Purses and MP3s get different levels of support

My wife loves a good purse.

When I first met my wife, she loved the years she got out of a quality purse like I did out of a great pair of boots. In those days, Coach was not all that… they weren’t capitalizing on their logo (like Louis Vuitton does) as they offered plain leather bags. Very nice mind you, but nothing to make a women think she would get any bag envy when she went to office or dinner. Their bags were all about quality construction.

A bag my wife purchases a few months ago was a medium sized pink bag. The leather was shiny that I at first thought was plastic but found to be a leather treatment. The now usual ‘C’s rise out of the surface everywhere without any special coloring to make them stand out.

A month ago, she was noticed that there was a dark discoloring along one side near the bottom edge. The look is very much like light ink. Did this come from the drawer in her desk? Did it come from the floor mats in her Audi? Nah, most likely from the side of the foot area in my Volvo. No matter how we shield the bag though, the color stain continues to grow.

On a recent visit to the mall, we dropped by the Coach store to see about a cleaner. The greater let us know pretty quickly that she has seen that issue and a cleaner wont take care of the problem. Another individual came out from behind the counter and asked what bag they had we would like to exchange the current bag for. What? We didn’t ask that! We didn’t come in yelling about quality products issues? Nothing, we just came in to see if they had something we could buy to clean the stain. Instead, the first thing out of the mouth was that they have seen the issue before and they would like to exchange for a new bag… choose.

My first question was to see why they wanted to cover up a issue. They weren’t. The color stain problem is because my wife carries her purse low against her jeans. Higher quality leather, lower slung purses and dark dye jeans come together with the purse loosing. Wow… no questions asked, Coach is only worried about my wife being happy with her purchase. A half hour of trying on different bags and transferring contents resulted in my wife telling all her friends that Coach cares. So many businesses just dive into the free give away, refund, or coupons. A refund from Coach would have sent the wrong message.

Mentioning the mall visit at the office, I was reminded of the many books from Starbucks exects that have touted the methods to help employees remember that they matter and that the customers should matter to the employees.

One book I saw and thought would be interesting was It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks (link to print version, continue reading you will understand why shortly) . It appeared to be as I said above, not about selling coffee but about employee and customer relations. I enjoy listening to books as I update blog content so I purchased the download-able audio version that Amazon sells via their Audible arm.

Purchased, downloaded to my desktop and drag/dropped on my iTunes. Alert!!! iTunes tells me that I already have too many computers using this account. I visit the Audible site in search of what that number is. Three computers… well, I only own one so it must be that I did not ‘de-authorize’ my previous notebooks over the years. The request to zero authorized computers form online went to a ‘page not found’. So, I filled out a general support ticket. That was over two weeks ago – no reply, iTunes still wont allow me to listen to my purchase… I even tried sending a general support request email. Maybe when Amazon bought Audible they let all of the support people go and are just hoping no one notices… I’m amazed at how differently companies treat their customer. Or past customers.


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