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Entries in customer service (4)


Virtual Sunglasses, Real Shopping

I ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses from through a great deal on Living Social. ($49 for a complete pair of glasses, shipped.)

That was pretty cool, but this is even cooler:

While browsing for glasses on Eyefly, you can take a photo of yourself with a webcam. The site uses software that will automagically place a 3D rendering of the glasses on your face so you can see how they might look.

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PSE&G: A Public Utility's Failure to Inform the Public

It's been nearly four days that I, and a number of my neighbors, have been without power due to this year's early snow storm.

While the storm was unexpected, the results were not: the snow was dense and heavy and the abundance of leaves still on the trees made it easy for snow to find purchase on weak limbs which fell onto power lines. Given that I live in a town called Maplewood, you can imagine how many old, large trees we have in town and that extent of the damage is probably higher than other towns.

Needless to say, it's got me a bit torqued out. Finally, this morning, I had to get on a plane to go to Blogworld LA, leaving my wife and son home without electricity and a wood stove that neither of them are comfortable operating.

But what's really got me pissed off is our utility company, PSE&G.

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Say what you'll do. Do what you say.

I had an entirely frustrating experience with AT&T Wireless yesterday. (Shocker!) To their credit, the story ends well, but it strongly reinforced a principle that I learned early in my career: set proper expectations and manage them accordingly. Even better: under-promise and over-deliver, if you can.

My ordeal with AT&T began with my pre-ordering of the iPhone 4S (note the pre part) . I always like to have the latest iPhone so I can understand its capabilities when creating apps or mobile marketing programs. (And yes, I'm guilty of being an Apple enthusiast. Sue me.)

Luckily, my wife and I are on alternating upgrade cycles for our iPhones and she doesn't care if she has the newest hardware. So, during every iPhone refresh I get a new one and she gets my current one. (That's a pretty sweet deal.) ;)

She's been asking me about the upcoming product refresh since she's grown tired of the quality of the photos and video on her iPhone 3 GS and wanted my iPhone 4. So, when they announced the start date and time for for the iPhone 4S pre-orders, I set my alarm an hour early on that day so I could make sure to get an order placed before they ran out of the first production run of devices.

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eBags Customer Support ROCKS

After having been podcasting in earnest for awhile, in December 2006 I found that I needed a bigger bag for all my gear.

Since I had just invested in a bunch of audio equipment, I knew that My Management would kill me if I bought some overpriced laptop bag, so I did a little research and found the Firewall Laptop Bag from eBags. Part of their line of private-labeled bags, it's of their own design and creation and it had received lots of positive reviews.

The positive reviews - coupled with the 20% off coupon they sent me by email - prompted me to take the plunge.

The bag is great. It's large enough to fit all my audio gear, laptop, moleskine, files, etc. and it's really tough. At the time, I was using a 15" PowerBook and it fit perfectly in the laptop slot.

As my job responsibilities changed and I began traveling less, I switched to a smaller bag for about a year. Now that I'm again traveling frequently, I switched back using the Firewall bag.

After about a week of using it again, I inserted my 13" MacBook, zipped it up and...the seam on the zipper ripped from the surrounding cloth.

I was a little miffed by the whole thing but then I remembered that the bag has a Lifetime Warranty. I'm always a little skeptical of these types of warranties, but the product page on says "Our Promise - Lifetime Warranty -Exchange, return, whatever it takes" so I called their customer service folks.

After informing them of my plight, I was told that someone from their returns department would be calling me back. That was last Friday.

Today, unexpectedly and without a phone call from eBags, the UPS guy rang the doorbell and delivered a brand new replacement bag.

Wow. Now that's customer service. Of course, they were probably hoping that someone like me would post something like this and frankly, they deserve it.

I think it's sufficient to say that I will continue to be an eBags customer.

If you're in the market for a laptop bag, backpack or whatever, be sure to check out their private-labeled bags.