Three weeks ago I wanted to buy a present for my beautiful wife for having carried our recently born baby girl, she did it magnificently for over 9 months and I thought that a small token would be the least I can do to show my appreciation for bringing an amazing present into our lives.
I looked online and found a pair of very nice white-gold earrings that I had hoped she will like on Overstock.com, a site I had heard good things about and thought is a reputable brand that I could trust. The fact that they had online chat on their site bolstered that feeling as I’m a LivePerson employee I can now recognize and appreciate the value of live chat on a retail site. Overstock is not a LivePerson customer by the way (perhaps that should have tipped me off).
I have ordered the earrings on December 23rd, 2011 and of course I knew they will take some time to arrive, after all it was just before Christmas but that was fine with me, I had hoped they will arrive a few days after the new year.
After they did not arrive for a while I looked at the confirmation email I received and used the tracking link they provided, this took me to the DHL tracking site which very “usefully” told me it couldn’t find the details for the tracking number. I thought to myself, alright, I will try in a few more days, surely it will appear soon.
So I have waited some more and still nothing, so a few days ago I contacted Overstock through their online chat. They kindly told me to wait 7 days (!) longer before contacting them again if the earrings hadn’t arrived by then. So I’ve waited a few more days until yesterday when the DHL site still couldn’t find the tracking details. I had resolved to contact Overstock again today even though it wasn’t 7 days yet and demand some explanations. Luckily, this morning the package with the earrings arrived.
Oh joy! I thought to myself, finally, the earrings arrived and even before its time for my daughter to attend college. Gladly I opened the package and was very (very) surprised to find that they have sent me the wrong earrings, the ones I ordered were suppose to have a clear stone, what they sent were (disgusting) lime green!
So, I patiently waited for the overstock.com reps to come online today so I can demand they replace the earrings at once and hopefully give me some kind of compensation after such a terrible shopping experience.
This afternoon I started the chat and after apologizing the representative told me that all he could do for me is send me instructions on how to send the earrings back and receive a refund, if I wanted to actually receive the earrings I wanted I would need to order them again. When I told the rep that I was surprised they don’t offer any kind of compensation he told me that they simply can’t offer anything to an international customer. So they can take orders from international customers but not compensate them when the blunder horribly.
So to summarize:
- Ordered earrings 3 weeks ago
- Paid a lot more for shipping costs because I’m an international customer
- Waited for 3 weeks for earrings to arrive
- While waiting had no proper information on when they will actually arrive (not sure whos fault that is, overstock or DHL)
- Overstock when contacted couldn’t tell me more than wait for more days, 7 days!
- When finally earrings arrived they were the wrong ones!
- I need to ship them back and get a refund (that for some reason is 70 pence less than what I paid)
- If I want the earrings I actually paid for I need to go through the whole process again
In short, I will never shop at overstock.com again, not because they’ve made a mistake with the product they sent, although that’s already infuriating but these things happen. It’s because their customer care is seriously lacking. The reps I chatted with were friendly and sympathetic enough but hardly went out of their way to help and as an international customer I feel I’ve been completely neglected by their customer care that apparently doesn’t value me the same as an American customer.
Throughout the overstock site and even the chat they refer to me as “Valued Customer” but its one thing to say it and quite another to actually mean and behave like you mean it! As far as im concerned, they have done the bare minimum and nothing more, this is not a brand I would like to have any more dealings with.
Just for comparison, a couple of weeks ago I returned a jar of Pesto sauce to Sainsbury’s (UK Supermarket) that costs around 2 pounds because it went bad too quickly, not only did I receive my money back, I also received a 5 pound voucher! More than 200% compensation on top of the refund…
Very interestingly I just received an email asking me to fill in a survey to help Overstock advance their “worldclass customer care“. I think they need to advance quite a lot before they can call their service that. Dont worry, I will let them know!
Below is the full transcript from my last chat with overstock:
Cody: Hi, my name is Cody. How may I help you?
Valued Customer: hi
Valued Customer: today i finally received the earrings ive ordered from you – order: ******** after 3 weeks!
Valued Customer: i was quite surprised to find that what i received is not what ive ordered
Cody: I’m sorry to hear that you have received wrong item. I apologize for the inconvenience caused.
Cody: For security purposes, could you please verify the full name and billing address, including the city, state and zip code?
Valued Customer: sure
Valued Customer: yoav niran
Valued Customer: ****************
Valued Customer: uk
Valued Customer: great
Cody: Since you have received a wrong item, I will help you with the return for a full refund and you will have to re-order the item to receive a correct item.Valued Customer: i have to say im very disappointed
Valued Customer: not only did i have to wait for this long to receive what i bought but now i have to do that all over again?Cody: I completely understand your concern, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.
Valued Customer: how do you even send the wrong product, very unproffesional, i know its not your fault but it looks really bad
Cody:I will help you with the free return shipping label via email.
Cody: *to return the wrong item.
Cody: Click here to view our International Return PolicyCody: Shall I go ahead and setup the return on this item and provide you the return instructions through this chat?
Valued Customer: yes please
Valued Customer: im surprised you dont offer any kind of compensation after such a bad experience…
Cody: I understand that it is a very bad experience, but we do not have any option to issue compensation for the international orders.
Cody: What is the email address that you would like us to send the return instructions to?
Valued Customer: *****@gmail.com
Valued Customer: sorry, thats a very bad answer.
Cody: I have setup the return on the wrong item that you received for refund.Cody: We will email the return instructions to you at your email address ( ***@gmail.com ) used to register with us and you should receive it within 24 hours.
Valued Customer: so ive ordered from you, paid a lot more for shipping, waited 3 weeks, didnt get the product ive ordered and you cant offer me anything? does that sound like it make any sense?
Cody: I agree to what you said. However we will not be able to offer a discount on the international orders. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.
Cody: We will notify you via (****@gmail.com) email address with the details of your refund.
Cody: You will receive your refund via the form of payment that you used.
Cody: Are there any further questions for me?
Valued Customer: ok.
Valued Customer: no more questions.
Valued Customer: i can tell you that you have lost me as a customer forever though
Cody: I’m sorry to hear that, but you are always welcome to Overstock.com.
Cody: Thank you for contacting O.co, Overstock.com’s shortcut.