Friday, July 17, 2009

Was I wrong about Sigg?

I received an email Wednesday morning from the General Manager of Sigg Canada. He had read my blog post and was sorry to hear that I had not had a good experience with Sigg water bottles. He asked for a phone number that I could be reached at and assured me that this situation was not up to Sigg standards and they want to make things right. He wanted to know exactly what problems I was having with Sigg.

Just the fact that I heard from him kind of took me by surprise. I’ve gone the route of customer service when I’ve had a poor experience with a product, and based on my past experiences, I’ve learned that unless you’re talking about a bike ticket item, it’s not worth it. I was planning on just throwing my Sigg out.

Mr. GM (I’ll keep his identity private) did call my cell phone, and was very helpful and understanding. If one were to write the book on customer service, one would just write down everything that Mr. GM did. It was a very personal call, and he wanted to find out why I wasn’t enjoying my Sigg. Never was the bad press mentioned and never was there a mentioned of me removing my post. This guy is good. This guy knows how to deal with customers. I think that Sigg should do seminars on customer service, they get it. Other companies could learn much from them.

I’ll be sending my bottles to Sigg Canada, and they will forward them to their test lab in Switzerland. They are going to give me a full lab report once they find out what the problem is. In the mean time, they are sending me replacement bottles, and even asked if I wanted to try out the new wide mouth bottle. As well they are going to send me some brushes, and tablets and various maintenance products.

In going through this little issue, I asked myself if I was too hard on Sigg. I work in a customer driven industry, as almost all industries are, and I know what it’s like when you have one noisy loud mouth and what kind of headaches they can create. I’ve lived through those ordeals. I certainly don’t want to be that noisy loud mouth, and maybe I was a little too forceful and judgmental with my post. Having said that, I did have a bad experience with my Sigg bottle, and I post good and bad reviews to help other customers make wise decisions. I’ve got no bent to run a product into the ground, and I don’t give praise unless I would buy the given product again.

In a recent managers meeting we had at work, we all watched the United Breaks Guitars video. I can identify. As a guitar player, as someone who flies (and sometimes contracts to) United Airlines, and as one who typically not too pleased with the service. In watching the video, I kind of felt like there was little bit of justice done for the average person. Going against an airline can be nasty and intimidating, even when they are blatantly in the wrong. After watching the video our president simply said “this is a new age with new media and that customer service more important now than ever.” I believe the average person has been given so much more power to get their voice out to the masses and that the power of the consumer is at an all time high. We must, however, be careful in using this power.

This is not done, and I have not come to a firm conclusion as of yet, but I will say this: Sigg as a company have earned my respect in regard to valuing a customer’s opinion and working to correct a “bad” situation. Maybe I just got a bum bottle? Maybe I wasn’t caring for it properly? I’m not sure, but we’ll find out. I might retract my harsh statements on my blog post and apologize to Sigg and apologize on this blog for my harsh words. I’m willing to do that. My opinion can’t be bought, but it can be changed. I might very well be wrong.

Stay tuned……


Irwin said...

There is just no escaping the fact that Sigg's bread and butter product is aluminum. They have no choice but to line in with something (they used to say epoxy, now they say "polymer". Like Nalgene before them, they basically have always maintained that there's nothing wrong with the product (which makes it strange that they just changed the lining) while they work to develop (and copy) products that are not so problematic.

The new lining, the move to produce stainless bottles, the 100k full-page ads, the new wood veneer on their store displays . . . it all adds up to one thing . . . "corporation". I just bought a couple custom Sigg bottles as gag gifts from CafePress . . . they came boxed with plastic tape, wrapped in bubble pack. Can't get much less "green" than that.

Vik said...

Glad to hear you got a positive response from Sigg. Let us know how you like the new bottles.

Anonymous said...

It's a good news that you have got a positive response from the sigg. congratulation.


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