Customer Service – How Much is Enough (or Too Much or Not Enough)?

bad-customer-service

 

When I was much younger than I am now, Nordstrom opened their first store in our area. My oldest brother went down and purchased a suit from them, and remained a happy customer for a long time. Flash forward a few years later – he’d  gained some weight and the suit did not fit him anymore, so he brought it back to Nordstrom – and received a full refund!

This was clearly ingrained in my head as the ‘ultimate’ for customer service. Keep the customer happy – even if it really did not make any sense to. (and yes, I do not believe they should have given him a refund for his weight gain!!!!). Back in that day, Nordstrom set the bar for customer service and, as far as I know, still retains a high level of it.

That said, is it really fair to ‘assume’ a business will go so far out of their way to ‘keep a customer’? This especially pertains to the wine industry, where a ‘subjective product’ may either be ‘damaged’, ‘faulty’, or simply not live up to a customer’s expectations of it.

In many cases, a winery should stand by their products and ‘make things right’. If a product is damaged during shipping, the winery should make right and either refund the money or send along a replacement product. In most cases, the winery will file a claim and recoup their costs as well.

Now let’s say a product is ‘simply faulty’. What in the heck could ‘faulty’ mean in our industry? Could it be excessive amounts of solids or grit, as a famous Spanish winery has experienced in one of their wines and just issued a recall notice for? Could it be that the wine is infected with brettanomyces, a spoilage yeast that causes a wine to smell like a ‘barnyard’ or like ‘band aid’? Could it be that ‘it was just off’, not living up to the expectation of the consumer? Could it be that the ‘cork was bad’ – and I’ve already talked about the plethora of things this might entail from a consumer standpoint.

I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on this issue. I don’t think there’s an absolute right or wrong answer here – to me, it depends (my favorite answer to almost any wine-related question!!!).

Join in and voice your opinions please . . .

Cheers!

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What is Corked Wine?

cork taint  in wineTo get things rolling, let’s discuss a topic that I have enjoyed discussing elsewhere recently – faulty wines and bottles. The question always arises – how do I know if a wine is ‘faulty’ and ‘what should I do about it’? This is actually fodder for a NUMBER of different blog posts coming your way in the near future, but for now, let’s deal with TCA and ‘corked wines’.

First of all, how many of you truly know what a ‘corked wine’ is? There’s no harm in not knowing – it’s a term I used for a long time without truly understanding it. And everyone has different recognition thresholds for the chemical compound TCA (tri-chloro anisoles). To me and many others, it smells like wet concrete or cardboard. At very low levels, though, the aromatics of a wine are simply ‘robbed’ and you won’t smell a thing or simply ‘muted’ aromas.

Second, if and when you run across a corked wine, do you a) always return it to where it’s purchased; b) only return it if you purchased it locally; c) only return it if it’s over a certain price point: or d) never return it because you expect this to happen every now and then?

Please comment below…I’ll be waiting. (-: