Do you remember how I was mad at Cheetos and gave Sony a free pass? Well, you can officially reverse my stance on both of those. While I don’t think I was wrong at the time working with what information I had, the responses by both parties could not have been more opposite! This follow-up post details the results of my impromptu customer service experiences at both Frito Lay/Cheetos and Sony.
Boy, was I wrong about Sony!
Good Lord, has Sony failed miserably. I was perfectly accepting of a free service outage when I thought that was the only major problem, but shortly after my post was published Sony revealed the minor, insignificant, little detail that its millions of users’ credit card numbers and personal information were likely compromised. Oh, that’s no big deal, it’s just a…WAIT, WHAT?!?! It took you over a week to tell people this? My personal information has been at some hacker’s disposal for all that time and you couldn’t be bothered to tell your users?
Sony responded by giving people 30 free days of its PlayStation Plus service. However, people who already had the service (but now haven’t been able to use it for weeks) didn’t really get much out of that deal, now did they? The public’s fire and pitchforks predictably came out, so Sony (probably begrudgingly) will now offer its users one year free of identity theft protection. That’s nice, but it’s only necessary because of their incompetence in the first place.
Now, let’s contrast that with Frito Lay’s customer service.
You’ll recall I was not pleased about the large clump in my Cheetos bag. If nothing else, I bought a bag of Cheetos with almost no Cheetos in it – a valid complaint. Other than a cumbersome form to report the quality issue, the Frito Lay experience could not have gone smoother. They responded in a short amount of time – a hallmark of great customer service – and they were courteous, addressed all of my concerns, and reassured me that they would resolve the issue.
They explained that the clump was a coagulation of oil and cheese powder that should not have made it though their quality control processes. They thanked me and said that it’s because of me that they can improve the quality of their product. Even if that was a load of BS, it was nice to hear. To make up for the mistake, Frito Lay sent me an apology letter with 3 enclosed coupons for LARGE bags of Frito Lay products. I’ll end up with probably 20 times the amount of Cheetos I lost, which more than makes up for the mistake! Plus, the coupons look like Willy Wonka tickets – all shiny and distractingly fun to look at. You can’t top that!
With Sony, you see a company that slowly fixes problems, jeopardizes users’ personal information, and doesn’t really do any more than the bare minimum for its customers. With Frito Lay, you see a company that responds quickly, shows a genuine concern for the problem at hand, and preemptively offers above and beyond what was expected. Sure, I’m just one person to Frito Lay and Sony and each of them undoubtedly has millions of customers to consider, but the difference in attitude is apparent!
In many cases, it’s not okay to just fix the problem; you need to do a little extra to account for frustration as well. Frito Lay gets that. Sony, apparently, does not.
Have you had positive or negative experiences with customer service in the past? What did they do to correct the problem (if applicable)?