September 30 , 2017 /


For the past four weeks I have been dealing with customer service with two different companies, Garmin International and UPS. It’s easy for you to imagine the drill. An item was ordered from Garmin, promised overnight delivery to a city that we were traveling through. It did not arrive and we had to move on, leaving said package to arrive later with a request that it be returned to sender.

Our daughter called UPS twice to have it picked up and that didn’t happen. I finally called Garmin, asked for their help and fortunately I had the tracking number which I had given to UPS previously. Garmin also not only had the tracking number but also had our correct phone numbers, address, and the order with all the information, delivery address, order number, etc.   I was told that the person fulfilling the order should not have made the promise.

The woman in customer service at Garmin asked me to hold, which I did, while she spoke with a supervisor and relayed the details about getting the issue resolved. After a few minutes she came back, said that the supervisor would get in touch with UPS and that when they had scheduled a pick up that UPS would call us to confirm. We waited and within 20 minutes, we received the return call as promised. The issue seemed to be with UPS, not Garmin, although it was Garmin providing the customer service since that is where the order originated.

I thanked the woman for her help and said that I thought she should be promoted to become a supervisor and this was her response. “Oh, no, no, no. I do not want to be responsible for other people. I only want to be responsible for myself.”   We both laughed and then I heard and saw the wisdom in her response. She knew her job well, she did it well, apparently liked her role just as it was and did not need nor want any further complications.

I wondered how many people who work in the customer service arena like what they’re doing, reflect such a positive, can do attitude and seldom get compliments for what they do every day.   So, thinking about all of that I called Garmin back, talked directly to the wise woman, thanked her for not only what she did but also the way she did it. And then I left a voice mail for her supervisor passing along my observations and experience. Garmin must have a great training program or they hire exceptionally talented people, or both. Wise company, wise woman. Thank you to Elizabeth and Natalie!

EPILOGUE:  UPS came to pick up the package and instead of picking it up, left a note saying “needs a call tag.” So, first thing Monday morning, Garmin being closed from Friday 5 PM Central Time as well as Saturday and Sunday, I called the supervisor who returned my call promptly and we thought we got it all straightened out. Package had to go to a UPS store, not eligible for residential pick up. She even provided the address of the store. Wait, there’s more. Store still wouldn’t take it.  Finally, had to call Garmin supervisor who discovered a mistake. We were supposed to have received a label for sending the package back to Garmin. It was never ordered. She apologized profusely, sent the label immediately via email and the damn package is on its way back to Olathe, Kansas. It only took a month, several phone calls and should have been corrected originally. I did not know “call tag” meant “mailing label.”


Comments (2)

  1. Your time consuming experience illuminates one of the negatives of online shopping. Everyone has a similar story to tell. Old fashioned shopping in retail stores (now near extinction) involved customer service in returns. Still most of the time online shopping is a pleasure and saves time and shoe leather.

    1. Thanks for your comment and sharing. At the heart of all of this seems to be the connections with real people who care, whether online or in person. I continue to think about the differences between the “virtual” and the “real” interchanges. I still prefer face to face and that does not mean the “face time” application on the smart phone. Flesh and bone still better in my world.

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