Call Us For Assistance – DO NOT RETURN TO STORE

Trike instruction booklet

I just got this sweet trike for my kid and there are like 20 steps to put it together. Anyway, I got stuck and my first reaction was to just return and move on with my life. However, I saw the instruction booklet told me to call them first instead of returning it.

They talked me through it, they were super nice, and now I’m a happy trike bike owner!

I thought that big bold phone number was super smart. Most people don’t know this but when you return an item to the store. The manufacturer gets it pretty bad, here is what happens in most cases (specifically for the smaller guys):

  1. The retailer ships it back to you and charges you a bunch of fees (sometimes equivalent to the amount of the product)
  2. You give the retailer a complete refund

By adding this phone number the retailer probably just saved them 2X the cost of the trike.

Is this the Future of Customer Service?


Renting my Car in Phoenix from Someone in Omaha

I just experienced the future of virtual customer support in retail stores. I landed in Phoenix and saw a massive line at Hertz. I thought I would be there for at least 2 hours. Then BAM! The line started moving a lot faster, after 4 machines fired up with real (but virtual) customer support reps from Omaha, I was in my Hertz rental car just 25 minutes later. The company behind the technology is ClairVista.

Ghost Town turns into Rihanna Concert

Back in Highschool when I worked in the TV department at Sears, I would remember hours where not a single person would walk in. (I killed time by playing snake on my Nokia phone) Then around the 6pm rush-hour 10 people would show up. I would be out numbered and lose customers. I wish I had some virtual assistance that could answer questions and then help me close more deals!

Is this the future?

What do you think of a future with virtual reps in physical stores? There were a few people in front of me in the Hertz line that said no to using the virtual machines and let me cut in front of them.

What do you think of a future with virtual reps in physical stores? Would you talk to one at a Best Buy or Macy’s? Let me know in the comments below!

PS Pro Travel Tip: Go with the no-named local car rental company over Hertz. They are cheaper and have flexible with drop off times.