February 19, 2008

A Blockbuster Service Failure

Filed under: Customer Service Strategy — Mark Sanborn @ 8:34 pm

My wife Darla rented two movies for our boys to watch. One was scratched and played erratically. When she returned the movies to our local Blockbuster in Highlands Ranch (the Broadway location), she asked for a credit on the scratched movie. “I can let you watch it again on a different DVD but that’s all I can do,” was the response.

My wife pointed out that they’d viewed the substandard DVD enough to get the gist of the movie and she’d like to see a manager. All the managers (how many does a local Blockbuster have?) were in a meeting.

“Okay,” Darla says, “then credit me for the inferior movie.” The employee said she couldn’t and would need to get a manager. Suddenly the “managers are in a meeting” was trumped and a young gal named “Emily” (who refused to share her last name) showed up.

Darla said she like a credit on the $4.49 movie. “Nope,” Emily responded, “I can’t.”

“Fine,” says Darla, “you just lost a customer.” Emily didn’t seem to care.

Emily and her team of customer service zeros thought once they stonewalled my wife and kids their troubles were over. They were wrong. I’m contacting Blockbuster corporate–not because of the trivial $4.49 rental but because of the grievous travesty of customer service–and will let you know how they respond.

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