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A good example of how not to handle something.
dpd1




msg:4545133
 2:14 am on Feb 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I always find it interesting how other web businesses handle things, for obvious reasons. I bought some stuff from a site the other day. None of it was very expensive. It was basically 8 patches. First thing that miffed me was that they only had a UPS shipping option for minimum $8, for something that can go in a regular envelope in the mail. I'm in the same state as them. Then I get it and notice they did in fact put it in a mail envelope, not even priority... So it probably cost them less than $2. They pocket the rest. Ok whatever. Then I realize one of the items was clearly flawed. I emailed them and told them that it was flawed and I'd like another one. I told them I can scan it to show them if they like and they can just mail it regular mail to save them money. I honestly didn't think they'd call me on showing it to them. Common sense would dictate that if somebody offers to show it, then they probably aren't lying. But they contact me back and do ask to see it. I send them a scan and the person says they can't see the picture. I send photos to people all the time, no problem. The guy gives me another address to send it to, saying that one might receive pictures correctly. I send it to that one. They email me back and say that I can now mail it back to them and they will send another one, or I can take a credit for just the cost of the item. OK, so why did I just go through the hassle of having to send them a photo of it? Keep in mind this is all over a $3 item.

If it had been me, I would have just sent out another one in the mail. I was going to order more stuff from these guys. Now I will not. Lost customer over $3. This is a perfect example of a business obsessing over people screwing them, and shooting themselves in the foot in the process. It's good to see things from the customer's point of view once in a while, to see what it's like. I would never have handled this so badly myself.

 

topr8




msg:4545190
 8:22 am on Feb 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

yes, i agree!
we are small in the scheme of things and when i get a complaint or damage etc. i always act as though the customer is not lying and am polite and apologetic.
... it soon comes to light if they are wrong and even then i'm polite about it.

... and being topped up with shipping fees is very annoying, it puts me off repurchasing. i can't believe how short sighted some businesses are, even if the goods would be a one off purchase, customers still have friends etc.

jrockfl




msg:4545268
 11:41 am on Feb 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@dpd1

I have had something similar with purchasing "fragile labels" of ebay. I bought like 5 labels and they charged me the full shipping for each one. I requested they combine the shipping and ship it all together. We are in the same state, 60 miles apart. Did they do it? Nope!

Next time I will just buy them somewhere else.

We have some products that are pretty small and we sell them for around $8 to $15 and sometimes customers will have issues or receive a slightly defective one.
I have instructed my CSR's to just send replacements and tell the customers to keep the original ones. No questions asked. Just verify the order, if they can get a picture, then great if not. No big deal.

HRoth




msg:4545724
 8:18 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've also had the broken item thing with an ebay seller. It was four cups and saucers. One cup came broken. From the way it was packed, I suspected it was broken when they put it in the box. Whatever. I asked for a credit on the broken cup of $4.50 and sent them a photo of the cup. They also said they could not see the photo and they wanted me to return ALL the cups and saucers and they would credit me back. I said no and sent the photo again. Then they wanted me to return the cup at my own expense and they would credit me the $4.50. I said no; if they wanted the cup back, they would have to pay the shipping. They wouldn't. By accident they credited me back the whole purchase price, and I returned the payment minus the $4.50 for the cup. They filed a complaint with ebay! So I gave them a crappy seller rating (and then I see folks on here complaining waaah someone gave me a crappy rating on ebay waaaah I wonder why). Then they got a supervisor at ebay to ask me to change my rating because the seller had "tried" to help me. I said no. I would like to say this is a unique experience for me on ebay, but it isn't. I have gotten sellers who refused to combine shipping and they have lost a repeat customer because of it. It's not business-like to make money off shipping, IMO. Then there are the sellers who use USPS priority mail boxes turned inside out to ship their products or pack them. Lame. Just lame.

dpd1




msg:4546028
 1:20 am on Feb 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I recall they use to print something on the inside of the boxes, so people couldn't do that. But they're probably so broke now, they can't afford that anymore.

lucy24




msg:4546035
 2:13 am on Feb 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Then there are the sellers who use USPS priority mail boxes turned inside out to ship their products or pack them.

Why shouldn't they, if the box is still in good condition? Waste not, want not ;)

HRoth




msg:4546254
 3:20 am on Feb 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Because it is specifically forbidden by the USPS. They do print something on the inside now so you can't turn them inside out and use them as free boxes for other services, but in the past, they didn't. I guess they encountered exactly what I did--that sellers on ebay were getting priority mail boxes and cutting them up for packing material. I reuse them when I get them, but not on the inside of the box. I reuse them as priority mail boxes.

votrechien




msg:4546912
 9:54 pm on Feb 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

We're guilty of making people jump through hoops as well in the case of reported broken items/warranty claims. The problem is you sort of have to: I've had countless customers stretch the facts (to put it nicely) and I personally know people who have proudly claimed "I bought xyz from eBay and lied and said the box was empty and they sent me a new one for free! I love eBay!'.

To play devil's advocate a little, I personally believe the default position by customers who receive an item less than expected should be to email the photos without the seller requesting it.

I pride myself in the customer service of our company but I also pride myself in our prices. Keeping returns in check is one of the ways we're able to keep prices low although this can also be mistaken for being a business obsessing over people screwing them:)

LifeinAsia




msg:4546919
 10:13 pm on Feb 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I bought a bathroom item once online, despite the fact that many of the reviews said it arrived completely broken. Sure enough, it came in a bout a dozen pieces- barely a thin piece of cardboard inside the box for "protection."

I contacted the company and offered to provide pictures of the damage as proof. I even offered to hold on to the damaged goods in case they needed proof for reimbursement from the shipping company. They issued a full refund and said not to bother with the pictures and just dump the product.

It was too bad too, since it was a nice product (or would have been without the damage) and they're just throwing money away with poor QA in the shipping side of things.

ChanandlerBong




msg:4548054
 9:35 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

as Votrechien's story amply illustrates, some people are jerks. Quite a lot of people are freeloading jerks actually.

Some of them end up as buyers on the net.

Some of them end up as vendors on the net.

and the world continues to spin. :)

ken_b




msg:4548056
 9:44 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

We order a Christmas gift on Nov 22, 2012. When it hadn't arrived a couple weeks later, we called the merchant and asked if it had been shipped. They said it had, but offered to send another at no extra cost. Unfortunately they were out of stock, so they just refunded all our money.

We thought that was fair.

Yesterday, Feb 21, 2013, the gift arrived at our door, postmarked Nov 22, 2012.

We called the merchant and said they should reinstate the charge. They seemed a bit surprised by the call, but said ok, but they wouldn't charge us for the shipping. :)

We think that was generous on their part.

.

dpd1




msg:4548099
 12:00 am on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

It was too bad too, since it was a nice product (or would have been without the damage) and they're just throwing money away with poor QA in the shipping side of things


Yeah, organizations like that, you just have to scratch your head. But you never know what is going on behind the scenes. Some businesses are left being run by older people eventually, and they just simply lose the ability to comprehend what's going on at some point. Other times there are places actually setup to fail. I did work for a production company years ago that did everything half the price of everybody else. I couldn't figure out what the deal was. Turned out they were owned by some foreign company and operated as a tax shelter for a loss.

LifeinAsia




msg:4548109
 12:42 am on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

operated as a tax shelter for a loss.

Never could understand the "spend $1000 to save $100 in taxes" mentality...

MarkOly




msg:4548232
 8:02 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

We called the merchant and said they should reinstate the charge. They seemed a bit surprised by the call, but said ok, but they wouldn't charge us for the shipping.


That was nice of you to do that. In ten+ years, I don't think I've ever had a customer return the extra shipment - or offer to pay for it. People think all online businesses are conglomerates with deep pockets. So it's okay to rip them off.

lucy24




msg:4548267
 12:21 am on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Or possibly people just think that big businesses should pay for their own mistakes. Within reason. If I ordered one x-ray diffractometer and received two, I expect I would do something about it.

Conversely I was once seriously worried that I would either receive or be billed for-- if not both-- two bicycles, because I was tracking the order online and it didn't even get listed as "shipped" until after I had physically received it.

And then there was the delivery guy who had to run back twice and knock on my door for required signatures associated with an iPad. I passed up a priceless opportunity to look him right in the eye and say "iPad? What iPad? I didn't receive any iPad."

incrediBILL




msg:4548292
 3:05 am on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not surprised a seller asked to see a picture as I'd have wanted to see it as well.

I don't get people that buy from eBay and find it amusing that people that do purchase from there wonder why they get ripped off. You're buying from anonymous 'vendors' selling things sight unseen and you don't know if they have a B&M store or a corner in a basement.

I knew someone once that sold stuff on eBay and when I asked how he could afford to sell the stuff he was selling so cheap, he said it was because it didn't cost him anything as it had "fallen off the truck". Um, yeah, not a ringing endorsement of eBay resellers.

I'll stick to buying things off Amazon prime and be happy about it.

dpd1




msg:4548389
 6:34 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

For someone to even joke that they're selling stolen stuff, they'd have to be dumber than dirt.

jwolthuis




msg:4548451
 10:37 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'll stick to buying things off Amazon prime and be happy about it.

What does Prime have to do with trustworthiness? Anyone can sell via "Fulfillment by Amazon" and have their items offered to Prime members.

Personally, I've ordered items via Prime from both Amazon and their third-parties, and they were absolute junk.

All that the "Prime" badge implies is that I get it fast because I pay them $80 per year in advance for that "privilege".

HRoth




msg:4548473
 12:06 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't care if ebay sellers are operating out of a corner of their basement. Selling from a corner of the basment doesn't mean the vendor can't be professional. Some are. Some are morons. A few are lying cheats. But then, I think per square footage, there are more lying cheats amongst the major corporation crowd than the basement corner crowd.

dpd1




msg:4548527
 4:04 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm probably indirectly insulting a number of people here, but I would have to say that my least favorite type of business, are the ones who basically have as little to do with their business as possible. ie: They pretty much job out everything. For them, selling a certain type of product, was simply a business decision. It doesn't have anything to do with them being personally interested in the niche, or having any true craft or abilities. And I think that was probably the case with the people I originally brought up. I would much rather give my money to a guy that I picture busting his butt to be innovative, and generally interested in what he does... as opposed to somebody who's sitting at a cafe somewhere, having a bunch of third party people do everything for him, while he runs it all from an iPad.

I have people contact me who run sites that sell products that my products compliment, and they ask me questions about how their own products work. No BS. I think they literally have never touched most of the products they sell. How on earth somebody ends up selling stuff that they know zero about, is a mystery.

MarkOly




msg:4548725
 5:07 pm on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Or possibly people just think that big businesses should pay for their own mistakes. Within reason. If I ordered one x-ray diffractometer and received two, I expect I would do something about it.


Well I would never expect a customer to pay for my mistake. I was referring to situations like Ken's - USPS errors that get delivered eventually, before or after you've already shipped a replacement. My recovery rate on those is 0%.

I understand that most people aren't going to spend their own postage on returning an order. So I always mention that if they receive the original shipment, please write "Return to Sender" in big letters and drop in a mailbox.

I would guess that somewhere around half of these are true USPS misdeliveries. They're pretty rare now though - probably a combination of me developing an eye for potential problems - plus better tracking from the USPS. It used to be Delivery Confirmation only.

incrediBILL




msg:4548834
 10:32 pm on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

All that the "Prime" badge implies is that I get it fast because I pay them $80 per year in advance for that "privilege".


It also means it's being warehoused at Amazon, not at the reseller, and you at least know you'll get your shipment in just a day or two.

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