Kodak / Customer Disservice


Have you ever had to deal with a company’s online customer service and had them give you the runaround? How did you respond?  I try to remember that these people are only human, but sometimes they push me so far that I’m forced to unleash my inner smart ass.  The following is a transcript of my email correspondence with Kodak Customer Service. I’ve put their comments in red, my emails in black, and my editorial comments in blue so you can keep things straight.

Hi,

I just bought one of your cameras and I can’t get the digital zoom to work. I followed the instructions in the booklet but it won’t work the way it’s described. I looked on your website but couldn’t find any further information on this problem. I checked to make sure that the digital zoom is on. I even turned it off and on again and it didn’t help. Can you tell me what’s wrong?

Greetings Lisa Nowak ,

Thank you for your recent visit to the Kodak Web site and question about the zoom of your Kodak EasyShare M1033 digital camera. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. We will do our best to assist you.

For you to zoom in and out of your digital camera, you need to press the zoom button which is located at the right upper corner at the back of your camera. Where in you can see the T and the W icon.  You may also find these instructions online. Please click on the link below to visit the online manual for your camera:

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/publications/urg00847toc.jhtml?chapsec=urg00847c1s2&pq-path=12700

If you encounter an issue in the future with your Kodak product or Kodak EasyShare software, we have created an online troubleshooting guide.  You may click on the URL below to access this troubleshooting guide.http://www.kodak.com/go/itg

We are glad to be of service and are here for you if you need us in the future. If you do reply, please be sure to include any previous e-mail so we may assist you better.

Regards,

Clarice B, Kodak Information and Technical Support

Naturally, this was a bit annoying, since Clarice obviously didn’t read my email carefully. But I attempted to remain civil:

Okay, I’ll try this again. I read the booklet. I followed the directions.  It says to zoom all the way to end of the telephoto range, let go of the button, and press is again. At this point it’s supposed to go into digital zoom, but mine doesn’t. I already tried your troubleshooting guide and it didn’t tell me anything I hadn’t read in the instruction booklet. And yes, I am sure that the digital zoom is set to the “on” setting.

Lisa

Greetings Lisa,

Thank you for your mailing back to us.

We are glad to be of assistance.

Lisa, for you to be able to use the digital zoom of your camera, you still need to turn it on. Please follow the steps below to turn on the digital zoom of your camera.

1. Turn on the camera

2. Press the menu button

3. Scroll to the right to setup menu (the wrench icon)

4. Scroll down to digital zoom and press ok

5. Scroll to on and press ok

6. Press the menu button to exit

(repeat info about online stuff eliminated)

A Customer Satisfaction Survey may be emailed to you.  We hope that you would take the time to provide your feedback about our customer support as it would help us improve our services.

We are glad to be of service and are here for you if you need us in the future. If you do reply, please be sure to include any previous e-mail so we may assist you better.

Regards,

Irish M

Kodak Information and Technical Support

Okay, but this point I was pretty hacked off. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

In response to your tech support:

Lisa, for you to be able to use the digital zoom of your camera, you still need to turn it on.

Are you guys serious?  Did you even read what I said in my email or is it Prank the Customer Day at Kodak?

Turn on the camera

2. Press the menu button

3. Scroll to the right to setup menu (the wrench icon)

4. Scroll down to digital zoom and press ok

5. Scroll to on and press ok

6. Press the menu button to exit

Yeah, I did all that, which I thought I made clear in my last email when I said I was sure the digital zoom was on.

Please click the link below for the user’s manual for your camera for your reference.

Yeah, I also said I’d read the owner’s manual and followed the directions.

If you encounter an issue in the future with your Kodak product or Kodak EasyShare Software, we have created an online troubleshooting guide.

And I also said I’d used your trouble-shooting guide and it didn’t address my problem.

A Customer Satisfaction Survey may be emailed to you.  We hope that you would take the time to provide your feedback about our customer support as it would help us improve our services.

Seriously, after you’ve treated me like an idiot and failed to carefully read my email TWICE do you think my feedback is going to reflect positively on your company? If I was you the last thing I’d do is send me a survey form.

We are glad to be of service and are here for you if you need us in the future.

Yeah, right.  Next time I’ll buy a Nikon.

Lisa Nowak

Later that day I get this:

Greetings Lisa,

Thank you so much for your reply.

We understand your concern and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. We will do our very best to help you.

We need to inform you that there must be something wrong with your newly purchased Kodak EasyShare M1033 zoom digital camera. (No kidding? Why did it take three emails for your company to figure that out?)

Thus, we offer you two options. Your first option is to send your camera back to us or to the store where it was purchased for a refund or replacement.

(details about returning camera eliminated)

We look forward to hearing from you shortly (please include previous e-mails).

Regards,

Zoe D.

Yes, Virginia, there is an intelligent person in customer service! Kodak, you’d better hold onto ol’ Zoe, otherwise Nikon’s going to see a sharp climb in sales.

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10 Responses to Kodak / Customer Disservice

  1. A woman I know once made this observation: that in many companies, customer relations seemed to be set up in such a way that you HAD to get angry in order to get results. That if you remained polite, there seemed to be no incentive to actually solve your problem.

    Let’s hope that now Kodak is paying attention, your camera is soon fixed !

    Like

  2. Ron Baird says:

    Greetings Lisa,

    I read your post here Lisa and was concerned. I have contacted our team about your disappointment. I am sorry you had such a hard time with us so far, Lisa, we want to make sure you get what you need. I am here to help.

    One of the goals at Kodak is to make sure we are providing the support and help that our customers need. As you have found, we do this by email as well as phone and letter. I hope you will give us another chance.

    As a Kodak employee, I was concerned that our efforts did not prove to be what you needed. I am glad to follow through with any other issues you might have with your camera. If you have not yet returned your camera try calling our team at 800 235 6325. They will be able to go through the features of your camera with you directly and find out more about what is happening. They will then provide you with specific directions on how to get your camera serviced to new condition. I believe your case ID is 2088448.

    If you would like additional help, let me know, Lisa, we are here for you.

    Ron Baird
    the friendly Kodak guy

    Like

  3. Bridget Zinn says:

    Wow, Lisa! I’m so glad that you finally got through to them. We’ve almost never had problems with big companies like this in the past — sporadically maybe, but THIS YEAR, OMG, they keep coming right and left. Three of our packages didn’t get shipped by FedEx when we moved and have been sitting in Chicago for 6 months — repeated phone calls just gave us the run around. We canceled our Qwest account after the first week because it wasn’t fast enough and they told us that we shouldn’t pay this one fee, because it would just be refunded. It kept showing up on the bill, we kept calling to explain — every time they were like, no, you shouldn’t have to pay that, I’ll take care of it. THEN THE BILL COLLECTION AGENCY CAME AFTER US!!! So we paid it. And every time we’ve called since then they’ve still said we shouldn’t have paid, but no money has ever come back. We’ve had similar things with the cell phone company, buy.com etc. and it has only started since we moved to Portland. Obviously, our current apartment has some serious feng shui issues in the helpful people department. 🙂 At least we’re moving soon!

    Like

  4. lisanowak says:

    As you can see, I got some attention from Kodak. Thanks Ron. I’m glad to know there are at least two people at Kodak who know what they’re doing. And seriously, I love my camera (well, I’ll love the replacement, which is supposed to arrive today). It’s funny how once you post something to a blog people you didn’t even know were reading it somehow stumble upon it. I mean, even if you’re Googling “Kodak” what are the chances that my blog post would pop up at the top of the list of hits?

    Bridget, I hope you won’t hold all that bad luck against Portland. 🙂 I hear cats are good for correcting bad Feng Shui. They suck up all the bad chi or something. Maybe you need more cats. Sounds like you’d need a whole shelter full to fix your woes, though.

    Chris, apparently getting mad does work. Especially if you get mad enough to post the experience to your blog.

    Like

  5. Bridget Zinn says:

    Ha ha ha! A whole shelter full of cats sounds like a great idea. Maybe the cats I have are just being lazy about their chi sucking. I like to think that we’re just getting a few years worth of bad luck all at once and we’ll be totally annoying-and-unhelpful-large-company-issue-free for the next ten to twenty years.

    Like

  6. Katy Skinner says:

    People are reading your blog fo reals! 🙂

    Like

  7. Jon says:

    not funny enough

    Like

  8. Casey says:

    I’ve found that mentioning the fact that I’m taking notes for my blog tends to straighten out convoluted customer service pretty darn quick. Also, I once calmly informed an unhelpful rep that, like his company, I was recording the conversation. I got to speak to a manager PDQ, who solved my problem with alacrity to get me off the phone.

    The viral nature of the internet just makes it too darn hard to ignore unhappy customers.

    Like

  9. lisanowak says:

    Casey, sadly, the approach you mention did’t work with Classmates.com. They were completely unfazed by the mention of my blog. I will throw a big party when Facebook renders them obsolete.

    Like

  10. Roxie says:

    Wheeeheee! Lisa, I just love to watch you kick butt and take names. You are GOOD at it!

    Like

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