I'm SO EXCITED- I just experienced some of the BEST customer service EVER!

Real Estate Agent with Five Star Real Estate

Best Buy LogoYesterday I was on the phone for over an hour with the Customer Service Department of BEST BUY. My blood pressure stayed at its normal level, I had a smile on my face and an extremely pleasant conversation. 

I had thought that high quality customer service was something from a bygone era that I may never experience again, but then I talked to Betty Tucker.  You see, before my daughter Kirstin joined the Peace Corps and moved to Romania, we got her an IPOD, and even though I'm not a big fan of extended warranties, I thought that with a small electronic item that might be prone to some problems, I bought the coverage.

That's good news because the other day, Kirstin told me that her IPOD diedKirstin & Dad in BUdapestThe bad news, there's not a Best Buy store anywhere near her.  Hence the call to Betty.

Kirstin's warranty expires before she'll be back in the USA, and she's had friends who have had IPODs disappear in the Romanian mail service, so we were in search of some other alternative.

Betty left no stone unturned in her hunt for a solution. She talked with supervisors, tried a variety of screens in their system and ultimately there was not a solution, short of Kirstin sending the IPOD home and me taking it to the store.

But even given the lack of magical outcome, the fact that Betty was so efficient, so friendly, so kind, and so committed to try to help, I wrote a long letter singing her praises to Best Buy.

I think that Kirstin and I have decided that her IPOD is worth nothing to her now, and that there's a chance that it will make it through the mail and then I can get it fixed/replaced.  So she'll probably ship it and we'll go that route. 

But I can tell you that the hour I spent on the phone with Betty has restored my hope that customer service isn't dead yet.


Photo by me:  Kirstin and me in Budapest, July 2007


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Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Eric- Well if this isn't interesting....I was in the Peace Corps in Romania from 97 through 2000.......and it is without a doubt her I POD would disappear through the mail there.....ahhhh but here's a solution.  go to the Office in Bucharest and find out who is coming back to the States for anything, and send it with them.  People do this all the time, and it works for small things.....:)  By the way where is your daughter assigned, and how long has she been there?


Mar 11, 2008 06:02 PM #5
Eric Webster
Five Star Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty

Lola: It's interesting that good customer service seems so rare that when you see it you want to comment. 

Duane: I hope that Best Buy passes along some congrats to Betty, or at least a copy of my letter. 

Mary: Yes, I'm very proud!  She's a delightful person, and it's been hard to have her gone for almost 2-years at this point, but I do believe her presence in Romania is helping to make it a better place.

Kathy: Good idea! And we have some time so certainly someone will be coming to the US before June.  Kirstin is in Petrosani (about 6-hour out of Bucharest).  She left in May of 2006 and it's a 27-month gig.  She teaches English in a couple of different schools, but is also volunteering in some health related areas. Work with HIV/AIDS, Breast feeding advocacy and such.  It's amazing how many customs are based on faulty information. 

We had the wonderful good fortune to visit with her for 2-weeks last summer.  She was able to travel with us and we spent time in Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna and Heviz, Hungary.  It was an amazing time, and it was SO good to see her little face.

I do go on and on.

Mar 11, 2008 11:30 PM #6
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
Not many people take the time to report good customer service. I am sure Best Buy will pass it along to Betty.
Mar 12, 2008 12:57 AM #7
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
Just trying to help instead of arguing with you and not listening is a refreshing change. Thanks
Mar 12, 2008 06:34 AM #8
Eric Webster
Five Star Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty

Gita,  I am making a commitment this year to 'share the love' when something good happens.  I don't hesitate to let my dis-satisfaction be known, so it's only fair that I let people who do a great job that I appreciate it.  Think of the possible impact if we all did that. 


Terry, EXACTLY.  Thanks for stopping by.  BTW, based on your presentation today, I upped my RPAC commitment.  Good job!

Mar 12, 2008 09:15 AM #9
Colorado Real Estate - Christina
Colorado Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO

I love great customer service!! Thanks for your post with a real example of how that should look.  I actually just recently blogged about it this morning and them came across your post! Have a great day! ~Christina

Mar 12, 2008 09:40 AM #10
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI
Mary, you are right, it is a great ThemThem to Eric's daughter for helping in Romania, good point!
Mar 12, 2008 10:47 AM #11
Sonya Rosser
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers - Douglasville, GA
Nope customer service is not dead.  Thank God.  Enjoyed your post.
Mar 12, 2008 01:24 PM #12
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Eric-I know the area she's in, and I know her Program Manager too.  You are so right about the misinformation......we had to deal with this all the time, and changing mentality is not easy.  I was in the NGO Development Group....I think they have gotten rid of this now, and have no idea what they changed the name to.  But it was interesting....and she will change during her time.  I did trainings for  5 different groups.......I was in Group 7.  Seems a long time ago, but I am still involved over there, and actually sold a flat in Bucharest not that long ago.....

Now that is a novel place to talk about customer service...."spune doamna"  was what we would here from someone sitting reading the paper, eating, or anything but trying to help you.  some shops were better than others, but after changing over to a Market Economy from one where everyone was guaranteed a job....well customer service wasn't a concept to most people.  In the new shops that opened in Bucharest they learned quickly, but not in some of the State Shops.  Anyway, interesting, and glad you got to go see her.

Mar 12, 2008 06:00 PM #13
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker
http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA

It is nice to have good news reported!  Go Betty!

Mar 13, 2008 12:58 AM #14
Gary J. Rocks
Juba Team Realty - Jefferson Township, NJ


Great story, my in-laws purchased a guitar hero from Block buster for Christmas and within a month it was broken not working because of the unit. Anyone who has one knows they are basically junk. Anyway, when my wife tried to take it back and exchange it she was basically told to go pound salt. We only wish-we went to Best Buy.

Mar 13, 2008 02:07 AM #15
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty
People with great customer service run far and few between these days and when I meet someone like you did Eric, it really stands out to me. 
Mar 13, 2008 03:41 AM #16
Eric Webster
Five Star Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty

Christina:  Thanks for stopping by and commenting.  It's sad that great customer service seems rare enough that it deserves a big notice.

Sonya:  Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Kathy:  What a small world.  She has LOVED Romania.  It's been a big adjustment to deal with the attitudes and customs, but it's Peace Corps... to be expected.  She's not sure what's next but is considering re-upping for another tour, but in a different country.  We'll see, she has so many directions she could go. 

We had such a good time when we visited.  We were only in Bucharest in Romania, but took the train to Budapest and then to Heviz, Hungary and on to Vienna.  I am not a big history buff, so I really learned a lot about the oppression and history of the region.  UGLY, UGLY things. 

But beautiful country, amazing food, and to see my daughter's smiling face after 15 months...to good for words. :)

Heath:  Go Betty indeed!  Thanks.

Gary:  You live and you learn.  I think that with the easy access people now have to share good and bad news about businesses, it's going to become more important than ever for businesses to take a hard look at how well they provide service to their customers.

Patricia:  I was so pleased and very surprised.

Mar 13, 2008 01:53 PM #17
John and Lisa Marker
RE/MAX Dream Properties - Northville, MI
It is sooo hard to find GOOD old fashioned customer service these days..... congratulations!
Mar 13, 2008 01:58 PM #18
Jim Fischetti
The Fischetti Group/Keller Williams - Wake Forest, NC

Great post. It is refreshing to get great customer service, my all time best was in Nordstrom's in Tampa, Fl. Bob the salesman in the Men's department was an absolute life saver.

Thanks for sharing.


Jim in NC

Mar 14, 2008 06:10 AM #19
Richard Ives
Chicago, IL
That is so great to hear that a business is going the extra mile for their customers.
Mar 14, 2008 11:49 AM #20
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


It's great to hear stories like yours in an age when meaningful customer support seems to be waning. It's also a good lesson to us in the real estate and mortgage businesses on how to build relationships and make new prospects.

Mar 15, 2008 11:47 AM #21
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate
Good customer service deserves a thank you letter - hope yours gets to Betty. It sounds like she went the extra mile.
Mar 15, 2008 01:52 PM #22
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

I've had some very good service from Best Buy in the Twin Cities myself. 

Eric, it's good of you to recognize and write about a good customer service experience like this one!

Mar 16, 2008 04:06 PM #23
Dionne Morgan
Realty World Solano Realty - Vallejo, CA
Finding good customer service is a challenge today. Great story.
Mar 19, 2008 12:56 PM #24
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Eric Webster

Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty
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