So, this is totally off-topic from my standard blog posts. Sorry to those who get distracted…not my fault!
For those not in the know, I am an avid Lego collector. I love Lego. I collect lots of it…and I mean *lots*. I’ve run out of room to put my Lego creations…and I have more on the way at Christmas. It’s going to be fun.
This post is about Lego, the company, and their absolutely spectacular customer service.
About a week ago while shopping in Myers for Christmas presents, we spotted the rather rare Sopwith Camel set (Lego set 10226, which can be seen here: http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/10226_Sopwith_Camel). Being the awesome person that he is, Alex (my better half) said I could buy one because a) it was 20% off and b) it looked damn cool. So I did.
I got home, unpacked the Christmas presents into a pile (a relatively messy one at that) and then proceeded to sit down, open up all my Lego baggies and sort the pieces. I get a lot of fun out of sorting the pieces ^_^ After spending about 2 hours doing that, I was finally ready to begin construction. I ended up getting about two thirds of the way through the set when I realised something. This something had never happened before.
I was missing a piece. A vital and crucial piece.
I tore my study apart looking for it, went through the box and all the baggies, just to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I’m very…particular…when it comes to sorting my Lego pieces so I was damn sure I hadn’t dropped it. I thought my cats might have stolen it, but they were both asleep and hadn’t been anywhere near my study!
Have to admit, not my finest moment. Wasn’t very happy, was very upset and very disappointed that a crucial piece to the set was missing. But then I remembered that Lego can ship you missing pieces. I jumped on their website and found that not only do they have a support line for you to call but that it’s open until MIDNIGHT AEST. That’s right. 12:00am. Totally stoked, called up the number and got through.
The lovely lady I spoke to (and she was *really* lovely) was almost as upset as I was. Missing pieces very rarely happen. Lego take great care to ensure that they don’t miss pieces. Unfortunately, as happens in any big processing plant that involves both machinery and human interaction, mistakes can happen. My set was one of those mistakes 🙁
She said that they could send me out the piece…but it would take 4-5 weeks. I was incredibly upset. Over a month before I could build this awesome set. I didn’t think that was particularly acceptable, especially since we’d spent over $100 on this set even after it was on sale! The lady was extremely apologetic, but said that due to the time of year (being Christmas) and the fact that the part had to be shipped from Denmark, that’s the best they could do. She honestly sounded so sad and upset! I felt really bad for her…told her that it wasn’t her fault and that I wasn’t upset with her, I just really wanted to finish the build!
She said that I could try taking it back to the store I bought it from – which, unfortunately, isn’t an option once you’ve opened all the bags inside and sorted them and almost destroyed the box looking for the missing piece 😛
While on the phone to her, I was doing some searches on BrickLink (seriously, a Lego collectors best friend!) and found that a buyer here in Australia had the piece I was after. A seriously HUGE thank you goes out to brucy27’s store for having the EXACT piece I wanted and for shipping it in record time – only took 1 day to arrive after payment was made.
I mentioned to the lady on the phone that I’d found it elsewhere and I could get it within a week so I’d be doing it that way, but that I’d like the email address of someone in customer service so that I could mention my complaints to them. She provided me with the email address of a Customer Service Team Leader.
Rather than email him while I was still upset (and after forking out $13 for one piece of Lego to finish my set!) I thought I’d wait until the next day when I’d calmed down. This is what I sent:
Hi Customer Service Team Leader (name removed),
I was given your email address by an exceptionally helpful lady last night whom I called in regards to a problem with the Sopwith Camel set that I purchased yesterday.
A crucial piece from the set is missing – Lego Part 4528334 (http://www.brickset.com/parts/?part=4528334)
I was told that a replacement part could be sent out free of charge but it would take approximately 4-5 weeks to arrive.
To be honest, I’m really not very happy about that. I’ve spent over $100AU on a set that I cannot build. I’m currently about 2/3 of the way through,as the piece that is missing is crucial to the functionality of the model.
I was then told that it might be possible to return it to the store I bought it from. As is normal with any Lego sets, opening the bags and sorting all the pieces (at least for me!) is the first thing I do, so there’s no way I can return this to my local department store that I purchased it from, as it is definitely not in it’s original condition.
I have now had to go and purchase this item *separately* from a BrickLink store and pay to have it shipped.
I can’t express how unhappy I am about this – I am a huge Lego fan and I truly can’t understand how sending one small item could take 4-5 weeks, especially when I consider how much I pay for the sets with the absolutely insane mark-up we experience here in Australia. To then have to go out and buy this piece separately is extremely aggravating.
I’m not sure what you can do. I’m not quite sure how to fix this. But I want someone to know that a long time Lego fan who has quite a large collection and continues to collect is very very disappointed with the response I received regarding this and that the solution is not a solution – it was a joke.
I sent it off and thought nothing of it. I just wanted them to know that I wasn’t really happy.
Imagine my surprise when I got a reply:
Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention. I am really sorry to hear that your set was missing a crucial piece in the first place!
We try really hard to do our best to make sure all our toys LEGO® are perfect but sometimes a set with a missing piece sneaks through.
I can absolutely understand your frustration and that the delivery time is not ideal. I know myself how hard it is if you are halfway through with a new model and then have to stop for several days just to wait for one single item!
The situation at the moment is that our parts warehouse is located in Denmark, so if we send out a missing piece to you, it’ll always come from there.
Since we do not have an express option for parts deliveries, the time that it can take is up to 21 business days.
I have to point out though that this is the maximum amount of time that it can take. Our colleagues in the warehouse are always very eager to get out parts as quickly as possible and I can tell you from previous experience, that it usually doesn’t take longer than 2 weeks to send out a part to Australia.
However, around Christmas, which is for us the busiest time of the year, we have to point out that the delivery indeed can take up the full amount of time.
The situation from your point of view is indeed not ideal and your feedback helps us that we can improve ourselves and work on solutions to provide a better service in the future.
I am really sorry that you had to buy the missing part now to receive it in a timely manner to be able to finish your model.
Therefore, I took the liberty to send you a small gift to show you that we do care about you and that we hope to be able to provide a better service to you in the future!
Please don’t hesitate to provide feedback in the future and let us know if there is anything that we can do for you.
Thanks a lot for contacting me!
Customer Service Team Leader (name removed)
I was totally gobsmacked. I was just totally blown away by how awesome this guy was, how nice he’d been in accepting the email I’d sent and taking it all on board. Most of all, I was just so thrilled that, to make up for the fact that I’d spent money on a piece, he’d sent me a present. To show he cared. I got a little teary at that point.
I wanted to share that with people so that others could see that good customer service DOES exist. You may not see it every day, but I promise that it’s there!
On a side-note, I received an email this morning letting me know what my present is: http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/40049_Mini_Sopwith_Camel
It’s the *miniature* version of the big set that I bought. He paid attention to that detail. cue another teary moment!
Seriously, Lego, thank you for being awesome. Thank you for taking the time to show that customers, even annoying ones like me, do matter. It means a lot!