How JB Hi-Fi turned an angry shopper into a life-long customer

By Patrick Avenell

COLLIE, WA: A disgruntled JB Hi-Fi consumer received an unexpected response recently, with a senior member of the JB team taking a personal interest in his plight in order to ensure the retail group retained his custom.

Tony Barker-May, a semi-retired 58-year-old from Collie in Western Australia contacted Current.com.au yesterday, telling us about his recent ordeal when trying to purchase a new TV from his local JB Hi-Fi. The model Mr Barker-May was originally after – one that he agreed to purchase, was actually out of stock. This was despite JB essentially processing the sale through its online portal.

After his attempts to contact the supplier in question came to nought, Mr Barker-May contacted JB Hi-Fi’s head office in Melbourne directly. Although he was angry at the supplier for what he called an “absolute debacle”, he was surprised at how quickly his own dissatisfaction was turned around.

“I cancelled the order with JB Hi-Fi and emailed a senior executive to tell him how p….. off I was that they were advertising stock that they couldn't deliver,” Mr Barker-May told Current.com.au.

“The reaction was extraordinary. To be honest, I felt [the supplier in question] was more at fault than JB Hi-Fi, and I expected a busy executive to tell me exactly that: ‘sorry for the inconvenience, but not our fault’.

“But that's not what I got. I got a very busy man taking a very personal interest in sorting my problem, someone making a very genuine apology and accepting 100 per cent of the blame.

“I found someone who bent over backwards to ensure a very dissatisfied non-customer became a very satisfied customer, someone who responded to my emails immediately, someone who actually gave a damn.”

As a result of this experience, Mr Barker-May said that he would purchase any future electronics equipment solely from JB Hi-Fi.

“I'm [now] a very satisfied customer, and I'll deal with them whenever I can, and I'll tell friends and family and everyone at the golf club, and that's good business.”

Mr Barker-May wanted to make it clear that he is in no way connected to JB Hi-Fi, other than as a consumer.

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