Not every online shopping experience is enjoyable…
Here on the blog I have always suggested for my readers to shop online. I do a lot of my own shopping online and I focus most of my posts around products that are pretty much only available in online shops. In all my years of purchasing these products for myself and also the past two years of discussing them with you guys I have never encountered any issues. Until last week….
Before I start my rant I should say that I totally understand that mistakes happen. There is an unfair expectation that just because “machines” rather than humans are doing most of the work the output has to be 100% accurate, 100% of the time. That’s just not fair, there will always be errors. What I’m missing is human interaction. I know that sounds silly, wanting human interaction when I’m after all purchasing something off my computer rather than stepping foot into a store. But hear me out.
Any online shopping experience should have an element of human to it. No exceptions! If something goes wrong you should be able to pick up the phone and chat with someone who is available to help. Be it a toll free number you can call or even a live chat option, just give us SOMETHING that reminds us that we are being taken care of by a real person rather than a data center.
Also, after a shitty experience last week with an online retailer it is my very strong opinion that canned responses via email are not acceptable when your order is late or missing. Something you have already paid for should arrive when promised. If your order is late or damaged customer service should be all over that, trying to make it right long before you throw your first hissy fit.
Last week when something I ordered from a very large, very well known online shopping retailer wasn’t delivered on time I guess you could say I threw a hissy fit of my own. While I won’t be mentioning the name of said online retailer I will share with you the story of what went down during my FIRST and LAST purchase from this company.
So yeah, it was my first time trying out this site which I had visited hundreds of times before but never made it to checkout. Turns out they have a wicked Maternity selection and I thought I would buy a blouse to wear to my up-coming baby shower. This site boasts “Free International Shipping” which I thought was pretty sweet. So upon check out I didn’t think twice and took advantage of this free shipping, noting that the delivery date would be only 1 week before I needed the item (note I was ordering it 3 weeks before my shower). I immediately got an email confirmation with a delivery date and I was happy. A few weeks later it’s now the week I need the item and while my Pay Pal account was of course already debited the damn blouse was MIA. By Thursday night I became enraged because Friday was literally the very latest the item could possibly arrive, so I decided to go all NOVELLO on their ass and give them a piece of my mind. Only problem with that is, this company doesn’t have a phone number…
Instead I discovered your only option is to TWEET customer service! This revelation basically made my head explode. After three tweets and about 10 private msgs to get my story across they asked for my email adrs and sent me a lovely, obviously canned response. So canned in fact that even thought I respond twice they sent me the exact-same-email, three times. See below.
So I asked Pepper and Sparrow if they had signed for my package, checked my neighbors garden shed and much to my surprise my package was still no where to be found. Eventually I grew so angry I demanded a refund, and I received the above email for a forth time. Ultimately the fact that my shirt was delivered super late wasn’t even what left me so upset, it was the lack of customer service, and their odd obsession with Twitter.
This week I thought to read some online reviews and came across evidence than leads me to believe that this company does not act responsibly when shipping internationally. Which is upsetting because they advertise and constantly have pop ups on their site to remind you that free international shipping is their thing.
So, have you had a good or bad experience with an online retailer? Tell me which sites you love and why. Or share which sites you loathe and let it off your chest, cmon I’m here for you.
In case you want to check out some reviews of a site before making a big purchase I recommend Site Jabber. Also, check out what other sources are saying about the best online shopping destinations HERE