The Delights of Selling Online and Customer Service

Here at Adelbrook, we lovingly refer to the building we work in as Adelbrook Towers… In actual fact it’s a very old mill style building, that’s falling apart around the seams. We chose it, simply because it’s a cheap large building.

Our business being exceptionally price competitative means a cheap building works for us. If it was more modern for its size we would pay significantly more. Every day we turn up like a little army to orders waiting to be shipped, not just in the UK, but around Europe and Worldwide.

As you may expect, being a small busines we make the odd mistake and do what we can to resolve it. We go out of our way to try and resolve customer queries in the best way we can with limited inconvenience for the customer.

Every so so often we get requests from customers asking us to go the extra mile, or more specifically the customer wanting special treatment,  resulting in us being asked to do something that we’re physically not able to do. We try where we can to help with most situations, but in life there’s always someone who wants more – we all know them, we see them and if they’re friends or family we sometimes get embarrassed by them. The company is owned by two people who have a high moral fibre, they simply want to be both treated fairly and treat others fairly. Fair of course can be somewhat subjective, depending on your perspective. At Adelbrook, we always ask ourselves the question, “what would we expect”, which is the only barometer of fairness we can offer.

Over the last couple of days, we’ve had a couple of those requests from customers who have bought from us, via another large website. We have responded to those customers telling them we can’t help for avariety of reasons. Those customers have seen fit to ask the other website to investigate us and the other website agreed with our actions. You may think the situation would be over… It wasn’t. The customer then decided to leave messages on our Facebook page with bare faced lies to try and inform others of their “feedback”. As the feedback was inaccurate, we deleted it.

The saga continued and the customer informed us they would then be contacting Trading Standards and Martin Lewis.

So you may be wondering what heinous crime we committed to endure fairly constant communications with this customer over the last week – they bought a bracelet and the charm got lost after THREE months of use. For the guys, a charm is a small piece of additional jewellery that connects to a bracelet and is meant to be removable and interchangeable.

Now going back to the question of moral fabric, do you think it is fair and reasonable to refund the cost of a whole bracelet because the customer lost a charm? Whilst we’re sympathetic, it’s not really fair to refund everything.

This leaves just one thing to say, you’ve read our “how we started” post, you’ll know we started with £300 and have built the business up slowly by reinvesting the profits. We aren’t the size of a supermarket or any other large high street retailer, who will take any product back for any reason and charge their supplier a customer service fee. We’re more around the size of your local corner shop. When we take back products, it costs us. So, to use another company piece of guidance would you refund someone that money from your own pocket? We we couldn’t. It is simply something that happens when charms are lost.

So for the princely sum of £16, please stop hassling us and move on with your life. Please learn to be more careful, which ultimately is the real lesson here.