Friday, March 13, 2009

State Farm: You're No Panasonic

I was recently pleasantly surprised to find that some companies (not named State Farm) are actually still interested in satisfying their customers.

The experience didn’t exactly start out as an ode to customer service. My big-ticket, flat screen television was being invaded by red and blue blobs. The TV is new enough to be new, but old enough to be outside of warranty.

I reached for the Pepto-Bismol and the telephone. Someone in India answered. I was transferred a couple of times. More heartburn. I was already drafting a complaint letter to Panasonic in my head when something unexpected happened.

I found someone who actually seemed knowledgeable about my problem. He led me through a couple of diagnostic tests. When nothing improved, he promised to send out a technician at no cost. Within a week, my television was fixed.

Remember, this television was outside of warranty. Was this a recall? Was it a known problem? I don’t know and frankly don’t care. All I know is ESPN never looked so good.

Next time I’m in the market for a new TV, Panasonic will definitely be in my “consideration set,” as the marketing people are prone to say.

State Farm could learn from these guys.

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