Tag Archives: Canada

Best Buy Is Plugged Into Customer Service

A few months ago, I went into Best Buy because my daughter needed an iPad keyboard case.  Since there was a case on sale and it was a brand name that we had trusted over the years, we bought it immediately.  A couple of weeks later, however, the case had a crack in the corner, so we had to return to the store for a replacement.

During the second visit, my daughter chose a case of the same brand as last time, but decided on a different colour.  Apparently, this colour case was not on sale and was approximately $30.00 more without then discounted model.   When we were doing the exchange, I informed the employee about what had happened to the last case, and she immediately obtained approval from a supervisor to provide the added courtesy of allowing my daughter to choose the different coloured replacement at no additional cost.  When my daughter and I left the store, it was with a smile on both of our faces.

Our smiles turned into frowns when a few weeks later, the case had yet another crack.  Perhaps it was due to a manufacturing issue, as the crack was in the same location as the last one.  By this time, my daughter was very upset and annoyed with the brand (note to brands…even 10 year olds have a say in certain purchase decisions).

When we went back to Best Buy once more, we picked out a new case, made by a different company.  Although this case was now $10.00 more than the previous case, we reasoned that it would be worth it if it worked properly.  At the service desk, I again explained why we were back at the store, and that this is now the third time in less than a month that we were having issues with the original product / brand. Immediately, the employee apologized for what had happened and did an exchange for us, again obtaining management’s approval to exchange the product at no additional cost to us.  Once again, when we left the store (a third time), my daughter was happy with her new case, and I was happy with not having to pay again and again for an item.

The Best Buy employees that we encountered were efficient, pleasant, and knowledgeable and clearly attempted to put the customer first.  With the increase of online retailers, sales and electronic stores like Best Buy have taken a hit, however, based on my recent experiences with the store’s excellent customer service, I would suggest that there are still numerous benefits to doing business with such a company.

Whether it is the chance to actually experience the product before you buy it, the company’s willingness to price match, and perhaps most importantly, demonstrated commitment to putting the customer first, I believe the company is heading in the right direction.

Best Buy certainly seems to be plugged into customer service….well done!

Best Buy Canada


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Union Lighting & Furnishings Brighten My Day

When my wife and I bought our house, several years ago, it was in great shape, but required some updates to the decor.  Since one of the areas we wanted to update was the lighting fixtures, a friend suggested we visit Union Lighting & Furnishings. When we arrived at the location, we were met with a huge showroom that had lights for every price and every style.  We were able to find just about everything that we needed, fairly quickly, with the help of knowledgeable employees.  Ever since then, we have always gone back to the store for any of our lighting needs.

Recently, we decided to make the move to LED bulbs, and switch over all of our pot lights…over 40 bulbs!  Since the bulbs were on sale, and I had government coupons for $5.00 off (to a maximum of five bulbs_), I went straight to Union Lighting & Furnishings.  However, I soon discovered that because I needed 50 bulbs, in order get the government discount, I would have to visit the store again and again.  I was confused as to why the government wanted to promote the purchase LED bulbs, yet only limit them to 5 at a time….but that’s a discussion for another time.

Union Lighting & Furnishings, however, were the light at the end of the tunnel.  They honoured the discount for all the bulbs in one visit, and assured me that they would take care of the accounting and added work on their end.  On top of that, it turned out that the sale was only held for the previous generation of LED bulbs, and not the new ones that I had been informed about by an employee, but Union Lighting & Furnishings honoured that as well.

From my first visit to the store over eight years ago, I have been amazed by the company’s commitment to excellent customer service.  Whether it’s their product knowledge, the availability of a large selection of styles and models, or the way that employees go above and beyond to guarantee the satisfaction of their customers, Union Lighting & Furnishings truly brightens my day!  I highly recommend giving them a visit for all of your lighting needs.  You won’t be kept in the dark 🙂

Union Lighting & Furnishings
1491 Castlefield Avenue
York, ON M6M 1Y3



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Putting the Fun Back in Customer Service

A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article about how bricks and mortar retail stores in North America have been losing the battle against online retailers. In the Information Age, online retailers have the edge of easy browsing, fast and free shipping, and customer reviews – all from the comfort of one’s own home.

If traditional retailers are going to be successful, they must step up their game and think outside the box, so as to not lose their customers. It’s been suggested that one of the ways that retailers could do so is to make visiting the stores more fun. People truly want to go out and have a memorable experience, and at the same time, companies need to improve customer loyalty and retention. For example, Chapters / Indigo has cozy seats for customers who love to read, while some grocery stores have cooking demonstrations to entice customers shopping for food and kitchen products, and a few clothing stores and restaurants invite local bands to play music for the customers.

Given the fact that bricks and mortar retail stores in North America are losing customers and online retailers are becoming more effective and prominent, bricks and mortar retailers have to learn to entertain and bring more fun into the experiences they are delivering. I encourage everyone to look out for the fun retailers… they are the ones whose employees seem the most passionate, provide great customer service, and make it worth a trip outside of the house.


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Sunnybrook Hospital Shows Its Sunny-Side of Customer Service

A few months ago, I wrote a blog for North York General Hospital, praising how wonderfully its employees treat patients. Today, I would like to offer the same praise to Sunnybrook Hospital.

A couple of months ago, my father got into a bad car accident. He is an older gentleman, and I was somewhat concerned about the interaction between the EMS workers and himself would be handled, as he was very upset and more worries about picking up his sister (who was waiting for him) than his own well being. Thankfully, his injuries were not serious, but given his age, he was quickly taken to the hospital for precautionary purposes.

Upon arrival he was quickly registered, to see a doctor despite it being a busy Friday evening. When it was my father’s turn to be checked out, the doctor was cool, calm, and organized. He took my father in for an examination, which was followed b some x-rays. While we waited for the x-rays, the doctor came into the waiting area to check up on us, and see how my father was handling the wait. A short time later, after by father complained about a noise in his ears, he was immediately reexamined. Again, the doctor who took a look at my father remained calm, pleasant, and perhaps most importantly…patient throughout the entire process, as he understood that my father was shook up by the car accident.

In addition to the EMS workers and doctors, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the outstanding team of nurses who work in Sunnybrook’s Emergency Department. While the Department was not as busy and chaotic as on a show such as ER, the staff are certainly busy and running around while always clearly being concerned and focussed on the well being of all patients. Whether it was a few words of encouragement for my dad, finding a chair for my aunt, putting a bandage on my dad’s arm, or assisting the needs of other patients, these nurses are quite pleasant, friendly, and clearly very caring.

Whether it’s the EMS teams who transport patients to the facility, the nurses who do a lot of the care work, or the doctors who must deal with older patients, Sunnybrook Hospital shows its sunny-side of customer service by treating each patient as an individual and treating each patient very well.

Sunnybrook Hospital
2075 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5


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NorthWest Auto Collision is the Master of Repairs

Many years ago, through family connections, I got in touch with John, who is very reputable in the auto-collision business. John and his business partner Rob own a shop close to where I live, and both of them have worked with a team of on-site specialists for over 35 years. Their team has a high level of experience and are always ready to deliver professional and quality collision repairs.

Every time work needs to be done on my own, my wife’s, or my father’s car, John does an excellent job of coming up with cost-effective ways to do repairs. For example, he would use after-market parts and used parts to do the repairs rather than the more expensive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. I recall a few years ago, when my own and my wife’s cars were damaged in the ice-storm, when John was able to do the repairs for a reasonable price by using different parts that in no way impacted the look or operation of the vehicles, while saving me considerable money.

Aside from saving money, John is one of these people in business, who truly cares about the well being of his customers. Just a few months ago, when my father got into an accident, John was able to quickly arrange a car rental and tow truck to the scene of the accident, making things a lot easier on my dad. Whether during regular business hours or in the evenings and / or weekends, John is just a phone call away, and always willing to be of assistance.

John’s business partner, Rob, is a great mechanic, which is unfortunately becoming a lost art. Rob could sit in a car, drive it around, and after hearing a certain noise, he would diagnose the specific problem and quickly get to work on fixing it. Rob too, uses good quality but reasonably priced parts, which he obtains through a trusted network of contacts and suppliers that he has built up during his years in business.

As regularly mentioned by my postings, I always do my best to support small businesses, and John, Rob, and their team are masters of their craft that deserves high praise and recognition. They are genuine, take good care of their customers, and I highly recommend them to anyone who is in need of car repairs be it body work or mechanical.

John and Rob
NorthWest Auto Collision
961 Roselawn Avenue
Toronto, ON M6B 1B6


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For Amazing Tours, Patrice Bailey is your #1 Contact

A few weeks ago, I was on a cruise, and one of the ports we stopped at was Falmouth, Jamaica. Since there isn’t much to do in Falmouth, itself, we had planned in advance to travel from Falmouth to Montego Bay, however we knew that it would be a 20-minute drive. Falmouth was a fairly new port, and sufficient tourist resources had not yet been built, so we didn’t know how we would get a taxi to Montego Bay.

After doing some online research, we found that a woman by the name of Patrice Bailey received many positive reviews for her small business. Her business offers driver services and tours, and the drivers will accompany you throughout the day to take you to your desired locations. From the beach to the markets, to art galleries and just local attractions, the service was said to be prompt and excellent.

After several emails with Patrice, we booked her services for the day, and much to our surprise, we were not asked for payment up front or even a deposit. When we asked how we would find her at the port, her reply was just as quick as it was friendly, and she informed us, “Everyone there knows me. Just ask for Patrice Bailey or ask to be pointed to the white tent!”

When my friends and I arrived in Falmouth, we did just as Patrice had instructed. What Patrice informed us over email was true, and more. It was clear that everyone knew her, and she was very well-respected in the community.  When we found her white tent, she greeted us with great enthusiasm… not just a business like hand shake, but hugs as we were friends or family and not merely customers. Within a few seconds she had offered us cold drinks and before we knew it she introduced us to our driver for the day.

The driver was just as friendly and knowledgeable as Patrice. Throughout the day he pointed out people and places of interest to us. Based on one of our requests, he even took us off the beaten path, to introduce us to a restaurant that served delicious patties.

As for Patrice, when we were heading out of the patty restaurant, all of a sudden we hear someone calling our names, and can’t figure out who would possible know us in a foreign country. Much to our surprise, Patrice happened to stop by to check up on us.  When she saw us, she ran up to us and asked about how we enjoyed the tour followed by our end of the day hugs and best wishes.

Although the round trip cost for a shuttle bus is approximately $20.00 per passenger, the extra $5.00 for the service provided by Patrice and her team is well worth it.  Aside from not having to wait for a schedule service, I can almost assure you that the folks on the shuttle didn’t have a great snack for receive hugs like we did.

For amazing customer service from friendly, knowledgeable, and professional people, Patrice Bailey is your #1 contact in Jamaica!

Patrice Bailey


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The Words “Insurance Company” and “Customer Service” Can Be Used in the Same Sentence

From time to time, I like to recommend companies and organizations that don’t often get kudos from the public. One such company is RBC Insurance, and I can recommend it in good faith due to its excellent customer service.

A few weeks ago, my father was involved in a bad car accident and therefore needed to deal with an insurance claim.

Although advertisements on television seem to indicate that insurance claim can be dealt with under 30 minutes, we had low expectations due to our experience with other companies in the past.

RBC Insurance, truly surprised us. After my father and I prepared all of the necessary information, we called RBC Insurance. During the initial call, we were asked a series of questions to which we replied, and within approximately 40 minutes everything was underway.

By the end of the call, we were given the names of two adjusters to handle the case and ensured that the information discussed over the phone and the information needed to complete the claim would be emailed to us promptly. The process was quick and without trouble. In fact, the employee even went as far was ensuring that my father was able to drive during the claim period by setting him up with a rental vehicle.

Within the next few business days, we received a couple of calls and emails about the status of the claim, and every employee who either called or emailed us was knowledgeable, professional, and very pleasant to deal with.

In addition to their customer service, I must say that RBC Insurance has been very reasonable with regards to payments including approving certain benefits which fall into the dreaded “out of the box” category.

RBC Insurance has truly put my father first, and has made his recovery…both financial and healthwise the priority in the relationship.

When you’re deciding on insurance, there are a number of factors that have an impact on what would be the right insurance company for you. RBC Insurance not only met, but greatly exceeded our expectations and I truly appreciate them putting my dad on the road to recovery.

RBC Insurance


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