In sharp contrast to the negative customer service experiences you often see on The Soap Boxers, today I happily regale you with quite possibly the best customer service experience ever.  I have purchased many items from Buy.com over the years (mostly electronics) and have never had a bad experience.  I have, however, had one great experience.

The story started, as many do, with the birth of our first child.  Soon after, I saw a keychain the held digital photos (produced by Coby).  These have exploded in availablity over the last year, but at the time, it was difficult to find them for a decent price, except online.

My wife and I each wanted one, so I hopped onto Buy.com and ordered two of them at $20 each.  They arrived shortly, and I went about the task of loading them with our favorite photos.  The software (Mac version) was a bit quirky, but nonetheless, I soon loaded the first keychain.  Then I grabbed the second one.  The computer wouldn’t recognize it.  I rebooted the computer.  I tried a different computer.  I unplugged it and plugged it back in.  I cursed.  Nothing seemed to work.  The product was defective.

I went online and very quickly found Buy.com’s information on how to return a defective item.  I printed off an RMA (return of merchandise) form from their website.  This gave me free postage to send it back.  Very cool.  I dropped the box off (I forget which shipping company) and waited for my replacement.

After a week or so, I noticed that there had been absolutely no change to my order status online – not even an indication that the return had been received.  I sent a quick email to Buy.com to ask about this.  I quckly received a reply that explained the various steps in the return process and explained why the item might still be in the return process.  At this point,  I was confident that the box hadn’t fallen off a truck somewhere in Nebraska.  I patiently waited for the replacement.

Before long, I received a perfectly functioning item as a replacement.  I was very happy with it and in fact recommended it to many friends, several of whom went out to Buy.com to buy one.  I was a very satisfied customer.

A couple of months later, I received an email from Buy.com, completely out of the blue.  They were reviewing their files.  Because they were unable to completely satisfy me (their words, not mine), they were refunding my purchase price.  Not just the $20 cost of the defective (and replaced) item, but the entire $40 order.  I must say that I was very surprised at this.  If Buy.com considered me to be an unsatisfied customer, they must set the customer service bar very high.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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