EA Customer Service So Awful, So Awesome

guitareastory.jpg Sometimes it's the small things. The extra mile. Those are what can make or break customer service. And, don't get me wrong, customer service is not easy for both parties — especially on the phone. Reader Mark recounted his agony in trying to get a larger box to ship his busted Xbox 360 guitar back. Easy, right? Wrong. But, take heart, this story does have a happy ending. Hit the jump to read Mark's tale:

I recently had my Rock Band guitar's strum bar give out on me. I had helped both my brother and a friend ship their guitars back, so I figured I would give the whole process a go. So I went to EA's customer service website and filled out all the necessary info and they told me that my guitar was on the way. It arrived, but I noticed that something was strange. As it turns out, the outer most box that they had sent me was too small to house a fully assembled Xbox 360 guitar. I attempted to follow their instructions as I had done for my brother and friend, only to realize that the headstock of my guitar was protruding, by about four inches, out of the larger box so that I couldn't even close it. Realizing that this would most likely result in the guitar being damaged in shipment (which could come back to haunt me the $US 125 that was floating on my credit card) I decided to contact EA customer support and simply request a larger box. What followed was an experience that was very frustrating. I attempted to keep my head throughout, but perhaps I should just attach the files that highlight the whole thing.

...I even sent...a picture of my guitar (guitar attachment) to try and better clarify the trouble that I was having. However, he continued to simply suggest that I just read over the instructions on how to box the thing up, making me feel stupid, as if I were the one doing something wrong. I searched their website for a phone number but failed to find one. Finally I did a google search and found the number. I called it and was immediately put on the phone with a helpful customer service representative. I told her what the problem was, walked her through the steps of their packaging list and then again identified what the issue was with the outer box. She said that I should just box up the outer box alone with a detailed description of my problem, ship it back to EA and that they would then send me a larger box. So I breathed a sigh of relief as I felt that the problem was finally resolved and that I would take care of this whole matter before I was charged $US 125. Then I received another email from another customer service representative...

[which]seemed to imply that I was an idiot by attempting to box up my guitar in its original box from the Rock Band set. I had never once mentioned that this was what I was trying to do and had only ever stated that I was trying to get a bigger box. A box that I knew was supposed to have come with the replacement guitar in the first place. I set ...an email asking him if he really wanted me to ship the guitar with the headstock exposed as it would most likely result in it being damaged... So, frustrated with this whole matter I went home and attempted to figure out how I was going to close the box and seal it up with the guitar poking out, inhibiting the flaps from closing.

I then decided to try a final call to EA. This time I figured I would just get a supervisor on the phone, and once they gave me the okay to ship it back, I would do so, attaching their name to the shipment. I called and was immediately answered by a customer service representative. I told her that I had been in frequent touch with them (a fact that became apparent when she pulled up my customer file) and that I just wanted to get in touch with a supervisor. While she called her supervisor over she asked me what the trouble was with my guitar. I again relayed my story to her and about five minutes into it she interrupted me.

"Do you have a 360 guitar?"
"Yes," I replied.
"I think that they sent you the outer box for a PS3 guitar."
"Oh," that would make sense I thought.
"Hang on, let me see if we can send you a bigger box."
She put me on hold for a few minutes then came back.
"Unfortunately we can't send you a bigger box because the tracking label and everything we need is with you and would have to come back with the smaller box. Can I put you on hold one more time, I want to see if there is something else that we can do for you."
"Sure" I said, she was being really helpful and seemed to actually understand the situation, so I figured it couldn't hurt.
After about five minutes on hold she came back, an unmistakable tone of elation in her voice.
"You are going to be so happy with me," she teased.
"Do tell,"
"You don't have to ship anything back."
"What" I asked.
"You get to keep both of your guitars. By the time we shipped you a new box and all it would cost us too much. Keep both guitars and we will take the floating charge off of your credit card."
At this point in time I was excited beyond belief. I thanked her several times over. After almost two weeks of frustration I finally talked to someone who could take care of the situation in a way that wasn't implying that I was ignorant. Now all I need to do I figure is just get some DIY tips on how to tighten up that strum bar and I am good to go with two Rock Band guitars.


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