I've been fond of Amazon.Com ever since it went online. In fact, Amazon.Com was the main reason for me to apply for a credit card, which weren't as common in the Netherlands in the 90's as they were in the USA (come to think of it, they still aren't, although we're catching up).
Once, I ordered a shipment of books which turned out to have been damaged in the shipping process. One email to Amazon.Com was enough to have a completely new set of books shipped off to me. The Amazon.Com customer rep didn't even demand that I send the damaged books back for proof. The undamaged copies arrived within two weeks, which is fast for an intercontinental shipment.
Compare that to Albert, the Dutch online supermarket which is owned by Ahold. Apparently, bookkeeping isn't the only thing they suck at. On Sunday, I placed an order of nearly 200 euros for Christmas supplies. Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find the bill a tad lower than that. I soon found out why. Twelve items hadn't been shipped, including such essentials as toilet paper. The website of Albert is supposed to inform you of logistical problems when an order is placed.
So you can imagine how glad I was when an Albert customer rep gave me a call just now. Because I am such a valued customer, he was delighted to offer me a 50 percent discount on delivery costs on my next order. According to Albert, a 3,40 euro discount makes up for having to go into the supermarket on the busiest day of the year, because of the incompetence of a company whose services you used to avoid said shopping hell in the first place.
Needless to say, Albert will henceforth have one fewer 'valued customer'.
I just hope I've got enough of their marketing materials to wipe my bum with till Monday.