Ever work with a vendor that is so stringent on their policy that they forget who keeps them in business?
A few years ago, my wife wanted a brand new entertainment center (no, not with the big screen - darn). I went to a local furniture store and bought her a unit that I had to assemble. That was okay, because I had a Saturday to do it.
I was traveling at the time, so I didn’t really have time to waste, but I could spend a Saturday. When we bought the entertainment center, we also bought a new freezer, a new couch, a new chair and a new desk… not a small purchase. The entertainment center was just a small part of the “package.”
When I got home with the box and opened it, I found that four of the largest pieces were crunched… not dinged, not scuffed, but crunched. There was no way to salvage. I was less than satisfied.
I took the unit back to the store and asked for a replacement… reasonable, right?
I guess not.
They told me that I needed to contact the manufacturer, wait two weeks for the replacement and I would be set.
After ten minutes of arguing, I finally said, “Let me put this in terms you can understand… if I don’t get a replacement right now you’ll not only keep this entertainment center, you can also keep the freezer, couch, chair and desk then I’ll take my business elsewhere.”
I got the replacement.
The bottom line: your policy sucks if it causes your customer grief.
If your policy prevents your customers (or even your employees) from being taken care of, then you should stop citing policy and start fixing problems.
Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."