customer service

All posts tagged customer service

It’s been quiet a bit. I know. Been busy, and I had my images to process from the trip to the Rocky Mountains. They will come in the following posts.
But first I wanted to write this.

With my D800 (the space-eating, 40Mb per raw image camera) I needed bigger cards. The biggest card with my D700 was an 8Gig (Kingston). That was a conscious choice. I could’ve put in a 64 or a 128, but you never really know when a card fails on you and you lose everything. I didn’t want to take that risk. So rather than having 1 big CF card, I had several smaller cards.
From a local store I bought a Transcend 32Gig and shot with that the first months. Around the house I don’t usually shoot 0ver 500 images, so that card would keep me going until my trip. A Buddy of mine was going to the US and I had him bring back 2 Kingston 32Gig cards, because they are like… half the price at B&H compared to what I have to pay for the same stuff in this beautiful country.

The old "faulty" cards

I’m of the naive type that believes that everything works out of the package. So I didn’t test the Kingston cards in the camera before I left off to the Rockies. I had my Transcend 32, and the 2 Kingstons. I threw out all the other cards, save for one of the 8Gig Kingstons (just for good measure, but I didn’t expect to need that with 3 32Gig cards).
Rocky Mountains came. It was beautiful. It took me about 5 days to shoot the Transcend 32Gig full (about 750 images). Then I had to switch.

I took out the Kingstons and put one in the camera. No joy. I formatted -or try to- the card. Card ERROR came flashing in the display. Uh oh…
Well, that was bound to happen some time. And of course it would be at a time like this. But no worries. I had a second card. I switched cards. No joy… I formatted -or try to- the card. Card ERROR came flashing in the display. %#&(“%//#&%!!!
What are the odds that TWO cards, straight out of the package, don’t work? I got to fire up my Buddy’s laptop and went to Kingston’s website. The FAQ’s on this card mentioned something along the lines of “What if the card doesn’t work in my camera, but does work in another camera?”, which led me to test the cards in my Buddy’s Canon 1D MkIII. And of course… they worked in his camera. I planned on testing it still in my D700 at home, but for now I had to make do with the 8Gig that I had brought (just for good measure and which fit about 120 images of the D800-size).

When we got to Colorado Springs we went to a Best Buy to get me another big CF card (can you believe that none of the other big stores had anything bigger than 4Gig??). They only had Sandisk as a brand (which is fine), but the largest was 16Gig and it cost 87$. For reference: the two 32Gig Kingstons I bought from B&H were 53$ each. One of the clerks came to me and asked me if he could help me, and I told him that I got 32Gig from B&H for almost half the price of his 16Gig. He was eager to help and suggested a price match. He checked on Amazon for the price of the Sandisk and it came in on just over 60$, so he sold me the card for just over 60$. No hassle, no fuss, no struggle. Just plain and simple, friendly customer service.
That’s customer service #1, at Best Buy.

But I’m side-tracking.
When I got home from the Rockies I tested the cards in the D700, and they worked. I find it a tad bit strange that a newer camera wouldn’t be able to read older cards, but anyway… I contacted Kingston, explained them the situation and it took them less than 2 hours to respond to my inquiry:

Dear Arno,
Thank you for contacting Kingston Technology.
We are going to replace your 2 x CF/32GB-U2 with 2 x CF/32GB-U3 that has been tested as working perfectly fine with the Nikon D800.
The CF/32GB-U3 is the fastest of our CF cards range with a speed of 600x.
Could you please let us know if you agree with that replacement?
I look forward to hear from you.
Kind regards,

No “What did you do to your cards”, no “this is your fault and it doesn’t fall under our warranty policies”, not a single attempt to squirm away from their responsibilities, like I’ve seen so many companies do in the past. Just a simple “we’re going to replace your cards with a faster and more expensive card than what you had, do you agree with this?”.
I mean… Duh? Do I agree?

I sent them a mail back to confirm that I -of course- agreed with this, shortly after which I got a ticket number and an address where to send the “faulty” cards.

I sent the cards on Monday, on Tuesday I got a mail confirming that they received the cards. On Wednesday morning I received another mail, saying that the new cards were shipped and on Thursday in the afternoon I got a phone call that the delivery guy was waiting downstairs at the door with a package from Kingston.

The new, faster and more expensive cards

That’s Customer Service, with a capital C and a capital S. From Kingston. With a Royal K.
It is absolutely refreshing to receive this kind of service in a world that has turned so individualistic and profit-based. The client is King isn’t something I would ALWAYS take literally. In the type of work I’m in I’ve seen clients behave like jokers and assholes, but when “the client” reports a faulty product Kingston for me has just set an example of how things are supposed to be dealt with. I’m typically not brand loyal when it comes to smaller accessories for the camera, but this kind of service makes me want to come back to Kingston. And I will recommend them to anyone.