View Full Version : Sterling's Committment to InsidePOOL.com's Customers

04-17-2005, 12:49 PM
Our Committment to Serve InsidePOOL.com Customers

As you may have experienced, and numerous others as of late, InsidePOOL.com's customer service has been, frankly, horrible. I do not believe anyone will take issue with that statement. Now, some of this is due to the telephone problems that occurred at their office (I can attest to the most unfortunate situation that arose), yet primarily the reasons for the poor service were:
1. Sudden key employee turnover
2. A lack of efficient order processing systems
3. A very sudden explosion in the amount of orders being handled

The problems were compounded as a result of little employee cross-training and the fact that handling the sales of products was not the primary focus of the company. Remember, this is the company that produces what many believe to be the best magazine in the billiards industry. Ensuring that events were covered and the magazine was produced was first on the mind of the ownership, and as a result, not enough time was dedicated to putting "failsafe" systems in place.

From reading the message boards, one might think that the problems at InsidePOOL were a whole lot worse than they really were. Don't get me wrong, there are a large number of orders that have been misplaced, mis-shipped, or mishandled, but this is actually a fairly small percentage. However, based on the large volume of orders the site has recently taken, there are several disgruntled customers. Who can blame these people who, in good faith, placed an order and never received it? They tried calling, but were unable to reach anyone due to the telephone problems. They then emailed a customer service representative, but before they could get an answer, that employee had left, replaced by someone who had no knowledge of the order or the situation... I'd be quite upset if this happened to me!

Here is the current situation:

As we speak, six people, including two former employees recruited to help sort through the paper-based order system, are doing their best to identify all orders that may have slipped through the cracks. We are hoping to have the bulk of these discovered by the end of the day.

Next, we will be conducting a thorough audit of all past orders to determine their status. We will be pairing up shipping records with the original orders to determine which orders are "in the clear".

Then, we will identify all the orders where the customer charged back their credit card, and remove these from the system. After this is done, we will make contact with every past customer to make sure they have been satisfied. When we find a customer who has been poorly treated regarding customer service, we will make all attempts to rectify the situation.

I, and our General Manager, Matt Carter, have been on-site at the InsidePOOL offices to manage the transfer of information. As a result of the cooperation between current and past employees, we should be able to make sense of the order records, ensuring that no customer will be "left behind", if you will.

Here is our timetable:

1. Initial discovery of misplaced orders should be completed by the end of today.

2. Orders that are identified as unshipped through this discovery will ship, where possible, beginning Monday morning.

3. Today, I will be sending an email to all past customers who ordered online explaining to them the current transition, and humbly requesting a week's worth of patience while we complete our audit of the orders.

4. Our auditing of shipping records will commence on Monday as well, but we will be depending on past InsidePOOL.com suppliers to provide us with many orders' shipping details. Assuming prompt response and full cooperation from these businesses, this phase should be completed by Wednesday.

5. All orders that we find as unshipped or mis-shipped will be re-sent throughout this week. In the unfortunate event that we cannot fulfill an order due to items being out-of-stock, we will immediately contact that customer to explain the situation, and determine how the order should then be processed.

6. Once we have processed all the orders we have found problems with, we will send out a follow-up email to all past customers in an attempt to find any unshipped orders that we, ourselves, were unable to find. In this email will be detailed instructions on how any underserved customer should bring their unfortunate case to our attention.

7. We will do our best to promptly satisfy these customers in the second week at the latest.

8. If your order number is 11566 or higher, you can expect to have your order shipped this week, beginning tomorrow.

9. All newly-placed orders will generally ship within 24 hours, yet most placed before 3:00pm Eastern Time will ship the day they are placed.

10. As orders are shipped, customers will be immediately emailed with the tracking number of their order.

It is important to note that we have a large and experienced customer service staff, and will be bringing all resources of our company to bear in an attempt to minimize the time it will take to satisfy past InsidePOOL.com customers. The sheer volume of orders to audit makes this a near-Hurculean task, but we will do the very best we can to take care of the nice customers that were kind enough to honor InsidePOOL.com with their business.

If you personally have a question regarding your order, I'd like to ask that you please allow us to work our process as outlined above. It would be very helpful and more efficient if you give us the opportunity to show you just how effective our customer service is, by allowing us to identify and then resolve orders that are currently pending.

Thanks in advance for your assistance, and thanks on behalf of both previous and current management of InsidePOOL.com for your business.


S. Scott Taylor, President
Sterling Gaming, Inc.

04-17-2005, 02:44 PM
Mr. Taylor, if you live up to each and every statement you've made in your post, you'll have Inside Pool positioned right where you want it. Still, I think you need to be reminded that when you acquired Inside Pool, you also acquired its track record. This is no time for making a good first impression, for the track record exists, and as you've noted with objectivity, at the moment it leaves something to be desired.

It is encouraging that you seem to be making a statement showing your feeling of accountability for the mess of the moment, for it is Inside Pool's failure to hold itself accountable of late that has had so many incensed.

Good luck to you and all at Inside Pool. I'd like to see you all succeed.