Griffin Technology: Amazing Customer Service, Part Two

Back in January, I wrote about the iTrip, and then later, in May, I wrote about problem with my iTrip order.

Well, I’ve had my iTrip for a couple of months now, and I’ve been generally impressed with it: it’s a compact, functional piece of technology with an ingenious design.

But I’ve also had problems: when the iTrip is plugged into my iPod, and I’m driving along in my car, and I hit a a bump, sometimes the iTrip goes wonky on me, and strange Star Trek-like sounds start coming out of my radio. Often I’ll go over another bump, and things will jar back to normal. From my laymen’s chair, it sounds like a loose contact inside the unit or something.

So I emailed Griffin Technology and got back the following reply:

What kind of 4 wheelin are you doing Peter? Road rally in the Rockies? Actually it sounds like you have a faulty iTrip. I will be glad to swap it out for you. Did you buy it form us directly? Tell me where you bought it and what your shipping address is and I will be glad to exchange the unit. Let me know and I will make it happen. For faster service you may want to give us a call as the e-mail thing can take a while to get to.

This reply has it all: humour, honesty, and good customer service, all rolled into one.

So today I called, as they suggested, and talked to another chap, explained my problem, and he agreed to do the swap. When he found out I was in Canada, he said it would cost me a lot to return the faulty unit, so told me to simply “destroy it in some creative fashion,” and send them a photo or QuickTime movie of the process.

A replacement iTrip is on the way.

So here’s another example of where “bad” customer service — a faulty product — can turn into amazing customer service — the kind of service that I will take 10 minutes out of my day to write about, tell all my friends about, etc.

So here’s my question: what’s the difference between Aliant, my personal quality purveyor of shitty customer service, and Griffin Technology? What does Griffin know that Aliant doesn’t? Where does Griffin get their good employees, and how do they encourage and allow them to be real, reasonable people? And how does Aliant capture employee souls and suck them out so effectively? I really want to know.


Wayne's picture
Wayne on July 16, 2003 - 20:23 Permalink

Might we be seeing that evidence of your destruction in creative fashion process here, or have a detailed description of said process?

Lori Kane’s putter got wonked last week, and she apologized ad nasium for her display of emotion, which to me, required only one loud, clear statement on her part. I just hope she has not immortalised the action in her memory by repeated apologies.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 16, 2003 - 20:25 Permalink

Wayne beat me to it.

[BTW — such language all of a sudden!]

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 16, 2003 - 20:26 Permalink

Wayne, I will be happy to provide evidence here. In the meantime, you might check out this wanton display of destruction to satisfy your need for same.

kym Illman's picture
kym Illman on February 2, 2004 - 15:11 Permalink

I want to print your story in a customer service book, can I call to discuss the story?

Keirsten's picture
Keirsten on November 17, 2006 - 21:44 Permalink

Ahhh, see I’ve had the opposite experience with Griffin Technology. My husband bought me a Roadtrip for my iPod Video. After a month the thing stopped working. Seeing as how I didn’t use it much, I slacked on calling the company. Three months later I got around to it and called customer service where I was sent a replacement BLACK FM Tuner fpor my white unit… they sent me a white one. Neither worked well. I got snapping, crackling, popping and random backouts from both. So, procrastinating another two months I called back and explained that it was still not working. An EXTREMELY SARCASTIC, SNARKY, EVIL woman commenced to tell me that they hadsent out two tuners at no charge already. Two tuners that were reconditioned and didn’t work!! Then I was told that there warranty would only replace the item if I provided a receipt…Let’s just say that she wasn’t happy when I told her that the company website page regarding their warranty made no mention of receipts or even proof of purchase. I was told it was implied….well, I contend that physical possession of the item is proof of purchase. Anyway, she got nastier. To avoid an all out telephonic brawl I asked for her supervisor who I had a mutually respectful adult discussion with about my options. I am still required to provide a receipt. What a complete waste of $100. Could I have at least gotten a Thanks for your business SUCKER! I will never buy nor encourage anyone else to buy this company’s products!!!