Friday, February 13, 2015

In Line...and Online

 I am falling into the habit of waiting until everyone has gone to bed before I start writing my post for the day.
While it is nice to write while it is quiet and peaceful....I will admit that it is a lot harder to feel inspired when it's late at night, and I just really want to go to bed.
In fact, I just spent the past 30 minutes scrolling through goofy stuff on Pinterest, hoping that something would catch my interest, and spark an idea for my post tonight.
Sadly, all it did was make me even more tired.
So, I shall share some random thoughts, and aim for a big jolt of inspiration tomorrow!

  I do quite a bit of shopping online.  Quite frankly, I like the convenience of it.  
AND, I love having packages arrive at my door.  It feels like Christmas....or my birthday.  However, I have had some frustration with it lately.
Don't you hate it when you choose to purchase something online, because the store is offering a special 30% off your purchase, plus free shipping, or something like that, but in the don't get a deal at all?(
Remember that "spoon ring" I bought a few weeks ago? The one with the "b" stamped on it....(the "b" that looks more like an upside down "g".)
Well, the only reason I even purchased it was because they were having a sale, and I could get it at a 30% off discount.
So, I went through the whole ordering process, typed in my special "promotion code" and clicked the "checkout" button.
My purchase confirmation page popped up....and the discount had not been applied.  I immediately sent an e-mail to customer service, along with a copy of my invoice, asking if they would please fix the error.

A month earlier, I had decided to place an order for the 24 Day Challenge through AdvoCare.  (I am already a member, and I use some of their products daily.....and have for quite some time.)
Anyway, whenever I have placed an order in the past, I get a confirmation that the order has gone through, along with a follow up email.
That didn't happen, so I went back and placed the order again.
(I should mention this stuff isn't cheap...we are talking about $160 here.)
After I had gone through the process the 2nd time, I got the confirmation that the order had been placed, along with the email.
And THEN, another email, saying that my PRE-ORDER had gone through.
In other words, I had ordered the damn thing twice.
Once again, I immediately contact customer service....and again, 

I just simply asked them to cancel one of the orders.  And I made this request 5 MINUTES after placing it.
The next week, I got two boxes of stuff...and over $300 charged to my card.
Last week, I ordered some Clinique products I needed, and had waited to do so until this time, because I like to wait until they have the free gift with purchase.
(Why not get a little more bang for your buck, right?)
My order arrived today....sans gift.
I sent Lexie to the mall to see if they would give her one after explaining the situation.  They told her "they ship it will come later."
Yeah.  I'll believe it when I see it.  
The fact that large companies don't bend over backwards when it comes to customer service doesn't really surprise me.  (It's too bad....but I suppose they make enough money that it really doesn't matter if their low end customer falls through the cracks.)

I was surprised, however, with the company I bought the ring from.  They are a smaller, specialty shop.  When they send out their merchandise, it is neatly wrapped in their signature tissue paper and wasabi tape, and placed in a pretty organza bag, along with a tiny jewelry cloth. 
It's quite obvious that they make an effort when it comes to presentation and personalization.  And all of their products are handmade.
The fact that no one from their customer service dept. ever replied to my inquiry surprised me.  
I'm sure a lot of their business comes from word of mouth.
I heard about it through another blog I read.
For me....customer service (be it in person, or via the internet or phone) means everything.

I have worked in retail enough to have experienced the horrors of bad customers (and bad employees)....but also to see the benefits of working in a shop or business where making the customers experience a positive one really does make all the difference in the success of that company.
I always get a good laugh when I encounter people who work in customer service jobs, but obviously have no desire to work with people.
Nor do they have any patience or social skills to deal with the questions or problems that customers will look to them to help solve.
Why on earth do these people even consider going into this line of work?
And then there are the mean customers, who, rather than just being polite, and taking into consideration that the person who is working may not know the answer to every question, nor are they responsible for every policy or promotion that takes place at that establishment, they verbally attack them, and take out their frustrations on them.
I recall being verbally chastised by an older woman one day when I worked at a grocery store. We were out of a couple of the items that she had coupons for.
Obviously, it was MY fault that other people had also purchased those items, and this oh-so-pleasant-woman had not made it to the store in time to take advantage of the savings while the items were still in stock.
Ah, yes...the joys of working with the public.

At any rate...I will continue to attempt to smother the crabby cashiers with kindness, and set a good example for any rude and impatient customers while I am out shopping.
Or maybe, I will just make sure I am in front of them in line....and choose to strike up a nice, friendly, LONG conversation with the person ringing up my purchases.  People need to learn to slow down anyway....:)
Happy Friday!

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