Some lessons for CompUSA

This in an amazing account of one customer’s attempt to purchase a ~$3,000 oversized Apple flatpanel display from CompUSA, using a CompUSA credit-card. CompUSA wouldn’t let him ship the display to his office unless he had his credit-card company (which was CompUSA!) add his office as a “shipping address” on his billing record, but his credit-card company (CompUSA, remember?) doesn’t have any facility for adding shipping-addresses to their credit-cards.

The best part of this article is the way it’s structured, as a series of lessons for corporations that would sell us their goods.

Break your promises. Promise to do something, and then don’t follow up. When a customer complains, you need to be on the ball and get things done for them. The worst thing you can do is drop the ball. Well… actually, that’s not quite true…

Use revisionist history. It’s worse yet to drop the ball and then claim “I never said that” when the customer knows damn well that you did. It’s better to admit you screwed up. Most people can allow for a little human error, as long as it isn’t constant.

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