Customer Service in 2011

Here is one for the record books.   My parents purchased new dishes for us as a Christmas gift.  This was wonderful for several reasons.  First, I have never had "nice" dishes, just plain old white or whatever I found at reasonable cost. Second, these matched my kitchen and we got service for 16, that meant no mix-n-match at large family dinners. After 11+ years of marriage, we had a nice table setting! Yay! 

The dishes were several hundred dollars.  I loved them-- until, after a month's use, the developed strange spiral cracks in the plates underneath the glazing. I believe this was due to faulty firing, as the dishes themselves were not cracked, just the pottery under the clear glazing. Or, perhaps it was the clear glazing itself,  as there is a ridge to them now.   In any event, they look dirty and awful. 

I am bitterly disappointed. I am certainly not able to get a new set any time soon.

I called Customer Service about this. I was told to return the dishes. By mail. 
Now these dishes came carefully wrapped and sent via freight (truck) not UPS. Two sets of 32 dishes weigh a ton!  I did not think it fair for me to pay to return this.  Also, what was I supposed to use for plates while waiting for this return?  I was also told that I could not return them to the store, as they were on online item only.  

The customer service rep said she would ask for a factory replacement, while I retained the current plates, but it could take weeks.  I have heard nothing since then.

In my frustration, I wrote a complaint on the customer review section of the store website... right under the dishes... I advised other consumers not to purchase.

Tonight, I received and email from a (plate manufacturer) representative offering to replace one set.  Apparently, the store monitors customer comments and he was put on the task to resolve this!   I wrote back explaining it was two sets, not one. And further, that I was hesitant to receive the same set.  I am hopeful he will replace all the dishes with an alternate choice. 

I am amazed. Amazed that in this modern world-- my small paragraph written on a review could muster a corporate response and an offer for mediation.   

I do believe companies are changing the way they market to us, as well as changing how they track customer satisfaction. 

I will keep you posted. 

This is what I am hopeful to receive in lieu of the damaged dinnerware:


  1. In this day of social media I've found that a few lines on Facebook or Twitter is also an effective way of reaching a company. Sometimes just a blog post where you mention names gets their attention too.

    Good luck with the new dishes! I'm still using hand me downs from 14 years ago that don't match my kitchen...but I'm cheap. :)

  2. That's awesome!
    And I think that companies are finally catching on to how social media can make or break their brand. I have a friend who posted about how her hospital's nurse was a jerk to her... and a hospital rep called her AND emailed her to see if they could help resolve it.
    I hope that your new dishes are beautiful!


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