Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Its the 'big "C" '

I have a tale of woe to tell.

Its about Customer service.

This is a true story.

A couple of weeks ago I found the absolute bestest gift for someone who is very important to me and is REALLY hard to shop for.

I was SO excited I immediately went to their website - looked around and placed my order.

I then ran around telling my co-workers!

I called my Mother and told her.

I was SO happy!

She was so happy for me!

The website states that all orders ship Fed-Ex, 2 day, with all orders shipping on Wednesdays.


I placed my order on December 9th knowing it wouldn't ship until the 15th - and would arrive on the 17th.


Plenty of time until Christmas!

Then, on the 13th I receive this email:

We are in receipt of your order for {redacted}. We see that you are in Ellicot City, Md. We do not ship locally. Let us know when you would like to pick up the {redacted}. Our winter hours are Tues. through Saturday, 12 noon to 7 p.m.
Thank you for your order,

Uhhh, what?

The website says NOTHING about local orders. NOTHING.

I emailed back stating I wasn't sure I could get there and might need to cancel the order. Here is my email:

I'll have to think about it then, I may need to cancel the order. I didn't see any notation on the website when I placed the order that I would have to come pick it up. I will let you know in the next day or two.

I thought things over for about a whole minute and decided to cancel and if I could get by there before Christmas I would just place a new order. (local is two towns away - about a 20-25 minute drive if there is NO traffic - and its into the center of the city - Baltimore City. if traffic is bad, it could be 40 minutes and then finding parking)

I emailed to let them know I was canceling and I asked for a refund - and I added that I was feeling rather ambivalent about the purchase now overall because it is clearly stated on their website that they ship ALL orders. I let it go at that but also asked them if they stocked all the items routinely as I wasn't sure if they made them to order.

I get this in return:
our PayPal account will be refunded in full today.

And it was.

However, they never stated their policy for current stock.

Okaaaaaaaaaaaay. You really must not want my business or maybe any local business or something.

I emailed again - "can you confirm xyz"

They emailed back:

We rotate {redacted}. You can call first if you decide to come into the store. Your PayPal account was refunded in full at 12:30 pm Eastern Time.

I then was faced with 2 things:

1. would I make the trek to the store


2. would I tell them how awful I think the entire situation turned out to be

The jury was still out on #1.

But after giving it some thought, I sent them an email saying that I was disappointed in their customer service. That at no time did anyone acknowledge the problem with the language on their website or apologize for the confusion or anything. I copied, from their website, their stated terms which read:

Order your {redacted} today. Shipping to Eastern and Central Time Zone ONLY.
All Orders sent via FEDEX 2 Day.

I told them that I would have gladly paid the shipping and that I was really just so disappointed in the entire experience, etc.

That was on December 13th.

If you think they'd respond. You're wrong.

Nothing. Nadda, Zilch.

I'm now BEYOND disappointed in this local business. If at any point they had commiserated with me or acknowledged their blatantly incorrect language on their website or apologized - I would have taken any of that - they would have seen me in their store by now.

As it stands, I doubt I'll ever purchase from them.

They could have made an exception and shipped the product. That would have been GREAT customer service. Good customer service would have been to apologize. Ok customer service would have been to state the website should be updated/corrected. BAD customer service is to basically ignore the problem which is what they did.

So, what would you have done?

And, because misery likes company - tell us one of your worst experiences as a customer. What could have satisfied you or made it better?

(I think we'll take some of your stories and add them to a post about customer service on the Jewelry Artists Network website - if you do NOT want your story posted there, let me know and it will remain here only. Feel free to include your name and link to your website or store for inclusion in the JAN article - and this is not limited to jewelery folks !)