Update: Mikasa consumer services manager phones to apologize for poor e-mail

by | May 25, 2010 | Writing Matters Blog | 8 comments

Talk about connecting with customers (and the long reach of one little blog post)!

Last week I got a phone call from Sheila Smith, Consumer Services Manager for Lifetime Brands. She was following up on my post, "An E-Mail Question So Fraught, the Company Couldn't Bear To Answer It," in which I wondered about, and grumbled about, Mikasa's non-answer to my simple customer service e-mail question. I'd written to ask Mikasa to suggest a set of small plates that would match larger plates in the Sedona pattern.  Mikasa (a division of Lifetime) sent the following answer: "We are hesitant to recommend patterns that compliment [sic].  Tastes vary so much that we do not like to make these type [sic] of recommendations."

Sheila apologized for the unhelpful response I received. She explained that "in their role as experts on our products, Mikasa agents in fact do make that type of recommendation via e-mail all the time." They are trained to and encouraged to make recommendations. Sheila wanted to be sure I understood that a non-answer was far from Mikasa's standard for performance and that the company was very sorry I had received poor service.

Then came the kicker. I asked Sheila about which small plates she'd recommend to match the large plates in the Sedona pattern. Her answer: "We just don't have any plates that match."

So, in one way, I am a happy customer now. Mikasa values my business and opinion so much that the Consumer Services Manager called me personally to follow up. But I am still plate-less. Writing Matters readers, can you help?

— Leslie O'Flahavan

Tags: Customer service, Customer service e-mail


  1. Try talking to the folks at Replacements Limited in Greensboro, NC. 1-800-737-5223. They have the 400,000 square feet of inventory. If anyone has something to match, it’s these folks.

  2. If you are talking about the Sedona Brown or Sedona Blue dinnerware, they are perfectly compatible and can be used together. I think the Sedona Blue salad plate would complement the Sedona Brown dinner plate nicely (it even has a streak of brown in it). Here is a link to the Sedona Blue section on Mikasa.com: http://www.mikasa.com/dinnerware-pattern/sedona-blue,default,sc.html

  3. Maybe, just maybe, Sheila Smith or Mikasa Customer Service should hire Sharon Burgos. At least for some consulting. In only 56 words Sharon was able to answer your question and suggest a solution to your problem (with a link!). And, probably close a sale too.

  4. Oh Lesley – thanks for making me smile. What a great story. Or was it? Obviously Mikasa is doing so well that they aren’t trying to make any sales. I think they need a lesson on customer service.

  5. Thanks, everyone, for weighing in on the Mikasa story. Sharon B., thanks for suggesting I buy Sedona Brown and Blue together. That’s what I have! But they don’t make a small plate; the salad plate is really big.
    On a larger topic, we have now drifted from our original suggestion that Mikasa write better customer service e-mail to wanting the company to develop more dishware choices!

  6. Mikasa has the worst customer service on the planet. When the box arrived I could hear glass rattling around so I immediately called customer service without opening the box. I was instructed to open the box to count how many pieces were actually broken. I told the lady (Michelle) that I was nervous to open it due to all the broken glass but was told I had to. I open it and cut my finger in the process. They simply put the mugs in the box with literally NO protection. I would expect a full refund in this case but we are only receiving credit for the broken pieces. I will never order Mikasa again.

  7. Kristin, your Mikasa story might be the worst customer service story I have ever heard. I agree; you should never order from them again. After all, how many cuts should a customer have to endure??

  8. @Kristen-I just received an 8 place set of dinnerware from Mikasa. The shipping was great! Not a single breakage, only one very tiny chip on a plate. The only problem I encountered was that they shipped 7 extra plates in same pattern but different color. I contacted customer service (Michelle) and received excellent response. She immediately sent out a replacement for the chipped piece without requiring me to return the plate. I am also shipping the extra plates back to Mikasa at my request-I just can’t keep them since I didn’t pay for them. Mikasa is paying for the return.

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