Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Haselünne, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Dulmen, Germany.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Customer service extremes

Last September we wrote about the exceptional customer service that we received from the Lagostina Cookware Company. Yesterday, we had another exceptional experience.

I mentioned that our fresh water pump has developed a leak. So yesterday afternoon I drained the system and removed the pump. A new pump is over $100, but you can also buy parts for them. In looking at the parts listing, I wasn’t sure what exactly to buy to repair the leak and I didn’t want to start replacing one part at a time in the hopes that might fix the problem, I wanted to be sure.

So I emailed the company. This pump is made by SHURflo and is one of the most common pumps installed in all brands of motorhomes and trailers since the 1980’s. Model numbers and design have changed slightly over the years, but it’s essentially the same pump today as what it was back then. I sent SHURflo the model number and all relevant details asking what would be the most common cause of our problem.

Keep in mind that the model number we have is from the 1996 era and the pump is 15 years old.

I received an answer within 15 minutes!

Their customer service rep said that I probably needed a new switch diaphram, and that if I supplied a mailing address they would send me one immediately at no charge! I sent a note back saying that I was in Nova Scotia and hoped that was okay, and he replied that it was on it’s way!

Now that’s what I call great customer service!

I tightened the screws a little more and put it all back together. As of this morning, it seems to be leaking less than what it was and we have a towel underneath the pump to catch the drips until it’s properly repaired.

But we also have a story of exceptionally poor customer service. We bought our mi-fi internet device from Bell Mobility, the cellular division of Bell Canada. You are supposed to be able to log in to their internet service in order to change whatever rate plan you happen to have or desire. But the rate plans that come up for my device are all voice plans, not data plans.

I have spoken to SIX different customer service reps and have not had any success in getting them to acknowledge that there’s even a problem. I could go through each conversation seperately for you, but they range from not even knowing what a “mi-fi” device is, to not calling me back when they explicitly promised they would. I’ve even followed their “escalating your complaint” procedures and sent an email to their head office which replied with a response that they would follow up within 3 business days and I have heard nothing back. That was over two weeks ago. It is truly amazing.

We are heading out this morning to the Lunenburg area. We already have another couchsurfing host set up for Friday and Saturday night near the Bridgewater area. Looking forward to meeting this guy as he has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and that is on our list of things to do!


  1. Great post. There are still companies and individuals that provide good service and are caring people. It would be great to see a blog or forum with a list of companies related to the rv industry.

  2. Good to hear about the Sureflo pump. Al has one on a spray rig that isn't working..he's going to call them today!

  3. The Bell story sounds similar to ones that we have had in the past when all our service was with them, all we have left is just our cell phone and it has been working flawlessly for years, let hope it continues. Another good company to deal with is Fantastic Vent company, customer service. I sent an email (from Oklahoma) regarding our 11 year vent cover was cracked and that same day a free one was put in the mail to general delivery in St. David Arizona where we would be a week or so later.

  4. It's always nice to get good service, We have cell service with Verizon and they have come through for us twice with billing and false call problems,after looking at their service map for the US we will probably go with a mi-fi with them as the Verizon girl at Best Buys says they have a plan than rewards you when your cellular and mifi are all with Verizon.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  5. Hm. As soon as I saw the sentence start with anything to do with Ma Bell, the poor results were not that surprising. I haven't dealt with Bell for well over a decade now, and no matter what kind of "deals" they would offer, just refused to take the bait. Our financial "guy" even suggested at our Christmas visit that we should buy some Bell stock with a few extra bucks in our cash account. No way. Want nothing to do with them.

  6. Sounds like the Canadian cell services are no better than the US ones in customer service. We have found Verizon slightly better than others but we wouldn't call them great. My husband hates dealing with them. Good luck on getting some resolution.

  7. Good for you for complimenting a company for good service. As George said the Fantastic Fan company is the same. I don't know how they stay in business with all the free shipments of no charge replacement parts. Another to add to the list is Roadmaster, they refurbished our entire tow assembly and rewired everything at no charge, hour of work on their part.

  8. We have verizon and boy our bill is $240 a month and I had to end service because it was way too much - we need the broadband more then anything - and I am looking into pre-paid only because sometime 6 mths out of the year we are in an area that has no signal. ummm GREAT article....


  9. We are having problems with our mi-fi provider in the US as well. What is it about cell phone companies??? Hang in there. I don't give up and usually end up with a satisfactory resolution. It just takes a tremendous amount of patience. Keep at it!

  10. If only more companies were that good about their products.

  11. Chris...It is nice to see and we agree it would be a good idea to see a blog or forum all some of those great companies.

    Karen and Al...Hope they can help him.

    George and Suzie...I have hardly ever heard anything good about communications companies having great customer service. Always good to know of other great companies out there. Thanks for adding in Fantastic Vent.

    Sam and Donna...When we used Pete's Verizon MiFi in South Carolina we were very happy with it.

    Bob...What have I said, communication companies lack the communication. Sometimes it is better to have nothing to do with them.

    Janie and John...We'll never know why they make things so difficult. Thanks!

    Contessa...Thanks for adding Roadmaster to the list.

    Evielynne...This is why we don't use a cell phone. We have one but it is only for emergencies unless we are in the local area. Roaming charges are crazy.

    Kevin and Evelyn...Communication companies lack communication as I have said. Doesn't make sense.

    Chuck and Anneke...Exactly what I have said to Kevin.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey


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