One of the greatest things I learned during my time at Google is writing good customer support emails. I think the seeming boring task is actual quick an important part of any Internet B-to-C or B-to-B business because most of the transactions happen online and through exchange of emails.
I have one of the worst customer support experience I have had while I was in the process of ordering a new Memory Stick Pro Duo for my Sony digital camera from Buy.com. As usual, I was searching for a good deal on Buy.com and found that there was a promotion of 2 Lexar 1GB MS for $15.99. Customers with new Google checkout account can even take an additional $10 dollars off. However, when I read the descriptions on the page, I realize that the pictures shown on it do not reflect the descriptions of the item. The pictures shown a MS Pro 1GB but the description states that it's MS PRO DUO 1GB. Anyone with a Sony product knows that they have had so many MS products now that it's confusing which one you exactly need for your Sony products.
I know for certain that I need a MS PRO DUO (the shorter kind) but not the MS PRO. Therefore, I wrote an email to Buy.com asking for clarification to make sure that I am buying MS Pro DUO but not MS Pro. I exchanged emails from them 4 times but the response I got each time was not even close to any possible answer to my question.
"Please refer to http://www.lexar.com/ for details."
"We cannot provide further descriptions of the product you ask."
One customer support email is even a direct copy of the product descriptions they have on the website.
Finally, I got a very brief email from Buy.com today regarding my questions:
Thank you for contacting Buy.com.
This is in reference to your email regarding your email.
Our Customer Support Department is available via telephone 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Our toll-free phone number is 1-800-800-0800 (Press Option #3).
Please contact us with any further questions you may have. Your satisfaction is important to us.
Buy.com Customer Service
I removed the Customer Service Associate's name so that he won't get penalized for his reply.
Now, next time if you buy anything from Buy.com and are confused with their descriptions, you should try giving them a call instead of exchanging emails with them.
Anyway, I gave up on Buy.com and decided to order it from Amazon.com instead. I also want to thank Paolo and many TAs at Google, who taught me how to write proper customer service emails.
Paola, hope you get well very soon!