This spring, I placed an order from the Lego Shop online. Somehow, set #8259 ($10/165pcs) got turned into #8295 ($90/1182pcs). And clearly the error was at the fulfillment stage, because the invoice included in my package listed the correct set, and I was charged the correct amount. For a moment, I thought of considering the larger set it a loyal-customer reward. But I knew that I couldn’t have them making mistakes of that magnitude on a regular basis, so I had to let them know, in case it reflected a systemic problem.
When I emailed customer service, letting them know that I wasn’t upset, but just thought they should know, their initial reaction was a little disappointing—it boiled down to: “Thanks for letting us know about our error. Let us know a good time for UPS to pick up the incorrect set, or feel free to keep the set, and we’ll be happy to charge you for it.” Which was particularly surprising because Lego’s customer service wasn’t like that in the past. When I was a kid, my dad wrote them a letter about the various pieces we’d broken or lost over the years, and they sent us, gratis, replacements for several dozen pieces—might’ve even been a hundred. I don’t think they even asked us to pay for the shipping.
Now, I wasn’t expecting some huge reward, but it did feel a little, hmmm…ungrateful? to not give me any consideration when I could’ve just kept my mouth shut and they’d’ve never been the wiser, and I was doing them a favor—not only by being willing to return or pay for it (which I was), but by letting them know about potentially a larger problem. So, being a little irked, I decided to think about my options for a couple days, and didn’t respond to them immediately.
And then it slipped my mind.
Literally months later—it was probably more than 8 weeks—I finally called them up. I’d long since decided that I was going to keep the set—that it was a set I’d hoped to buy someday, and that I’d rather pay for it at this point than deal with the hassle of shipping it back. But it still gnawed at me a little bit. After all, it hadn’t been my intention, or even my unintentional fault. Certainly, both where I work, and every other time anything like that has happened that I’ve heard about, the business’s response has been something along the lines of “our mistake; enjoy your good fortune.”
Well, as I was going over the details for payment, I mentioned to the customer service rep that I was a little miffed, but, yeah, paying for it was both the right thing to do, and certainly within their rights to ask for. But I didn’t press the matter. Then she put me on hold to actually process the transaction, and update their records (presumably some sort of trouble ticket, or the like).
And came back to say that she’d checked with her superior, and they could give me a $25 discount. That was a lot more than I ever would’ve asked for, if they’d asked me—that’s almost a 30% discount (and probably is, when you figure that I was also undercharged on shipping by a bit—though Lego sets aren’t very heavy), and I would’ve been happy with $10 off or so—just a token acknowledgment that I’d done them a favor.
And that was without them saying a thing about the delay in me getting back to them—which would’ve been a legitimate complaint on their part. I certainly wouldn’t get away without paying a bill for that long without at least paying a penalty.
So, in the end, Lego came through, and did the right thing, despite my behavior. That’s pretty good customer service. And matches my previous, excellent, experiences of a couple decades ago.
Now, if only they’d give us advance warning before discontinuing a set…