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Friday, April 12, 2013

Hilfiger Vs. Ecko, A Tale of Two Belts

This is a tale of customer service or lack there of, Hilfiger the hero vs. Ecko the goat.   I got two belts at the same time.   Both belts were reversible.   One belt was a belt suitable for jeans and the other was dressy.  I am now aware that reversible belts are dramtically less reliable than a normal belt.  I have one other reversible belt that is going on it’s fourth year of use so it isn’t cast in stone that they are unreliable.  However in this case reliability is certainly questionable.

I got both belts as gifts and thus have no receipts or awareness of where they were purchased.  The Hilfiger belt’s buckle separated from the belt while putting it on one day.   The Ecko belt extended on first wearing, by extended I mean the small post that allows the buckle to swivel extended full length and would not retract after swiveling as the other two reversible belts do.   I had no concerns regarding that as the extended post was concealed by the buckle when wearing the belt.   While shopping one day, it failed; I heard a clink and looked down and the belt buckle was lying on the 
floor.   Luckily my jeans are snug enough that I didn’t lose them. LOL, however I was dismayed.  

I found a Hilfiger site online and called customer service.   A gentlemen told me their belts were made by Swank and gave me a name, phone number and extension and told me that that person would take of my problem.   I called the number and had to leave a message.  Having done that in the past with customer service representatives and received no call back, I shrugged and left a message assuming the worse.  Imagine my surprise when I got a call back from a delightful person named Sue who immediately apologized for my inconvenience.  She then asked me to mail her the belt.   Since I had an issue with the reversible belt she asked if she could send me two non-reversible belts in return.  I thanked her profusely for the amazing and satisfying customer service.  

Ecko, on the other hand was a totally different experience.   I found a phone number for them online.   I called and was told I had to email my problem.   I got the email address and sent an email detailing my concern.   I received a prompt response that ignored all my information and told me to take the belt back to where I purchased it.   I re-emailed with the details and was told to tell the person (400 miles away) who got me the belt to find the pre-Xmas receipt and return the belt to the store.   I was told they could do nothing for me.   I had volunteered to send them the belt so they could ascertain the veracity of my complaint but they again told me to return it to the store.  

There in lies the problem with many of today’s merchants.   If you ignore complaints they will go away.   However I would like to point out that Ecko lost a very verbal customer while Hilfiger cemented a relationship that will bring this same verbal customer back to their products.   
Kudos to Hilfiger

             And SHAME on ECKO

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