Category Archives: Customer Service

Buying Coffee Beans Online

Do you buy coffee beans online?

Fresh Roasted Beans - www.sxu.huI live in rural South Australia (about 90 minutes from Adelaide) and so due to the infrequency of my trips up to the ‘big smoke’ I have, for the last three years or so, purchased the vast majority of my coffee beans from online suppliers.  I have, at one time or another, purchased beans from all those listed on the left of this post – under the heading “NEED BEANS?”

On Saturday, I went to the website of my current favourite beans supplier [who, while having beans at the upper end of the price scale, had reasonable postage charges – and the quality was consistently excellent] only to discover that their online shop was closed for renovations, and if I wanted beans to come back Monday.  So I did, and then discovered that they had changed the log in – whereas before you had a username and password, now you needed an email address and password – and the combination that I used – the one that was registered to my username – failed so many times, that I had to create a new user account.  And then, after selecting their Superior product – I went to the checkout to discover that the postage on my order would be $14.65 – and I thought “Hold the Phone” – so digging out a previous order (from last month) I discovered that as of their new shopping system, they had increased the postage charges by 49.4%.  I nearly fell off my chair.  Had I been drinking a latte, I would very nearly have spat it all over the screen – I say very nearly, because their beans are that good – I wouldn’t want to waste them – particularly now I know that the 200g or so that I have left, will be the last I see of them. I thought to myself “there must be a reason for this” so I went to Australia Post – and low and behold – they have instituted a price increase across the board from April 2nd – that had to be the reason, right?  Wrong.  I did the maths, and their price increase is only a paltry 3.79% on packages over 500g going interstate….so what gives?

I am on a fairly tight fixed income and a 49.4% hike on postage, prices these beans out of my market – which really sucks, because I really like  them.  And with prices going up on fuel, it makes the regular trips over the hill less likely – so it returns me to my original question.  Do you buy coffee beans online?  If so, where do you recommend – and are their prices and quality reasonable?

Customer Service….

As an aside – and not necessarily directed at anyone in particular – but as a general statement and reflection of my experience recently – I found the customer service during my half a day in Stirling to be really ordinary.  Of the three staff at Rubys (my last coffee of the day) only one seemed to have the concept of ‘without return customers, we are just three people in a room with a coffee machine’ front and centre of her approach – my experience of the rest, as you have read was similar.

If your coffee/food is the best there is anywhere – then you can probably be a bit narky and expect people to put up with it – but when you are competing with others in the market place, with coffee of equally average standards, then you need to set yourself apart with something.  I am happy (on the odd occasion) to have a ‘good’ coffee from a place with excellent customer service, rather than going for an excellent coffee at a place in which you do not feel welcome…

So – just to be able to get this off my substantial chest, from this post onwards I am including Customer Service in my reviews – at this stage (until I can think of something more interesting, or funny) it will be based upon the simple   system – probably as follows:

  •  – would have been less painful and awkward to make it myself;
  •   – acknowledged my presence and value as a carbon based entity;
  •  – average – pretty much what you would expect – you go away neither blown away by the experience, nor complaining about it;
  •   – memorable – you talk about this place – this is how everyone should be, but few are – they may have even asked your name…;
  •   –  freaking awesome – I’m going to nominate them for Australian of the Year – I would keep coming back, even if they switched to International Rust and an ern (not really, but you get the drift) – if it weren’t for their calling into the coffee industry, they should be teacher customer service….

I’m just saying. I’m getting off my soap box now….

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