Customer Service: Bose Gets It Right

Several months ago, I wrote about how Bose's advertising campaign for the TriPort in-ear headphones prompted me to purchase them. And it wasn't just your average advertising either. During the 2006 Holiday season, anyone who traveled in New York saw these ads everywhere.

I felt I made an excellent purchase. The sound quality, though not perfect, was fine for my iPod. It was definitely better than the Apple buds that ship with iPods. There was only one problem though. The little rubber tips that help the headphones fit snugly in your ears, kept falling off every time they weren't on my ears. It was a frustrating experience, as they often fell onto the ground and were too dirty to put back into my ears. Apparently I wasn't alone in thinking this.

A couple of weeks ago, I received three sets — in sizes small, medium, and large — of new rubber tips from Bose, with a letter that read:

Dear Bose Customer:

We have received feedback from some customers indicating that under certain conditions, the silicone ear tips originally provided with the Bose in-ear headphones do not remain securely attached to the headphones. We've taken this feedback seriously and have designed new ear tips, which should remain more firmly in place. A complete set of these new ear tips are in this package along with instructions to help you select the proper ear tip size and obtain the best fit. They are being sent to you at no cost.

Additionally, later this summer, we will ship you our new Bose stability enhancement accessories, also at no cost to you. These accessories include a lanyard and a clothing clip that are designed to help the headphones stay more securely in place during certain activities such as exercise. These stability accessories are designed for use with Bose in-ear headphones, including those already purchased.

If you have any questions about this information, contact us at 1-800-819-7032.

Your satisfaction is out top priority, and we appreciate your support of Bose products. We hope your Bose in-ear headphones continue to provide you many years of enjoyable listening.

Sincerely yours,

Bose Corporation
G. Sean Garrett
General Manager

I still haven't received those additional accessories yet, but don't you just love it when companies listen to their customers?

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  • Lynne d Johnson

    Bryan - You make fascinating points. The company went above and beyond in this case regardless of how much the headphones cost. And if they don't deliver, something that they've now promised, I will come to question their customer service practices, as I am sure many others will.

    As for Sense of Reason - I think you totally missed the point I was trying to raise with this post when you stated: "Everybody likes free 'ish, Lynne." It wasn't the free ish, it's that they replaced my headphones and made them better without my asking them to. They didn't do a recall, they didn't send out a press release. They sent each customer a personal note and the replacement product. As for the additional accessories, whether I receive them or not is of no consequence to me, but as Bryan pointed it, if the company does not deliver the goods it will erode customer's trust.

    But when you said: "Now, if only we can get cable and wireless providers to get on the ball with service..." I have to admit, I couldn't agree with you more.

  • Bryan Loar

    Sense of Reason has a good point...for the price, one should expect an excellent product as well as excellent service. However, Bose goes beyond solving a design flaw and a potential service issue. Bose proactively goes above customers' expectations by sending a resolution without, I assume, most customers asking for it. Furthermore, they've taken the opportunity to change a misstep into a brand-loyalty-building opportunity by sending out additional accessories at no cost to the customer. Even if the accessories are irrelevant to the way the customer uses the product, Bose has demonstrated their commitment to excellent service. Now, if Bose doesn't deliver by the end of September (which, in my opinion, is still a little late for "end of summer"), they will have eroded all their good will, and they will loose the trust of many of their customers.

  • Mandy

    Bose Definitely has great customer service. My husband received the Bose Quite Comfort 2 Acoustic headphones for Christmas nearly 3 years ago. Since then he has had various parts wear out from normal use. Each time Bose has sent him a new pair and then he ships the old pair back, just paying shipping. Just the other day in the ariport he saw someone with a crack on the head strap of the headphones and he told them what Bose will do....Happy customers who then create more happy's a win win situation.

  • christiaan

    i have these headphones. they are terrible. those sony dj headphones are much better.

  • Elan

    The only thing worse than subpar companies kept afloat by litigation and marketing are shills like you who also make their business possible.

  • Joey B - Los Angeles

    Now that's customer service. Thank you for sharing your experience as I'd been debating on getting those headphones. My order is on its way :)

  • Bryan

    I think we should continue to applaud exceptional service like this. I recently had a nightmare experience with an online consumer electronics company called ANTOnline and it was a strong reminder to me that even basic customer service and courtesy really counts.

    After having them not respond to my e-mails and pleading for assistance over the phone it is refreshing to hear great stories like this from Bose.

    I have several Bose products and greatly admire them, I would not dismiss this excellent service response so readily.

  • Sense of Reason

    Yada yada. Everybody likes free 'ish, Lynne. You shelled out 140 bucks for possibly 35 dollar headphones. Whenever price margins are this high, you should demand certain levels of service.

    Now, if only we can get cable and wireless providers to get on the ball with service...