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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Big O! Oakley Delivers Really Great Customer Service, Not Just Lip Service

I have always run my businesses offering heavy handed customer service. So when I find myself on the other side of the counter I expect at least decent service returned to me. While great customer service does not seem to be swirling around these days I have one story from Oakley I'd love to tell you.
I have always been a big fan of Oakley. It began many years ago with my first pair of their sunglasses. The have not only done a great job of diversifying their product lines but also become a brilliant example of great branding. When the AMGEN Tour of California cycling event included Santa Cruz in one of the stages Oakley's presence was definitely felt when they rolled in their famous mobile "O Lab" as pictured here from Oakley's Website.

On my website my shortlist of favorites includes REI. This story began when I first purchased a pair of Oakley Square Wire sunglasses in July 2007 from the REI store in Manhattan Beach, California. I loved the lenses but one hinge failed leaving the temple in my hand. REI is another great company when it comes to customer service and they gladly exchanged my broken pair. However, in April 2008 the same problem occurred with that replacement pair. Once again REI exchanged them without question in September 2008.

When this last pair had the same problem I decided it must be a design flaw and at $220 I was not about to write them off as just throwaways. So rather than bother REI again I decided to contact Oakley directly instead. I found them very easy to contact both on-line and by telephone. When I told them my story and sent them this photo they were quick to admit that a hinge problem had existed with my model. They also did not hesitate to offer me a comparable quality replacement even though I was well past the standard warranty period.

They suggested I visit one of their stores to find a suitable replacement. I went directly to their factory store in Santana Row, San Jose, where their selection is huge. I was treated fantastically by the sales person even though she knew I was not there to purchase, but rather to pick the model which would become my replacement glasses.

I simply mailed back my broken frames and received a brand new pair via UPS in a few days. The smile on my face here is hard to wipe off as I enjoy my new polarized Splinter model glasses and reflect on my experience with Oakley service. I send serious props out to Oakley. It's refreshing to know their stance behind their products is just as strong as their brand.