Monday, June 28, 2010

The Liberal Differentiates itself from Good Customer Service

The only thing left to differentiate a company is customer service.” - YorkRegion.com article (online home of The Liberal newspaper).

It's been an adventure just trying to get a newspaper delivered.  It all started back after I moved into my new home in mid June.

We received the Thursday edition of The Liberal, the local Richmond Hill newspaper. I looked at the Editorial page at the masthead.  On the masthead it said The Liberal was delivered on Thursday and Sunday.    The next Sunday I found another copy on our driveway.  I picked up on my way to church to read on the bus.  On my way home I read the date of "Saturday" on it.  I thought it might be a typo but apparently it is not.

The next two weeks I got the Thursday edition after 10 P.M.   Then on Saturday overnight to Sunday I get yet another Thursday edition.  Now it is pretty easy to distinguish between a Thursday and Saturday edition of paper.  Besides the obvious, the date printed on the top of each page, the Thursday edition comes with 20 flyers and is the size of a phone book.  The Saturday edition is smaller and, at most has five flyers. 

After two weekends of receiving two editions of the same paper from Thursday night to Sunday I decided to inquire with the powers of the paper and called The Liberal office. 

On Sunday afternoon,  I looked up The Liberal's website shows the circulation department phone number to be: 905-660-9887.  I dialled the number and got a message saying "The Liberal office is currently closed.  The Liberal offices are open 9 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.. If you know your party's extension please dial it now..." 

So Monday morning at 9:05 A.M. rolled around and I dialled the number again.  The automated system again picked up and said "Thank you for calling the Liberal, if you know your party's extension please dial it now, if you are a carrier reporting a shortage please dial 500.."   At this point I dialled "0" in hopes of speaking to an operator in order to be redirected.  The line rang five times and then returned me to the automates system.  Frustrated, I hung up.

I returned to the Liberal contact page and found another number:  905-881-3373.  I dialed it and a lady picked up the phone.  I asked for the circulation department as I did not receive a copy of the newspaper.  She transferred me directly to someone's voicemail.

I redialed again and got the same person picking up the phone.  I said "I would like to speak to a LIVE person about a delivery issue of my newspaper...perhaps I forgot to specify LIVE."  Before I even finished she put me on hold for thirty seconds and transferred me over. 

Another nice lady picked up the phone.  I explained my situation to her and explained I understand that, as a former paper carrier at their sister paper in Aurora, The Banner, there can be delivery issues.  However, receiving the same edition twice over two weekends seemed a little weird. 

She said she would look into it and took my name and contact information down.  I then hung up the phone.

Later in the day I revisited The Liberal's website, http://www.yorkregion.com/, to read some articles.  I couldn't help but notice that one of the articles featured on their homepage was headlined. "Customer service more important than ever, speaker says".    I read the article nodding my head thinking, "to true, to true, I hope those manning the phone systems at the Liberal office are reading their own articles."  The Liberal sure could learn a thing or two about providing customer service because most people in a similar situation would've simply hung up the phone and said "forget it."   Not me of course who as a delivery person lived by the thoguht of  "if your going to deliver a free newspaper do it right and on time".   The Liberal offices however, apparently never heard of this concept.  Because if they did, they would have picked up the phone when I dialed the Circulation Department's listed phone number and had this whole issue overwith in less than two minutes.   It's a pitty really, a pitty.

"That’s one customer, one bad experience...it’s astounding."  --YorkRegion.com article.

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