The last time I was at Funeralnet.com I read a response from Brett Minor, Sr. to a customer.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read the original complaint until today, when I found this:

Scammed

Beware of Brett Minor Sr. With LeBaron Specialties. I bought an embalming machine from them, sent my money and received a broken machine which he refuses to pay me my money back until UPS pays him for the damage.I didnt ship the unit and didnt pay the insurance he did and he thinks I am the one who has to claim with UPS so he can get his claim paid. So before you buy anything from him and his company buyer beware. 2 months now and no refund.
 

Posted By:

Jeff Beverage
skylark7089m@yahoo.com
Beverage Family Funeral Home

Ouch!

I can’t find Brett’s answer now, but it basically boiled down to “UPS broke your machine and we sent it insured.  They will pay you back.  You just have to wait for UPS to send the refund.”

While this sounds great for Brett, it causes some anxiety for his client.  Mr. Beverage just wants a working machine; he doesn’t care who pays for it, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience him anymore.

We’ve had a similar issue in the past; customers return covers that they have clearly ripped or damaged (although they claim to not know how they were torn) and ask for repair.

I could argue that we don’t cover self-inflicted damages, which these few were.  I could have told them to take better care of their stuff.  I could have told them that we’d do it, but charge them a big fee to repair the items.

But after biting my tongue, I thanked them for letting us know about the damage, I promised to fix it right away and made sure I paid the return shipping.  I even offered to cover their expenses to send the cover to us for the repair (most declined, probably because they secretly acknowledged some culpability).

Why did I go out of the way to fix something that I didn’t break?

Because a ticked-off customer (even one who’s wrong) ceases to be a future customer and negatively affects other future customers.  Building a new brand and trying to take a great new product nationwide, I need all the future customers I can get. 

More importantly, I have hopefully convinced the complaining customer that I stand behind my product, even if he/she accidentally damages it. 

How can I do that?  Because I know that most funeral professionals are caring, hardworking folks who would never intentionally destroy my product.  And I’d rather they call me and ask me to fix it than just stop using my cover because it’s too expensive to replace.

In almost four years, I’ve replaced less than ten covers for damage that was clearly a client’s fault.  And by repairing them, I guaranteed reorders when it was time for them to buy new ones.

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