I would like to applaud Chapters Indigo for their excellent customer service last Thursday evening (February 17th) in their downtown Montreal location. I purchased online a KOBO e-reader for my boyfriend as a birthday present last November. He absolutely loves it and it's his new best friend for all his business travels. Unfortunately, Wednesday night he went to turn it on the screen ink was running across the page making his e-book unreadable.
I called KOBO to explain the damage (we swear it wasn't dropped!) and they told me to go in-store to exchange it at any Chapters store location. I went after work and the first sales associate was willing to exchange it for me as she said “Chapters Indigo 100% supports their KOBO sales”. However, when she went to complete the transaction, she realized that my purchase was made over 2-weeks ago and as a result, it was their corporate policy that all customers have to deal directly with KOBO for an exchange.
When I explained that I had been directed in-store, she called the manager (Mel W) who re-iterated the same policy. I expressed my frustration at having taken the time to call KOBO, come into the store, wait in line, be given a new model , fill in the exchange forms and then told I couldn’t have it. The manager called KOBO herself in my presence and was making arrangements to ship the e-reader back to them. However, this would take 15 business days for them to repair the damage and I’d be out of pocket the cost of shipping! I asked the store manager to ask KOBO if they were directing consumers to store for an exchange and sure enough, they were! She explained to the agent that this was against corporate policy in a head-office agreement between Chapters Indigo and KOBO. Once she hung up the phone, she took the initiative to exchange my KOBO e-reader for a new one even though it was “against” policy as she had witnessed first-hand that I was directed into store and as a result, she made an exception to their rule.
So often employees hide behind “corporate policies” that leave customers frustrated. But this store manager made an executive decision that left me leaving the store completely satisfied. I spend about $600 a year at Chapters Indigo and I’m a fan-favourite of their easy online shopping and in-store locations. I’m glad to see that they do “100%” stand behind their KOBOs and it was not just a marketing campaign to drive sales – they actually deliver on top-notch customer service too.