Saturday, June 07, 2008

TWK 3, a quick note on customer service.

The third in the Traveling with Kids series.

And... a note on customer service here in Seoul.
Tuesday morning I dropped my phone, which isn’t an uncommon occurrence, but this time when I picked it up it was dead. It was a bad, hurried morning. I transfered the number to my old phone which has an unfortunate tendency to reboot over and over again, and considered my options. We’ll move in two months, no reason to buy a new phone. I could keep using the old one, but the rebooting is a pain and I would have to reenter all my phone numbers, which weren’t backed up.

Long story short, I took the phone to the Samsung customer service center, which turned out not to be very far from my apartment -- maybe a 10 minute taxi ride. They took my phone and maybe a half an hour later an engineer sadly informed me that I had destroyed two components, one of which they had in stock and one of which they would have to get from another service center. It wouldn’t be ready until late that day or the next morning. (It was about noon at that point.) I almost laughed -- I hadn’t expected to get it back so soon. Anyway, I picked up the phone the next morning, good as new.

Late last year I ordered an LG humidifier from a auction site. It arrived the next day, it worked for about 5 minutes and then quit. I thought, Shit, I don’t know how to return things bought via auction -- this had never happened before. KC called LG and a technician came out to my apartment about 40 minutes later. He tried to fix the humidifier but the board was broken, so he apologized, took the board, and told me he’d come back the next day with a new one. The next day he tried yet another one, but it also didn’t work. He apologized again and told me they would refund the money if I gave them a copy of the receipt and my bank account. Within two days the amount I had paid in the auction was refunded to my bank account.

After that I thought, “Well, I still need a humidifier and the LG one is the most popular, so I’ll order it again.” I ordered the same humidifier, again from an auction site, and this one worked for about 2 weeks before breaking. I called LG customer service again, and again a technician came about 40 minutes later. This time he took part of the humidifier and returned it the next day and it was worked fine since.

This is why people buy things from chaebols like LG and Samsung. Who can compete with that kind of service? You go to the Samsung customer service center and the people who work there are so polite and so proud of themselves for working for Samsung. The place is bursting with pride. It is a part of life here that is hard to imagine from living in the States.

I'll miss that customer service when we move to China.

1 comment:

Daniel Gray said...

For real. The service in this country is outstanding. I always ask for AS whenever I make a purchase. I bought headphones from Shure and they broke twice and both times they replaced them.

How are you doing these days? We'll all have to go on a food adventure one day.