Why Brookstone has disappointed me and lost a believer
I have been an admirer of Brookstone’s NAP products for a long time and was very excited about my spa set when I purchased it at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to really needing it for migraine headache relief, the some of the gel inserts had crystalized and hardened. Sucks but potentially workable hopefully, right? Nope. The clever crystal formations were totally poking me in the face.
Luckily, Brookstone seemed to have awesome customer service. I was able to reach them by phone, explain the situation and get a solution. The representative said that they would send a replacement once I sent mine back to Mexico, Missouri. Thoroughly pleased with the seemingly good customer service experience and the excited with the possibility of actually to actually use the product, I packaged it up and sent it out right away. Then 7-10 business days later, as I anxiously open my mailbox hoping to see my replacement set…I only found a lowly envelope from Brookstone with my name spelled incorrectly. It was a nice formal condolence letter letting me know that, as it turns out, my product was no longer available from the company so they were sending me a gift card for $16. Really? $16. Really!? Come on, that wasn’t even half of the purchase price, as you can see from the Kaboodle listing of the NAP Hot & Cold Spa Set. and I paid to ship my product back to customer service. This just doesn’t add up in my head. For $16 I can’t purchase one gel eyemask on their website. And that was one of three pieces!
I understand products being discontinued, but the $16 is a slap in the face. When I took the time to call customer service toll-free number at 800-846-3000 and took the proper steps to put my return put into the system, the customer service rep could have taken the few seconds to inform me that they no longer carried the Nap Hot & Cold Spa Set. That tid bit of information would have worked wonders on my feelings towards Brookstone. On my end there was no simple, “Boo, they don’t carry it any more that’s a bummer,” and Brookstone failed to take ownership of their brand experience and neglected to train their associates to be knowledgeable about their product line. I turned to Brookstone customer service for help returning a defective item, I was sorely disappointed. So we are left with bland case of unsatisfactory customer service and and unsatisfied customer.
Dear Brookstone, here’s the bottom line: offering a gift card for less than the retail value of the returned item with the assumption that the customer will spend even more money into buying nonsense from your company is just poor judgement and is not acceptable solution for this scenario.
Has anyone else encountered backhanded bad customer service lately? Please tell me about it in the comments. Maybe by exposing these anecdotes will help companies work harder on development and implementation of their operational support. I also would like to invite Brookstone to address this practice. I’m intrigued. What’s the magic equation that got me the $16?