I am writing this blog to encourage you guys to use the old fashioned mail more often instead of relying on email all of the time.
(Before I tell my story, I want to tell you something crazy. When I taught 12th grade Government, I used to make my students write their Congressmen talking about an issue that was important to them. They used to get so excited when they got a response back! Do you know that there were several kids that had no idea how to address a letter? They didn’t even know where the stamp on the letter went. This is crazy to me!! They obviously are not sending thank you notes in the mail.)
Back to sending a letter. Why should you send one?
Because sometimes receiving a personalized letter in the mail can make all of the difference.
My two experiences:
When Brad and I signed the contract to build our house, it was February. We were not excited about renting an apartment for six months (with the six of us) but decided it was worth it. We were told that the company we were using would start building by April. April came and went and nothing. I was called into the sales guys office in June and he told me that “he had bad news.” Apparently the land was not ready yet. We had to hold tight. Around September, I lost it. We were officially over the six of us living in a tiny three bedroom apartment (first world brat problems…I get it….and agree).
I decided that I had to be my own advocate. I tracked down the name and addresses for the developer of our community and all of the major executives that worked for the developer. I wrote each of them the same letter explaining how I felt that we had been lied to and that this was very poor customer service.
I sent it and about three days later, my husband got a phone call from the developer himself. He apologized over our situation and told my husband that he would get to the bottom of our situation.
A week or so later, they started building our home. The developer even sent us a gift card to show that he did care about our situation.
Do I think the same would have happen with an email?
Our builder provided our new home with a two year warranty on building issues. There were three major things that did not properly work from the moment we moved in: our kitchen sink, garage door, and dishwasher. We had to call the warranty company out several times for these major issues.
A few months before our warranty expired, I asked our project manager if he thought I should get a home inspection. He told me that he didn’t think it was necessary and that even if the warranty expired, if it was dealing with an issue that was ongoing from the beginning, they would take care of it.
Fast forward to for months after our warranty expired. Our kitchen sink flooded for the fourth time. (It was never properly fixed). This time, though, water damaged our hardwood floors in the kitchen. I contacted our builder and told them that I needed them to replace the damaged wood that the faulty sink (that had not worked since day one) caused. (This was last April).
They sent out a guy to measure the damage and the wood was ordered. I heard nothing for months. Finally the installer came out to install the new boards. The installer did not install anything because he said that because it had been so long, the water damage had spread and the damaged had doubled.
The builder remeasured the area of floor and told me they would contact me (this was around September).
At the beginning of this month (almost a year later), I contacted the builder and asked what the status on my floors were. They ignored me.
What did I do?
Write a letter of course! I will admit that I was going to be lazy and send an email to the executives of our home builder. The problem, though, is that the customer service will not give you any emails of these executives. This information is heavily guarded. I knew that I needed to contact the executives to get my problem solved.
I went to the company that owned our builder and wrote four letters: One to the owner, one to the President, and two to two executives in the company. I mailed the letters last Friday. I reminded them that when you google their company, “The Mark of Integrity” shows up next to their company logo. I needed them to make this situation right.
Four days after sending my letters to the executives, I got a call from the builder stating that my wooden floors were ready to be installed and they had not forgotten about me (ha ha…yeah right).
I am glad that the builder decided to do the right thing and make my situation right.
So the moral of the story is this: Go the extra step and take the time to send a personalized letter. It is not the same as an email.
My question for you guys is this: Do you have a situation where you think a letter sent in the mail would have made a greater impact?