Just over three weeks ago I started my investment for a better cup of coffee. The goal is simple, get a better tasting cup of coffee that I would enjoy more than a store-bought coffee and to save some green-backs from the drive through coffee places I was hitting in the morning. Little did I know that poor customer service would hold me back for as long as it did.
As mentioned in the other article, I bought a French press travel mug made by a company called Planetary Design, but they have the mug I wanted listed as temporarily discontinued, so I bought one from Amazon, who only four left, and only in wasabi green (now sold out). Not exactly the color I would have preferred, but it was the mug I thought I wanted. Before I go on. I only bought from Amazon after I had emailed Planetary Design about the wide base mug and if or when it would come back in stock, two full business days later, no response. Ironicly, the mug I bought through Amazon is actually shipped by Liquid Planet, the store version of Planetary Design, as Amazon is a “front” for many businesses.
The mug arrived a few days after buying it, however there was a problem, it was only a mug, not a French press mug. It seems that I mis-read the description and assumed that it was a French press, because that is what the company slogan is, it was just a plain old mug. Mind you, a very nice one, but no French press. This is where my frustration started.
Looking at the Liquid Planet store site, I see that they sell replacement lids and plungers, great! I’ll just find the one that will work in my mug, pay the $5 plus $2 for shipping since it was my stupid mistake and start enjoying it. Then I realized that the wide base mug was not in the drop down menu, so I started to wonder if another one would work. Since more than a week had past since sending an email to Planetary Design to inquire about the mug and it was never replied to, I figured I would just call Liquid Planet directly and talk to a sales person, get my question answered, pay the $7 and move on. Wow, I was wrong.
First call was on the Tuesday that the mug arrived, I explained my situation to the sales person on the phone, told them that I bought a mug that I thought was a French press but clearly it wasn’t and it was my mistake, and I’d like to buy a new lid / plunger to turn it into a French press, but wasn’t sure which one to get, could he help? He said that I would need to speak with a product specialist and asked to put me on hold to see if one was available. They weren’t, so he took my name and number and told me they would be in touch soon. Around 5pm that day a woman called me back, I missed the call but listened to the message, in which she said she would try me again tomorrow. I thought that was odd, I was expecting to get a request to call her back and a direct extension. At 6pm I called and asked the person who answered to talk to the young woman who left me the message, they told me she was unavailable and took my name and number, again.
Wednesday, no call back by the time I went to lunch, so I figured that I’d be proactive and call her back, same story, she was unavailable and took my name and number, now the 3rd time. At 6pm I left work and started driving home, no missed calls, no messages on my cell, I called in once again only to be told she had left for the day. I explained my situation to the person on the other line, all I wanted was a simple answer and only one person there seemed to be able to give it to me. He apologized for not being able to help me and asked for my name and number. I got my first name out and he finished the last for me, followed by my phone number. Clearly they were starting to know who I was. Sadly, I actually wanted to buy something, I wasn’t calling to complain, ask for a refund or exchange, I just wanted to know what part I needed to purchase to make my mug work like a French press.
Thursday, most of my hope was gone for a resolution, when I saw a missed call on my cell phone around 4 in the afternoon – I had given up calling on my lunch break by this point. It was the woman who I was trying to reach, and again telling me she would call back shortly. I called back while leaving work at 6pm and she was unavailable. Fifteen minutes later I was home and just about to take the dog out for a walk when my cell rang, it was them! The woman apologized profusely for the missed connections, phone tag and overall lack of customer service I had experienced and was calling to tell me that there is a proper lid and plunger for my mug and they would be mailing it to me free of charge, just for the hassle. It arrived the following Monday. For the last week and a half I’ve been able to finally enjoy coffee made in a French press.
This was clearly an ordering error on my part, yet contacting the company to purchase more over the phone was a total hassle. The downside is, I really like the mug, it is very high quality and I will give a more in-depth review of it when the follow up article comes, I’m just really disappointed in the quality of customer service that Planet Liquid and Planetary Design have. To this day, I have still not received an email response to the inquiry I sent a month ago.