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Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005 at 12:52 pm

More Corporate Underpants

By Howard Kaplan
December 8th, 2005

Long time readers of this space will recall our friend Tamara Adlin, contributing to both GrokDotCom and Call to Action her stance that an organization should never be caught with their corporate underpants showing.  I couldn’t help but think of her while I started my morning, and my afternoon too, at FedexKinkos.  FedexKinkos has a wonderful service known "simply" as "File, Print, FedexKinkos".  I’m putting the final stamp of approval on a Conversion Assessment, and in one click, it’s off to the printer to be professionally printed, bound, and then shipped direct to the client.  Sounds like a snap, right? 

It is, just don’t assume you can use your corporate Kinkos account to pay for the shipping, and don’t try that Fedex code to cover the printing either- they’re much too savvy for that.  The counter girl politely explains, to get a new Kinkos account I should call them, and they’ll help me.  Them?  I’m confused, aren’t you… them?  Yes, she kindly offers, but they can only access Fedex accounts, because they previously were a Fedex brick and mortar.  Thanks, that helps.

I move past the payment issue and ask to see the document before it’s shipped out.  My new friend takes my phone number and disappears only to return back 10 minutes later.  Do I recall who I dropped the document off with, she asks.  I explain, through the wonders of FPFK (can’t you just see the branding "wizards" who came up with this?), I "dropped it off" from the office.  She begins to laugh, "those come in through our other network, I’ll go check and be right back".  "Right back" was a bit of dramatic license I suppose, because 45 minutes later she returns asking if I could give them the document again. 

It seems FPFK couldn’t access the document, but don’t worry, she assures me, you were charged for it at the time of order, so they will still print it for me.  Somehow, I’m supposed to feel relieved at hearing this.  Imagine, the incredible value proposition of company who charges you for a product, then stands by their underwhelming customer service ability to… actually deliver the product.  Joy.

An Associate Manager returns some time after with my printed, bounded report.  He kindly explains to me, next time I should consider simply coming into the store, because it’s much easier for them to print things out on time that way.  As I left the store, I thought about sending Tamara’s Conversion Tip off to the FedexKinkos corporate HQ, I just wasn’t sure if I should send it to Dallas c/o Kinkos, or Memphis c/o Fedex ;)

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Comments (1)

  1. This sounds like every experience I’ve had with sending docs to FedEx/Kinkos as well — I send in the doc, then you call, they put the phone on the counter and go to “look for it.” Maybe the person comes back, and maybe they got it. All the technology in the world can’t make up for bad implementation and change management. I’d say it’s actually more brand dilutive to offer the service and fail to deliver it, then just to not offer it at all, until they can make it really work.

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