How Would You Handle an Angry Customer (Like Me)?

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For nearly two decades, Tembua used AMExpress, an overnight delivery service, to run packets of certified documents to our clients in the Twin Cities. We bought the envelopes in advance, filled them, and dropped them in an AMExpress drop box. It was very efficient.

In July, we ordered 100 overnight envelopes at a cost of $785, but in September, the AMExpress drop boxes suddenly disappeared. When I called Dynamex, the company contact for AMExpress, I was told they were no longer “using” AMExpress.

No problem. But when I asked for a refund for the overnight envelopes we could no longer use, suddenly it was a problem.

First, the company service rep said we’d need to pay to mail them back to the company. I laughed and told them it was their fault we couldn’t use the envelopes. Finally, the service rep said they’d refund the postage.

But then she told me there would be a 10% restocking charge! I was mystified. A restocking fee is assessed when a customer decides they don’t want something they’ve ordered (and such fees are becoming very rare). We didn’t change our minds about the shipping envelopes. The company took away the opportunity to use them.

I asked to be escalated to a manager. I was not angry yet. The manager refused to budge, and I asked to be escalated to someone above him.

Even then, I was not angry. Many years ago, I was taught that the best—if not the only—way to handle a customer complaint is to apologize and ask how it can be made right. Often, the complaint is really a misunderstanding, and everyone goes away happy.

Whoever answered the phone at the next level must have been taking lessons from the political debates. I explained the issue, and he started talking and did not stop. Every time I tried to say something, he just talked over me. Again and again and again. That was when I became an angry customer.

After 4 or 5 minutes getting nowhere, I simply told him I’d go above his head. Dynamex is under the TransForce umbrella, and I sent their CEO, David Broome, a message via LinkedIn. It’s been a week, and he hasn’t responded.

It is not our fault the company decided to stop the service. We have always been satisfied with the service and would have used up the envelopes and ordered more.

After the last conversation, I refuse to pay a restocking fee. We had no control over the service being terminated. My next step is to dispute the payment with the credit card company.

What would you have done? How would you have handled my complaint? Am I being unreasonable?
Oh—the amount of money involved is $62.50. And I am definitely an angry customer.

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About tembua

Tembua: The Precision Language Solution provides comprehensive linguistic services for 100 languages to private industry and government agencies on a global scale. Services include document and website translation and localization; conference and 24/7 telephonic interpretation; glossary development; proofreading, text adaptation, editing, multilingual design and DTP; transcription; technical / custom authoring editing, foreign search engine optimization; translation memory management; subtitling.
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