Customer Service Matters

Recently, our CR-V has developed what can best be describe as a cigarette smell to it after it has been sitting closed up for several hours. The thing is, we don’t smoke. We don’t think that we part near a smoking area so it is rather odd that this smell has started to develop. In an effort to fight this phenomena, I found the location of the cabin air filters, vacuumed them off and attempted to vacuum the chamber that they sit in as best I could. I think it has gotten better, but still not 100%. While I had the filters out, I noticed that they were in desperate need of replacement, so I did what everyone would do, fire up google and look for replacements.

It didn’t take long and I found a site that looked like they had a good deal on the filters. Though from pictures on other sites, I wasn’t sure how many filters were in each package. Their picture showed two, but others I had seen showed one so I needed a bit of help. So I emailed their customer support. Here was my message:


Received: 6/9/09 9:06:15 PM PDT


Subject: I’ve got a ques

From: Matt Patterson

Phone No.: 515-###-####

Message: I’ve got a question about Item #H420101. How

many physical filters come in a package. There are two

filter carriages that I need to replace and I’m wondering

if this part will have the necessary filters to replace

everything, or do I need to order 2.Thanks,Matt Patterson

Simple, straight forward, I thought anyone would be able to answer it in a matter of seconds.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a response until today, a full week later. And the response was less than impressive. Here it is:

On Jun 16, 2009, at 12:39 AM, Raymond wrote:


This is to acknowledge that we are in receipt of your

email sent days ago. We regret for not being able to

respond to your message via email. You may contact us at

1-800-262-0795 for us to be able to further assist you

about your concern.

Please accept our apology for this inconvenience.

Thank you for your business.

“Your Discount Auto Parts Source”

Wow, you acknowledge that you received my message and have done NOTHING with it for 7 days. Thank you very freaking much! And, I can call you to get my question answered because clearly, you could give a rats freaking ass about responding to email let alone pick up the damn phone to call me.

I’m pretty sure that this company has faced some economic down turn and they may not have the staff to take and fill all their orders anymore. You know, the good problem to have. But an auto-attendant message 7 days later, insulting as it is, basically telling me that you could give a crap about my business is NOT going to help you out.

So, I thought I could give them the decency of a call and go off on some lowly schmuck that answered. Or I could blast them in an email. But I thought, let’s fire back at them with basically the same email with a bit of a twist. Mature? Probably not. Did I feel better and make a point without lacing my email with a slew of profanities that would make a sailor blush, yes! Here’s my response.


This is to acknowledge that I am in receipt of your email sent several hours ago. I regret to inform you that I am unable to do business with your organization due to your lack of customer service. A simple response to my email in a timely fashion, much like this email, or a call to the number provided in my original inquiry would have easily won the business. So while my order was going to be relatively small, it has unfortunately been placed with one of your online competitors.


Matt Patterson

Customer service matters people. A simple response to my message, a quick phone call would have won my $30 order. Don’t insult me by asking a week later to give you a call because you can’t figure out how to service your customers, current or future. In the economic down turn that just about everyone is feeling, especially the auto industry, its going to be the companies that can figure out how to stay lean while providing top notch customer care that will rise to the top.

FYI…my order was placed this morning, a confirmation email has been sent and an order tracking email has been shipped from the competitor. Its simple and straight forward. That’s why the other company has my business and Car Stuff does not.

Customer Service Matters!

Matt Patterson avatar
About Matt Patterson
Husband, Father of 3, Programmer at heart, spends his days running ridiculously large data centers in the midwest.