Today my transducer finally arrived from Jack Rabbit. They’d come recommended by other folks on some marine electronics forums I read, and their website is really excellent. The fellow I first talked to there was great; friendly, patient, knowledgeable, and very helpful. I placed my order with confidence, and waited for the FedEx truck to come bearing my parts.
A week passed, and nothing. No email confirming my order, no call, and certainly no FedEx truck. I phoned them up, and was passed through a few folks (none the person I had first spoken too), and gained no satisfaction. I called again a day later, and finally got the message that my part had been back-ordered from the manufacturer, and that I’d get a confirmation email after they had it, and had shipped it to me.
I remained patient; after all, this was in the last pre-Christmas weeks, so everything was bound to be a little slow.
The box finally shipped on the 27th, and I received the promised email with FedEx tracking number. For the flat-rate shipping, I wasn’t expecting the same crazy 24-hr shipping I’d gotten (and certainly paid for!) from Torresen Marine, but the package still managed to show up today instead of the scheduled morrow.
I got the box, unwrapped it, and with a glance at the packing slip, was undone. Instead of the Airmar DST800 NMEA 2000 unit, they’d shipped a physically-identical (but internally different) Airmar DST800 NMEA018 unit.
I was crushed. Immediately cranky. Frankly, just plain pissed off. I tried to stay calm, clocked off work, and tried to eat a little lunch. I couldn’t calm down! Awhile later, I steeled myself as best I could, and called Jack Rabbit to request a return authorization.
Blessedly, I was quickly passed up the line to the fellow who I had initially spoken too. I explained the situation a little, but he quickly saw to the end of it all, recognizing his own handwriting on the notes attached to my initial order. Right there: Maretron/Airmar N2K triducer, just as we had discussed at some length.
Working both sides of the counter, I have found that excellence in customer service is confirmed not by the initial transaction; that is the province of mere clerks. True excellence shows when it all goes to shit, and satisfaction must still somehow be found.
Well, I got my satisfaction. Not only did he admit the error to be entirely his own, but offered to pay all the shipping to get it sorted, and asked that I keep the parts I had (the transducer is not what I need, but the mounting kit is useful) and delay returning the transducer I had, until I had everything I needed for the install, to my satisfaction.
My good spirits returned. This was all much more than I would have asked for; in fact, the exact level of service that guarantees repeat customers.
I’ll be happier still when the next box arrives, hopefully containing the exact parts I require. I need about $1500 worth of further basic electronics, and Jack Rabbit will likely get my business.