Monday, March 16, 2009

Customer Service: how to turn chicken crap into chicken soup

This is a little story about customer service and just plain good luck.

A few days ago I did an awful thing (just ask my wife).

I was in a hurry to send some letters and I put the wrong DVD into the bright red Netflix envelope. See, I also occasionally take movies out of the Hollywood movie place down the street.

We are fans of Sex and the City that I rented from Hollywood. The lighting was not so good in the room where we watch the movies (or maybe my vision was just awful that evening). Thus, I put the Hollywood DVD into the Netflix envelope and dropped it into the mailbox on the corner near my house.

I quickly realized what I had done so I called Netflix customer service to find out how to handle this revolting situation. The customer service rep was very friendly and he consulted with a supervisor. Unfortunately, the Netflix distribution centers get so much traffic that it would be next to impossible to track down the errant video and return it to me.

However, he told me that Netflix would give me a refund of $9.99 toward the next month's fee. Now that is going far beyond goodness. I did not deserve the refund.

I thanked the customer service rep and thought all was lost. But, as it turns out, persistence can be a profitable exercise.

The litte red envelope was put in the mailbox on Sunday night so it was not yet picked up this morning on Monday.

I called the local post office and explained my situation. I gave her the horrid details and told here where the Netflix envelope was being held. The post office lady promptly called the driver en route to the mailbox and told him to call me when he picked up the mail there.

Less than an hour later I received a call from the post office carrier. "Mr. Cryns? This is Kurt, your mailman."

I rushed down to the corner with the correct DVD to go back to Netflix. He opened the envelope and we made the switch. Phew! Will wonders never cease?


1. Good customer service can save a husband hours of grief from his wife.
2. Sometimes you can get good customer service from more than one company at a time.
3. Never give up. Be persistent and you may get lucky (not in the Biblical sense).

Greg Cryns

FREE report "13 Guerrilla Tactics To Build Your Email List"

20000 Credit Card Debt


  1. Wow! Amazing! Who would have thought that the ol' USPS could be such good sports about customer service?! I always assumed they were like the DMVs across the country, which consistently offer the worst customer service known to mankind.

    Hooray for the USPS...and Netflix!!!

  2. I thought once a letter was dropped into the slot, no one would dare touch it. Epilog: I returned the other movie to Hollywood and asked them what a lost DVD would cost me.

    She said it would be about $15. I thought it would be more.