Today’s post is another call for fairness for consumers. As someone who is a very organized and expertised shopper, I want to say something here to online businesses who oversell their stock, just like the airlines do with over-selling seats.
Wouldn’t it seem simple that when ordering an item from an online store and your order is confirmed that you should expect the delivery of your product? Ya, so did I. Wouldn’t it seem simple that when there are ‘x’ amount of items in stock that as each person orders one, the number available would go down by one in their system? Ya, that’s what I thought. But apparently, that’s not how they do things at TSC, our Canadian home shopping network.
Let me preface this by saying, I practically have a mortgage with this company. I’ve ordered from them for over 20 years, and although I’ve had my share of discrepancies with them over the years, this one just bites!
Over 3 weeks ago, one of my favorite clothing lines came on TSC. I’d found the perfect evening legging to complete an outfit I intended to wear last weekend.But I still never received them. I’d sent 4 intermittent emails to customer support inquiring as to where the hell my pants were – to no avail. Because, as usual, NO REPLY. When I went into my account to check on the status of the order, beside the item number was the word ‘backordered’. Backordered? WTF? As a seasoned shopper on that channel, I know full well the items that go first on airings. The pants I’d ordered were a popular item. I ordered those damned pants on the very first airing to lock in my order – OR SO I THOUGHT.
I placed my order, along with some other items, a few days later I received the other items – no pants! The receipt said ‘pants to follow’. This does happen occasionally that they will send a partial order and follow up a few days later with the balance. But no, not this time. I placed my order and immediately got notification, ‘thank you for shopping TSC your order has been placed.’ After a week had passed and no pants, I got suspicious. After checking my account order status and seeing backordered, I sent customer support an email. In fact over the course of another week I’d sent them 4 emails but AS USUAL they never replied.
Yesterday I started to get really concerned because I was counting on those pants to go with a jacket I’d purchased to wear to next weekend’s family Christmas party. Since I had no email reply, I went onto their Facebook page and messaged through there with my inquiry. The response was about as helpful as anything I’d received so far. So, I knew it was time to place a call.
After the usual 100 button pushing and waiting on hold for half an hour I finally spoke with a rep to ask where the hell my pants were. Yes, I admit, I wasn’t feeling very friendly. I received the typical ‘Oh, so sorry, the pants are sold out’. I lost it. And that’s when my rant began.
I asked her how a giant company like Rogers who owns half of Canada it seems, including our home shopping channel, doesn’t have an ordering system that serves the consumer. How on earth could my pants be sold out when I ordered in first airing and the pants remained on other airings as available for 2 days that followed? The hosts on that show display an ‘items left’ when they feature an item. On day 2 there were still ‘items left’ but somehow my friggin pants are SOLD OUT! The rep kept coming up with lame excuses amid her apologies, telling me that they were probably sold out before the airing. LOL I replied, are you kidding me, those pants were available for 2 days because I kept checking myself as I saw them as I was eyeing some other items.
“You oversold the item, just like the airlines do with seats!” I replied in a huff. How can such a big company run a business like this where people order an item and it’s not counted as sold automatically? How can a giant corporation like Rogers who owns them, have such a lame shipping system? She continued on trying to pacify me, apologizing that the item was no longer available and no more would be coming in stock. I was livid, and asked to speak to a supervisor. She told me there was no point because there were no items left and the item shouldn’t be showing in my cart. Oh really, and wouldn’t it have been nice IF I WAS INFORMED IT WAS OUT OF STOCK? More apologies, again for not receiving an email!
I told her I want to speak to a supervisor because I want to let them know that you can’t treat consumers like this. Eventually, I spoke to the higher up who again apologized profusely and tried to tell me the same excuses the rep did. I set the record straight with her, letting her know this isn’t how to do business, their support is terrible, and stop telling me bullshit stories about stock. She retorted by telling me they send emails out when something is out of stock. I reminded her, just one more incompetent thing on them because I NEVER RECEIVED ANY EMAILS, other than when MY ORDER WAS CONFIRMED!
I’m a seasoned shopper there, I know how it all works.”You guys failed to deliver my product ordered first airing and those stragglers a day or two later who ordered received their pants and I didn’t.” I told her again how bad their stock strategy was and as a courtesy to the public I will be writing an article about this. That was when I got offered a credit on my account. But that was not enough to stop me from sharing this rant!
I am soooooooooo tired of big corporations. I’m tired of taking whatever is dished out from companies because our hands are tied and there’s nothing we can do when business isn’t done properly. No, my complaint didn’t magically make them come up with my pants, but I had hoped to instill some sort message to upper management that may miraculously be passed on to the powers that be. Yes, I got a credit, big deal, that didn’t give me my pants and that doesn’t justify their shit business policy and sorely lacking customer service. Just sayin’.
I know I’m not going to change the world single-handedly. But by speaking up, we have to let these companies know when they’re in the wrong. If nobody speaks up, nothing will ever change! We must keep them accountable!
Have any of you been chumped by bogus protocol with online ordering?