Thank you for informing me that you do not talk to customers and that any complaints must be put in writing and mailed to your corporate office. Fortunately, I am the type of person who doesn’t mind writing—a second time.
We bought a ProCom wall heater from Menard’s, Chicago. We tried to install it in our garage, but despite our best troubleshooting efforts, it failed to ignite. Buying a faulty heater, especially one that takes time and effort to install, is an inconvenience (but, hey, we know that these things can happen). Therefore, as suggested in the ProCom instructions, we called the manufacture for help. Unfortunately, due to the high holiday call volume, they could not take our call; so we e-mailed, I assume that they couldn’t reply to our e-mail for the same reason.
Our next step was to package up the heater and return it to the store. Repackaging the heater, loading it in the car, and pushing it in a cart through a parking lot laden with snow and slush in the cold was a challenge (I’m sure you understand this as your home office is in Wisconsin). I could detail my conversations at the store but, suffice to say, I felt that someone at the corporate level might be more helpful for our particular issue, which was more than a return. The store could not provide a phone number outside of the store but did give us a customer service survey form to fill out (thank you for sharing).
Google provided a number to your corporate office, which I called and was greeted with a message announcing that Menard’s is dedicated to service and quality (I was hopeful!). The phone was promptly answered by a women in a position of great authority—to tell customers that she cannot, must not, will not transfer customers to anyone that might be able to help them. With perfected haughtiness, she informed me that I may write to Menard’s and explain my issues and then someone would call me back at their convenience. I asked her about her announced dedication to service. She proudly told me that she worked for Menard’s and was responsible for upholding their policies, and then she started singing
God Bless Menard’s
Hardware that I love.
From the hammers, to the toilet bowls,
To the plungers, to the sawdust.
God bless Menard’s,
My sweet hardware store.
(Ok, she didn’t really sing, but she did keep customers from contacting you with the skill of a Jedi.) Frustrated, but determined to resolve our heater problem, I followed her instructions and wrote to you, explaining the problem and proposing a solution. However, I did not receive a reply (nada!).
I called again. A woman answered the phone, and after explaining my issue, including a lack of response to my letter, she informed me (with the same enthusiasm as the first anti-customer service women I had spoken to) that no customer service request would be handled by phone. (Was I speaking to the same women or do you recruit and train multiple anti-customer service employees?) No, she does not have a supervisor; no, she cannot transfer my call; no, she cannot take a message (no, she does not eat nails for breakfast). (Ha, Twitter away, Menard’s does not have a Social Media Department.) She spoke with absolute authority and made it clear that she was trained to provide the worst customer service experience possible. I would like to recommend that she receive a glowing evaluation for her ability to be unwavering in her rude, arrogant, and completely unhelpful customer service approach.
Have you read your reviews on the web regarding your corporate and store anti- customer service policies? It was heartening, in an ironic sort of way, to learn that I am not the only customer to whom you refuse to speak. There are many of us, all wondering if it’s healthy to spend money with a company that refuses to speak to us. After all, the key to a good relationship is communication, and, of course, quality products that work. In my case, your company did not provide either.
Menard’s, you have dedicated yourself to wasting my time and thwarting me with your reprehensible customer service. This letter is written with the intent of warning others of your policies and perhaps catching the eye of someone in your company who really is dedicated to service and quality. (It could happen.)
(And, dear Odd readers, don’t you worry, I will get the heater fixed or replaced. This is just the start—I am going to melt some faces.)
Odd Loves Company,
Seth Godin’s Blog Post: Please, go away. You might want to read this one Menards.