Thursday, May 26, 2011
Great Customer Service
I had an experience that, for me, represents the pinnacle of customer service. It didn't include a chirpy, happy soul on the phone line, nor a massive knowledge base on a website...
I recently purchased a Vermona DRM1 Mk2 analog drum module from a fella on Muff Wiggler's site. When it got here, it worked great, but after a few months one of the DRUM channels started acting flaky. I did a little mechanical research (pressing and pulling on all the knobs and buttons) and found that the volume jack was sketchy - it would only sound out when you were pushing VERY HARD on the shaft. Obviously not a good call.
I had relatively few options: I could try to pay a repair guy to fix it, send it to a dealer for an unknown period of time, or fix it myself. I chose Door Three. Pulling open the device, I hit the pot's leads with a little new solder, but this made no difference. I would need to replace the part. But the pots were some oddball board-mounted mini-pots, and I really didn't have a source for such a thing. So I decided to take a chance with contacting Vermona.
I used their web form (at 2am...) to tell them what I'd done, how I'd debugged the issue, and which part I'd need. The next morning, I had an email sitting in my Inbox that said "Give me your address and I'll ship you a pot". My response? "Yeah, right."
But I sent in my mailing address and, lo and behold, a week later there was a package in my mailbox with not one, but two pots. I got them put into my system today, and it works a champ.
Things that you will notice about this experience:
- Vermona (in fact, Thomas Haller) never questioned my debugging; rather, he trusted my analysis.
- Thomas also didn't ask me about how technically savvy I was. He assumed that if I was asking for a pot, I might know what a pot was.
- I never got the "No user-serviceable parts" or "Take it to a repair depot" B.S. He assumed that I'd do well on my own.
- He didn't try to charge me anything; in fact, he never even asked me where I'd bought the unit. It was a Vermona, and he was going to stand behind it.
- The was complete (in fact, over-complete) follow-through. He said he'd ship me a pot, and he shipped me two. Given the turnaround, he must have shipped it out that same day.
If there is any question why I might be in love with something like the Vermona instead of something like an Akai MPC-5000, this is one of the answers...