September 17, 1999


    Hi all,

    I’m not sure if everyone saw the extensive article in the Thursday Globe and Mail Technology section, but it was a very good overview of some of the issues we’ve been addressing regarding the relationship between online shopping in Canada and the US.

    The GlobeTechnology site has a special section on the topic with extra information:

    I’d recommend you take a trip to the site and check it out. This may also be a good starting point for intelligent discussion about this topic on ADL. We need to move beyond “amazon-envy” and start talking about what it will take to kick start commerce in Canada.

September 10, 1999

  • Service Failure Recovery

    Great to see ADL finally taking off after about a year of planning. I hope everyone works to make this the great resource it most certainly can be. And hats off to June for taking on the challenge of herding cats!

    In Issue 1, Tim Silk wrote:

    “My Question: I would like to know of any companies that currently use their website for dealing with service failures and what the response has been from customers. Any measures of volume and frequency of service failure in comparison to customer retention or repeat customers would also be helpful.”

    One example I recently found that relates to customer service online is the way Barnes and Noble in the US handle returns on items. When I received a book I ordered recently, the invoice included a peel-off sticker with a bar-code that could be attached to the box for return. This identifies the package for B&N to allow them to track the return and provides the consumer with the return address and a feeling that it is “okay” to return something.

    I think a few other firms are even including return courier waybills that the consumer can use for no charge returns.

    I bring this example up primarily because it is pre-emptive in that it assumes that problems arise, rather than treating them as an afterthought.

    Anyone else have a particularly good example of e-commerce return strategies? Any horror stories?