Customer service gone awry.
I joined the world of direct sales and Multi-level marketing back in June. (Wondering what happened to the blog? pretty much that. A mani changed my life. And I still love to write. But I went from spending lots of time online without getting paid to making money by spending time online. So I put my blog on hold for a bit. So now I just have to work out how to phase some writing back in because I REALLY miss blogging.)
Being new to the world of consultantship, I have come to realize the critical role of customer support. My company’s home office has been my savior on more than one occasion. Let’s face it–Mistakes happen, but one reason I REALLY love my company is that they fix their mistakes WELL.
Not all DS companies are created equal, however.
Oh, friends, beware the company that has a great product but poor customer service.
It began with an odyssey of scent. I have fallen in love with a particular particular product that provides a customizable candle-esque experience. It makes my nose happy. So I placed a sizeable order beneath a dear friend who is a consultant for this company. Let it henceforth be known as order ABCDE. This order contained items for myself as well as items a sweet gal from work picked out as her housewarming/Christmas gift.
When I placed order ABCDE on Sunday, I did not pay attention to the shipping address. I assumed that if the billing address was correct, shipping would be correct.
Several months prior, I had placed an order (order FGHIJ) as a gift to be shipped to a dear friend who lives in Georgia. I had not placed any orders since; thus, her address was still listed as my default shipping address.
A convenient order confirmation email is supplied upon the conclusion of the order, so within 10 minutes of placing my order, I realized my mistake. I already knew there is no way to edit or cancel orders online with this particular company, and my consultant confirmed that any altering would have to be done by customer service. Unfortunately, customer service was not opened on Sundays.
Whatever, I would call in the morning.
PHONE CALL 1
On Monday I called at 9:20 AM during my first break of the day, explained the situation, and made a simple inquiry: “Can the address be changed or do I have to cancel the order and place it again with the correct address?”
customer service rep 1: “I’m not sure. The order is already at our warehouse so I will have to get in touch with the shipping department to see if they will be able to change it.”
Me: OK, great. Thank you. Just let me know as soon as possible, ok? The order contains Christmas gifts.
Customer service rep 1: I will call you back as SOON as I hear back from the shipping department.
Later that day, I had another gal from work who wanted to order some of these yummy olfactory satsifying goodies (I’m a good friend–I had not only placed an order but also shared my love with those I work with. And bringing my scented things to work peaked the interest of several nosey neighbors–one of whom decided on the spot she needed the smell wafting through the shipping dock.)
She came down on her lunch break, handed me some cash, and told me what she wanted. So I placed order KLMNOP, paying particular attention to shipping it to my coworker at the correct address.
PHONE CALL 2
The rest of the day passed, and I hadn’t received a return call from customer service, so on Tuesday, I called in during my lunch break.
“Hi, I’m calling regarding order ABCDE. Can you tell me if the shipping was able to be changed?”
Customer service Rep 2: “You had wanted the shipping address changed from GA to MN, correct?”
Me: “Yes, that’s right. And I never heard back from Customer service, so I was just wondering about the status of that request.”
Customer service Rep 2: “Shipping replied and said they WERE able to change that for you.”
Awesome! I was thrilled! I mean, it was a bit irritating that they hadn’t called me back, but whatever. All’s well that ends well, right?
I didn’t think anything of it until Monday the 15th. In the middle of delivering mail on my busiest day of the week, I received a glowing text message from my friend in Georgia thanking me for the fabulous gift I had sent her. She was delighted at how yummy her house smelled. As well as amused that the package had her address completely correct except for the state, which for some reason was listed as Minnesota instead of Georgia. (>< head desk ><)
I was furious. Two phone calls, assurance that the package had been changed, and it was STILL delivered to the wrong address? And I couldn’t exactly tell my friend, “yeah, hey, about that…. I really DON’T love you as much as it might appear… wanna ship that stuff you love so much back to me?” NERP. not. gonna. happen. EVER.
And I wouldn’t have been half so upset had they just told me to begin with that the package couldn’t be changed. I could have easily sucked it up, called my friend, let her know that I had sent a box to her house wrongly and ask her to send it on to me and I would pay for shipping. But you just can’t do that AFTER the fact.
PHONE CALL 3:
As SOON as I could, I went back to my desk and phoned customer service. After 15 min of waiting, I finally connected to a person.
Me: “Can I speak to a manager?”
Customer service Rep 3: “She’s busy at the moment. Can I help you?”
Me: “No, thank you. I’ve spoken to customer service twice regarding this issue, and the order is still messed up. Connect me with your manager, please.”
Customer service Rep 3: “May I have your name and phone number so she can call you back?”
Me: (after giving information): “Will she call me back today?”
Customer service rep 3: “Yes, she will call you back today.”
PHONE CALL 3
No phone call.
At 5:01, immediately after I clocked out of work, I called again and connected to a recording that said, “I’m sorry, you have reached us outside of our operating hours….”
This did NOT improve my mood. Twice I had been promised return contact, and it had not been given.
The next morning (Tuesday) I was on the warpath. I didn’t wait until my first break. I called as soon as I got to work.
PHONE CALL 4
Customer service Rep 4 informed me that the supervisor had not yet made it in for the morning but did connect me with a supervisor voice mail.
I left a message specifying the order number, the dates and times that I had called, What I had been told during each call, how none of that information had been accurate, and the ongoing issues, concluding with, “What is your company going to do to make this right?”
PHONE CALL 5
An hour later the supervisor called me back, apologizing profusely for the mix-ups and offering to reprocess the order to the correct address. She specified the address with me, keyed the order in, and requested expedited shipping.
Great. At last. FINALLY SOME RESOLUTION!
During my lunch break, I checked my emails, glanced at the order confirmation for the replacement order and discovered that she had replaced NOT order ABCDE which had been sent to Georgia, but order KLMNOP which had been sent to my coworker (a SIGNIFICANT value difference to the tune of at least $35). I had given the ORDER NUMBER and the ORDER DATE when I left my message. I understand that I placed two orders, but I never said the messed up order was my most recent order. I GAVE THE ORDER NUMBER!
PHONE CALL 6
Thankfully, I now had the supervisor’s direct line in my call records, so I called her back and hit the voicemail. Leave a detailed message about the original order, the second order, the replacement order, and what the contents of the replacement order SHOULD have been.
PHONE CALL 7
Twenty minutes later she calls me back while I’m in the middle of my mail rounds. THANKFULLY, I have a sticky note with all the order info in my pocket because she asks me to reconfirm ALL the order numbers. Seriously? Do you not have a computer screen with a customer order number in front of you?
New replacement order submitted.
I send a text to my consultant, laughing at the mess that that got worse instead of better when the supervisor got involved and confessing that I feel like the customer from Hades; but at least now it should be solved.
She checked on the order and confirmed a replacement order had been generated…. but the address on the package still Georgia’s.
I checked my email. Sure enough, the new order was going BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ADDRESS–THE WRONG ADDRESS THAT HAD STARTED THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.
7 phone calls, and they STILL couldn’t get it right?
Yes, dear reader, I gave up.
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