Because of my e-shopping addiction, I’ve become a self-proclaimed authority on the entire process of buying stuff online. My latest experience comes from a large online retailer that couldn’t seem to get it right at any turn.
First, I place the order. Since I’m notoriously impatient, I check back to view my latest status every chance I get. It took four days to “process” my order. Whammy number one. I shoot an e-mail over to the store’s customer service asking if there was a problem. The reply made me want to poke myself in the eye with a fork:
"Hey Ann-Marie… Your order <blah, blah, blah>. Hit us back with any other questions.”
Seriously? Am I 14 years old? “Hey… Hit us back?” To be fair, this store likely targets teenagers and college kids in their marketing, but does that mean it has to be artificially “hip” and make me feel like an old fogey? Whammy number two.
When my order finally made it to the “shipped” status, I wait patiently. For a week, nothing arrives. I check back online to view my latest status, hoping to see some loud apology for trying my patience and a coupon for some massive discount. But instead, my status is marked “delivered.” What a rip off, I thought, I never received anything.
When I contact the retailer, I told the “brand representative” that I preferred to just get a refund, since my impatience got the best of me and I bought everything I wanted in one of their stores over the weekend. However, my “pal” over the phone said that “as a courtesy,” they would send my order again.
I pleaded that the courtesy was unnecessary since I’d just prefer a refund, but my brand specialist said it was company policy to resend the order.
“So your company spends money sending out an order that I don’t want, I have to suffer the inconvenience of sending it back at my cost and then I have to wait even longer for my refund?” I asked.
“That’s just our policy,” he said.
I asked if there was anything he could do to get around such a pointless policy, but after speaking with the supervisor, it turns out there was no leeway here. They waived the shipping fee they’d ordinarily charge me for such a “courtesy,” but they were still reshipping the order.
It seems to me that it would benefit a company like this to give enough authority to its customer service representatives – or at least, the supervisors – to trump a silly policy that would cost the company needless money and the customer needles hassle. Policies that don’t work and the companies that continue to stand behind them are just ridiculous. So ridiculous that this latest online retailer has been added to my e-shopping black list. Three whammies, you’re out. That’s just my policy.