Paul Roub

blah blah blahg

More Fun With Customer Service

So, apparently part of the way overstock.com saves you money is through recycling. Of UPS tracking numbers, unfortunately. Placed an access point / 802.11a card (no typo, long story) order with them, but the order tracking shows it shipping last week, arriving last July. And also the previous October. In various parts of the country.

Anyway, I emailed overstock, basically wanting to know:

  1. Did the order ship?
  2. When did the order ship?
  3. Is that really the right tracking number?

That’s all. No venom, no particular agitation at all. I’m not in a huge hurry on this anyway.

The response this morning is perhaps the best example I’ve yet seen of pay-no-attention, form-letter point-n-grunt customer service.

Remember now, I wasn’t complaining. Don’t want to return anything. Have nothing to return. Just pointing out / asking about an apparent glitch in the system.

Oh, and the “XXXXXXXX” stuff is not me redacting the order info. It’s actually what “Jacob” sent. Quick tip – perhaps if you take the time to fill in the form letter blanks, you might notice that it’s the wrong form letter.

Behold:

Dear Paul,

I have received your e-mail and I am truly sorry that you have had problems with your XXXXXXX. Unfortunately, as was previously state to you, we cannot accept the return on this item because we are outside the terms of our return policy.

We do not mean for our return policy to offend you in anyway. Our policy is established so we can accept returns under reasonable circumstances and exceptions. After this much time has passed, there is no way for us to establish that the defect you are reporting was directly a result of the product itself. I can understand how you would expect your purchase to last well beyond this time, and we try to respect this expectation by establishing warranties or extended return plans on many of our items. Unfortunately, in reviewing the circumstances of your problem, I did not find any indication that this product has failed to stand the test of time for many of our other customers who ordered the same item.

The nature of our business demands that we must have items returned within a minimal time frame so that we are able to send the item back to our manufacturer or vendor. This will allow us to continue to offer great deals on name brand products. My records indicate that our supplier would not honor our return of this item.

I understand this experience with us has been unsatisfactory. I encourage you to not prevent yourself from taking advantage of the outstanding deals we have to offer. I have added a $10 coupon to your account to encourage you to allow us another opportunity to demonstrate we truly have customer satisfaction as our number one goal.

Our XXXXXXXX Department is only one of several great departments on our site. If you feel you cannot trust shopping from our [XXXXXXX], perhaps you will find you can still save money on housewares, gift ideas, or even electronics. I hope you will use your coupon to take advantage of our great savings throughout the site.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance on any other issue.

Sincerely,

Jacob

Overstock.com

My reply was perhaps a bit more pointed than my initial letter. We’ll see what happens.