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.