Oakley — very poor customer service
I am writing to inform you that you have lost two previously very loyal customers. In early 2010, I bought my future husband a pair of Oakley sunglasses as a gift. It was our first experience with your company, and we were very pleased with the customer service we received and with the high quality, and stylish product. My husband has very particular tastes and we were both very happy with the ways in which your employees worked with us to create a pair of sunglasses that were perfect. In fact, we were so impressed with the customer service we received that I wrote an e-mail to your company in March 2010 complimenting you on the customer service we received. (See enclosure.) Since then, every pair of sunglasses we have bought has been Oakleys. Your excellent customer service earned you two loyal customers who became avid Oakley fans. My husband has a closet full of Oakley products, from swim trunks, to long and short sleeved tee shirts to hats and socks.
Earlier this year, my husband noticed that the Oakley logo was wearing off of the bridge of the nose of his half jacket sunglasses. Knowing that your company provides excellent, durable products and excellent customer service, he called and spoke with the Oakley customer service representatives to find out what could be done to restore the Oakley logo. The representative initially stated that a hefty fee would be required for Oakley to restore its own logo. My husband explained that this seemed illogical, since it was more to Oakley’s interest than his to have the Oakley logo proudly displayed on its products. A manager spoke to him and stated that they would remedy the problem for free. Therefore, my husband sent his custom made Oakley sunglasses to your company and never saw them again.
A few weeks after sending his glasses to your company, my husband received a phone call. The representative on the phone said that the combination of the black half jacket frame with shiny chrome half jacket was not currently available. Therefore, he asked whether my husband would rather settle for a different color icon, or wait for the chrome icon to come back in stock. The shiny chrome icon, which we had had to custom order when we first bought the glasses, was very important to my husband. Therefore, he said that he would wait for the shiny chrome icon to come back into stock, even though we were scheduled to leave town for an extended vacation a few weeks later.
After the conversation with the Oakley representative, we heard nothing more from Oakley until a pair of sunglasses was delivered to our door a few weeks later. Upon opening the box, my husband immediately noticed that the sunglasses were the wrong combination -- they did not have the shiny chrome icon that had been on his original pair of glasses and which the customer service representative said we would receive.
I called Oakley customer service and explained the above facts. I was put on hold for several minutes, then the representative returned to the phone and said that a supervisor would need to speak with me, but she was currently at lunch, so he would have her call me back when she returned to the office. He confirmed my phone number before hanging up. The supervisor did not call me that day. I waited four days and did not receive a return call. I called back and explained all of the above facts again. I was again given a run-around and promised a return call that I never received.
I called Oakley for a third time. On this occasion, the customer service representative explained to me that the shiny chrome icon is no longer in production and therefore not an available option on the half jacket frame. This is something that should have been explained from the very beginning. Oakley had said they would repair or replace the glasses; there was no indication from your company that it intended to substitute a different and, in my husband’s eyes, inferior product. The reason he chose the shiny chrome icon was because it looked like metal. The icon on the glasses he received is a cheap looking gray plastic. It cheapens the appearance of the glasses and is not a product that he would ever buy.
I explained that the shiny chrome icon was the most important aspect of the glasses--certainly more important than Oakley logo on the bridge of the nose. Therefore, I requested that Oakley return the original pair of glasses with the worn out logo, and we would gladly give the company back its cheap looking replacement glasses. The customer service representative explained that the original glasses had likely been disposed of, but that he would check and see whether they were still available and call me back. I waited five days for a call, then called the company again. After explaining the extensive history, the customer service representative told me that the frames had been destroyed.
I think it is important for your company to understand what an unacceptable and infuriating experience we have had with Oakley. If the company had simply said, “no, we won’t replace your worn out frames, ” that would have been fine. However, to initially promise to make us whole, then call and again clarify that we wanted the shiny chrome icon on the frame, then supply an inferior product is unacceptable. And then to act so irresponsibly and unprofessionally in responding to my inquiries by promising and failing to return phone calls added insult to injury.
My opinion of the Oakley company has done a complete reversal. Instead of telling all of my friends and family what an amazing company it is, I tell everyone in my life how your company caused me to detrimentally rely on your promises. You promised to repair or replace my glasses, and instead we received something that is different, unacceptable, and cheap-looking. You have certainly lost our business, and it’s hard to tell how many others that we talk to will similarly decide to take their business elsewhere to a company they can trust not to take advantage of them. I’m writing to you not because I expect your company to do anything to remedy this situation -- I gave up on that hope months ago -- rather, I thought you should be aware of the damage poor customer service does to customers’ impressions of your company.
Naoufal Guelzim and Cherie Owen