The Incident Report

Three customer service calls. Five “live” online chats. No fewer than four individual “incident” numbers to reference. And still, nearly six weeks later, no resolution.

Allow me to back up and fill in the blanks. A few days after Black Friday, I decided to use a credit obtained through a retailer-who-shall-not-be-named, coupled with several other coupons and promotions, to purchase a pair of sneakers (and socks) online. No problem. Order processed, confirmed, waiting for shipment. Over a week later, an e-mail stating that a portion of my order (aforementioned sneakers) had been cancelled, as they were suddenly “out of stock.” The socks, however, arrived all by their lonesome several days later.

Annoying? Sure. But, more to the point, what became of my credit which, thanks to the delay in processing, was now expired, having not been applied to my now-cancelled purchase? One would assume I would be entitled to some sort of refund/coupon/gift card in order to make future use of this sum, now $2.99 less thanks to the socks. One would also think that a store’s customer service representatives would be well versed in how to handle such a scenario, seeing as I couldn’t have been the first person to ever encounter such a cancelled order/credit issue.

And yet, here we are, approaching the close of January, and still no sign of that “customer is always right” mantra. No, all I’ve gotten is the runaround, everything from “your gift card is in the mail” to “we can only apply the credit to a future online order, but the time frame has already expired” to “we’ll make an exception and e-mail you a new coupon code to use in-store or online” … none of which has occurred.

The best part – and I do mean that in the most facetious way possible – is that each attempt to contact customer service has been met with an equally incompetent representative who, despite my relaying of the entire situation and the latest “incident” number provided, have no clue what I’m talking about, why I was given such an array of inaccurate information, or, quite frankly, what to do to rectify the issue. And this is their profession. Inspires all sorts of confidence, doesn’t it?

As I write this, a confirmation e-mail has arrived in my inbox, detailing my “inquiry” (which one?) and providing not one, but two, completely different incident numbers, one in the subject line, the other in the body of the rather nondescript form letter. There is also a customer service number to contact which, upon dialing, takes you on a whirlwind tour of automated extensions before settling into hold music for a solid 15 minutes, followed by dead silence as the call disconnects.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I refuse to shop online. Ever. Again.


{Published: January 20th, 2016}


Jamie Lynn RyanComment