Friday, April 14, 2017

Customer Service Failures

Chances are you've seen the video of the brutal assault on Dr. Dao by representatives of United Airlines.  Passengers who witnessed this horrible event each wondered if they could be next.  United issued several apologies each one trying to express that they understood the outrage customers were feeling at witnessing their customer service policy in action.  Not too many people believed them - especially because their own apologies repeatedly demonstrated that they DID NOT understand the problem.

United Airlines stock dropped as much as $1.4 billion as this event went viral.
This is, of course, exactly the type of public exposure companies try to avoid.  And certainly, this must be a worst-case scenario for a company like United... except maybe for the time they broke guitars.  Making companies famous for this sort of abusive mistreatment of people is a good thing.  

And naturally, this brings us to The Sliding Door Company.  

Customer Service is mishandled by the Operations department - headed up by Bob Delia.  We've read a lot of complaints from their customers about the service they received and particularly about the service they DID NOT receive.  And while there are no known cases of The Sliding Door Company physically beating up their customers, we have seen many cases of abusive treatment of customers who simply want what they have paid for.   And for customers just coming in to browse, even racially offensive remarks directed toward them aren't out of the question when customers are viewed as a necessary evil.

Let's face it - addressing customer complaints costs money - and that impacts company profits.  And really, most of these pesky customers won't be buying from them again anyway, so why make good on what they promised?  Customers typically pay 50% up front - and TSDC leverages that to give them less than they purchased.  Additionally, their customers regularly complain about hidden charges and surprises when the installation is being done.  There are more than a few examples of surprises in charges and what was installed on our complaints page.  But what do these complaints directly say about The Sliding Door Company's Customer Service department?  I've cropped out the other parts of these complaints and only produced stuff directly mentioning Customer Service.  Let's see if this paints a good picture - or if potential customers of The Sliding Door Company might be wondering if THEY will be next:

J P.   Marina del Rey, CA   3/29/2013
I am surprised by these high ratings.  The doors arrived late (from China) and on top of that were the wrong size.  Customer service treated us as if it were our fault and initially did not want to compensate us for the inconvenience.  In the end, we canceled our order.
  • Anya Z.  New York, NY  9/9/2016
As soon as the sale was done, I was no longer important to the company.  A year before I ordered 7K worth of closet doors from them as well and will most likely have additional projects in the future so this is a very short term way of thinking.  I am really surprised at the low quality for the price and the total lack of solutions offered and customer service. 
Hanna Y.  Midland Beach, Staten Island, United States     8/12/2016
Super shady company. Run for the hills!!! After a horrible experience with Joe the sleazy salesperson, Dahlia the "customer service manager" stepped in to assist. What a joke!
Meera S.   Chevy Chase, MD   12/27/2012
Decent but expensive product, TERRIBLE TERRIBLE customer servic
e. I dont think I will use them ever again --nor would I recommed them to anyone else.
    lisa l.  Manhattan, NY  9/11/2011
    When i received the incorrect order after 12 weeks the customer service Manager Tyesha was sooo rude sarcastic and acted as if i was bothering her, she spoke to me as if i hadnt paid 4000 for an order . My experience with Sliding door company was horrible they should train their customer service how to speak to people how can this person be a manager an be allowed to be rude to customers...
    Fiona H.  Manhattan, NY  5/25/2011
      Agree with all the reviews I've read. To say the least -  customer service is not their thing - In fact they have horrible costumer service that does not live up to the standards of their expensive prices - this is infuriating since their product is not cheap at all.
      Naf D. Menlo Park, CA 2/15/2017
      Customer service has the audacity to blame the customer (us) for not doing the necessary modifications so the doors will fit!
      Gee B.   Pinole, CA  2/5/2012
      I was saddened to see that others had similar/same problems I had with customer service and installation years ago. While I love my doors and would like to have similar doors placed in a few other places in my home, I'm not yet ready to go through the difficulty of dealing with their customer service people and installers, which was a royal pain in the... Perhaps this company still has some kinks to work out.
       R B.  Palo Alto, CA   11/22/2014  Updated reviewThis company has a very broken perception of problem solving that trickles down from the top, and again, their core issue is that they have no quality department.  For sure, do not trust your time and energy on Jimmy/James Homan.  His initial instinctive approach to customer service is to reiterate all the ways a customer is clueless.
       Robert K.   Lacey, WA   7/3/2013
      This is the first time I've ever posted a review, and wouldn't have but for one final issue:  I decided to write the company president and let him know how I was treated.  Unfortunately (though not surprising considering everything else), they wouldn't give me his contact information.  Finally, after a bit of research I found and confirmed it.  I sent a letter explaining everything, asking for nothing, just hoping other customers would be treated better.  It's now been several months and I still haven't had a reply.  I just want other potential customers to know the level of customer service to expect from this company.
      Chad A.  Brownsburg, IN  9/5/2013
      I called and left a message, as customer service had already closed.  I received a call back the next day.  These people had the nerve to imply I was the inept one, because "the wheels come in a small box"; surely there packaging and shipping personnel did their job by including the wheels with the doors.  Then they act like I shouldn't expect to get the missing parts any time soon, because, hey, we already have your money.
      I would recommend buying from someone else!!!  Yet another company without customer service.
      The pricing is outrageous and the company lacks customer service. From beginning to end, it took 6 months to get the doors installed! 
      • I don't even know where to start. I've had the doors now for over a year and still to this day after several emails and possibly 30 phone calls the job is still not 100% complete. ... I finally gave up on this horrible company, customer service is terrible! 
      Kathleen C. Washington, DC  7/24/2014
      Similar to the other posts we have had a terrible experience with the Sliding Door Company.  The product is good however the customer service is abysmal.  ...  However, Alex and Sliding Door Company charged our debit card on record for the final payment even though the job was not completed.  It is now two months of trying to get them to come back out to finish the job.
       JR Markham Joined Jun 04, 2014
      I would like to comment on this company's poor after-sales service - considering the expense of this product, the installation was left incomplete and after many follow-ups, I just gave up and now whenever someone comes over to visit and sees the sliding door, I make sure they are told about the poor performance of this company to provide customer satisfaction.

      Clearly, Customer Service is "not their thing" and they don't really care about repeat customers, but are they breaking the law?  Well I'm not a legal expert, of course, but it appears to me that in some cases, they collected money for projects that were not complete - sometimes even billing a credit card without the customer's permission.  Is that legal?  

      In other cases, they seem to misrepresent their product (glass cleaning and seal failure issues) not to mention lead times, and don't mention hidden costs and charges until it's too late for the customer to decline them.  Is that legal?

      Of course, we must leave it to the customers to work out their own issues with the Sliding Door Company, but at least by identifying the problems in the area of Customer Service, potential customers will be fore-warned.

      And seriously, if running a business, to you, means being rude to your customers and insensitive to customer's complaints... maybe running a business is not YOUR thing.


      Dr. Dao's attorney delivered a poignant speech regarding the United Airlines incident above... It applies to The Sliding Door Company in many ways:

      "I think corporate America needs to understand that we all want to be treated in the same manner, with the same respect and the same dignity that they would treat their own family members."

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