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The Trick to Getting Companies to Fix Things….

…is to go to their Facebook page and complain. What company wants potential customers to hear that an item of theirs broke on you or dissatisfied you?

I’ve had good luck with contacting companies. Last year, when Boots No7 Foaming Face Wash made my chin break out in bacterial acne because I was unaware the product contained an item I was allergic to, Boots very nicely sent me a £15 gift card in addition to letting me return an unopened bottle without a receipt. For Christmas 2009 (really, January 2010 when we celebrated), my Mother-in-Law gave me a thermal cafetière from Scotts of Stowe. It started to leak a few months later and coffee got in between the walls of it, so it smelled really fusty. I contacted Scotts of Stowe, and they told me if my MIL called them with her customer ID, they would dispatch a new one. When the new one never arrived, my MIL called them back, and they sent out a second replacement (which did arrive, and I’ve been using since with no problems).

But lately…not so great service from emailing Crocs or Gelert directly from their “contact us” forms on their respective websites.

I have a pair of Crocs (the style no longer appears on their website. It was a pair that does not have any venting holes) and I was wearing them one day when I slid in the kitchen and my shoe went flying off. In the process, one of the little “rivets” that holds on the back strap cracked and would no longer hold the strap on. I first checked eBay for the rivets, but didn’t see any. Then, I went to the Crocs website where their instructions were to “take the shoes back to the retailer for replacement rivets”, so I sent them an email through their contact us page explaining that I had moved to the UK but had purchased my shoes in PA and could not take the shoes back to the retailer, but needed one single rivet in order to be able to wear the shoes comfortably again.

I received no response, so after a week, I looked for the company on facebook and posted to their Facebook page:

I sent off an email about cracking one of the “buttons” to one of my shoes and have not yet received a reply! I’d love to continue to wear these shoes, but it’s hard without a strap.

Within a few hours, I had a response giving me a different email address to write to with my address. Once I sent off the email, it was only a few days before a full set of replacement rivets arrived.

Most recently, Tim and I have been dealing with our flasks (as you know). Before we were trying to clean the newer ones, We tried to use another flask we had that was made by Gelert. Unfortunately, the stopper in the cap had a broken washer, and it was leaking. I tried to fix it, but even with clipping the broken washer back on, it still leaked. I went off to the Gelert website, and sent off an email asking for a replacement washer.

No response. So, I did exactly what I did with Crocs….I went to the Gelert Facebook page and posted:

Hello, I recently sent an email via your website in regards to a product of yours we own that has turned out to be faulty but did not receive a response. We own a 1L steel flask, and the lid has started to leak. I would like to know if it is possible to get a replacement new lid, or even just have the small washer that goes in the lid sent to me. Thanks!

And would you believe? Within a few hours, I had a response to that post informing me to email a specific email address, and I’ve since gotten a response to that and been informed they have put a replacement cap in the post for me.

Obviously, only contact a company if you really have a problem with a product and always check first to see if you can purchase a replacement. Things like phone chargers and USB cords are readily available, but something like the lid to a container might not be. I think it also helped that I was asking for small parts from each company – I don’t think Crocs would have sent out a new pair of shoes if I had asked for new shoes, but replacement rivets were no problem.

In the end, the worst thing a company can do is tell you no or ignore your request. As it’s lots easier to ignore email, I went straight to Facebook, because I felt the companies wouldn’t ignore a negative comment left for all the public to read. I may have been right!

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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