Sunday, April 11, 2010

Train Adventures in Skåne (Kind Of)

I have, for the most part, had very good experiences with SJ, the train system here in Sweden. They tend to get me where I need to go on time, relatively inexpensive tickets can be found, and it’s a pretty comfortable ride.

Of course, for every rule there is an exception, mine having come way back in December when I headed down south for Christmas. My train adventure in Skåne was a nightmare. I finally made my way back home though.

SJ promised to reimburse everyone who was delayed. They even promised to call each and every person. Unfortunately, I was out of the country when this was going on, but, my phone did show one missed call every day for a week from SJ. I was impressed. By the time I had returned home, SJ had put the money back into my account. Again, I was impressed.

A couple of weeks later, I realized that they had not reimbursed me for the taxi I had to take to get home. We had returned so late that the subways had stopped running. Which makes it tough to get home. The friendly train conductor could not promise anything but said that SJ would most likely pay for the taxi rides as well.

When I noticed that I hadn’t received the compensation, I scanned my receipt, my train ticket, and wrote a quick note to SJ in the third week of January. And kind of forgot about it. About three months’ worth of forgetting about it actually. I would have continued to forget about it had I not received an e-mail from SJ just a few days ago.

They were apologizing once again for the problems on my train trip and would of course reimburse me. So they put the money I had paid out for a taxi right back into my account. It took them about three months, but they did it.

I bitch and moan a lot about Swedish customer service, usually with good reason I think, and great customer service is so rare that I kind of forget about it. The entire process was ridiculously simple, there were no extraneous questions, no multitude of forms to fill, nothing. It took a while, but I didn’t have to do a damn thing and still got paid. SJ got a three month interest free loan of 210 SEK, which I’m sure they put to good use, and I ended up pleased with the end result. A win-win really.

Welcome to Sweden. And SJs customer service.

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  1. Wow. SJ's follow-up (with the daily phone calls and apology letters) is impressive! Too bad about the taxi reimbursement delay, but better late than ever, I say :)

    As a consumer, I think customer service is very important, and a key reason why I'm a return customer of some retailers and not others. So I'm always pleased when I hear about good customer service (anywhere, not just in the US, but all the more in a country not known for it).

    -S ʘ‿ʘ

  2. The reason for the three month delay was most likely the horrible winter -- SJ reimbursed a lot of people and it took them a while to work down the line.

    I would expect that in "normal" situations, you would be reimbursed much quicker by them.

  3. I was driving up to Stockholm from Skåne the other week, and on the side of the road there was this big home made sign that said: "SJ and the deers have had a rough winter"

    Haha So true!

    I laughed all the way to Stockholm

  4. @Tod - it is a special place isnt it?

    @anonymous - seriously, they did good work. a bit slow in the taxi thing but the reimbursement for the ticket and the attempts to get a hold of me were very impressive.

    @Nick - probably right, and as I said, the ticket was reimbursed almost immediately, it was only the taxi ride that took a while.

    @Karl - that is absolutely glorious.

  5. I'm impressed. Way to go SJ! I cannot imagine what I'd have to go through back home to get these reimbursements :-)

  6. crap. I should've done that. You're last train adventure( happened to me multiple times this summer). so much money. GONE!

    lucky!! ><

  7. @SwedishJenn - agreed. They did good work.

    @Lost - very lame. maybe I did get lucky!