A great example of horrible customer service – my Lytro experience

I, more than the vast majority of the population, understand the challenges involved in growing a business AND maintaining excellence in customer service. Bottom line is that we will screw up – it’s inevitable. But, what separates companies that care about their customers from ones that don’t is how they react when the screw up occurs.

Do they go out of their way to make it right or do they add insult to injury. Here is my Lytro experience:

Saturday, December 1st – ordered a camera online for a friend’s birthday
December 2nd – after reading reviews, cancelled my order (using their online service again)
December 3rd – Got email confirmation from them that my order had been cancelled
December 4th – asked me to rate their support
December about 10th – camera arrived December 10th – looked at packaging, no return label or address. Opened packaging – same December 17th – after looking around website, trying to figure out how to return, asked wife to email them to ask where to return item to
December 17th – Standard email response “we’re sorry to see you go” and stating that they needed to “locate the camera in our system – “we need the serial number which you need to unpack the camera and look under the USB cover”
December 18th – after email serial number, they reply and say that the camera is not in my wife’s name (duh) and she needs to send them her name, phone and address
December 18th – frustrated wife throws camera back at me and says “you deal with them”
December 18th – I email them and say – send me the return address or the camera will go into the garbage and I will cancel the credit card. Remember I cancelled this camera BEFORE it shipped
December 18th – finally they send me the return address and tell me:

Please note that your refund will not include shipping and handling fees – thanks, so I pay for my shipping and for your shipping even though I cancelled this order before it shipped

- Package it well – The original packaging will best protect your Lytro during shipping. If you don’t have the original packaging, you are responsible for proper packaging and protection of the Lytro camera and accessories. We are not responsible for damage incurred during shipping. – thanks, because you made me unpack it in the first place

- Use a trackable shipping method – thanks, that will increase my shipping costs

- After we have received your camera, it will take about 2 weeks for the credit to appear on your account – thanks, but you managed to charge me for the purchase on day 1

Absolute garbage customer service.

I have emailed them now and told them to refund ALL my money. Let’s see what they say.

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