BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,
BTRIPP
btripp

Grrr ... "customer service" RANT

Man ... I hate "bad shopping experiences" in general, but REALLY hate bad shopping experiences coupled with HORRIBLE customer service experiences ... and really really hate it when it's a company that I've been a regular customer of for a decade! On Friday morning I get into my e-mail and there is the usual TigerDirect.com sales piece ... which I typically open as a bit of "tech porn" titillation, usually in the form of something cool that I can't afford. However, in this was a small DVD deck that was, after a discount and coupon (good till today) only a very do-able $4.99, and would work great in the kitchen where we have an old TV/VCR combo with a no-longer-functioning VCR.

So, I click through to the sale page, grab the coupon code, click the "add to cart" button, and prepare to check out. I get to the page where they're trying to sell me service plans (like that's going to happen on $4.99 item), and click on to checkout.

But, I'm not getting to checkout.

No, I keep bouncing back to a page that says "There are no items in your shopping cart." ... despite the shopping cart icon in the upper right corner of the page showing me having 1 item in my cart, and at the appropriate (pre-coupon) price for the DVD player (and several subsequent pages having a "your shopping cart" field in the right side-bar listing the same info!). I click on that icon, it brings me back to the "no items" page ... I click on various other things ... same result. So, I figure I'll look for help.

They've got a "live chat" thing right there, so I click on that and wait 10 minutes or so to get some rep to pick up. I explain that I can't seem to check out, and all I get is three chunks of "boilerplate" written for computer noobs (or morons) about how I need set my browser to take cookies (duh!), or I need to upgrade my browser (I believe they were suggesting MSIE 7). The person on the other keyboard doesn't seem to have any other suggestions. I move on.

Next, I call the most prominent phone number available. This, I later discover, is also the # to make a phone order. After a VERY long wait I get somebody to pick up, explain the problem I'm having, and am told (again) how it's important to have cookies enabled. Also, the person thinks the order system ONLY works with MSIE (I'm using FireFox 24) ... I point how how obscene it is that a TECH company is defaulting to MSIE rather than a "real" browser, and go off to fire up MSIE (v.10, thank you very much). The person on the line also can't "get" that the problem is not GETTING THE ITEM INTO THE CART (since by the icon, etc. on the site, it's clearly IN my cart), but GETTING THE ITEM CHECKED OUT. Anyway, since it's their one suggestion, I get MSIE running, go to TigerDirect, log in, see the item in the cart (in the icon), and click on it to get to the shopping cart page. Same result ... "There are no items in your shopping cart."!

At this point it's become an f'n crusade. I go back to the site, dig down for an e-mail "customer service" form, and type out, in detail, what I'm trying to accomplish (BUY SOMETHING FROM THEM!), and specifically what problem I'm having (can't check out), and send that off. And start to do other stuff.

In an hour or so I get an email explaining (again) how I need to take cookies, have a recent browser, and then I can GET ITEMS INTO MY CART (again, NOT READING MUCH?). There's another phone number in this letter for "customer service", and I call that.

This person is less understandable that the first (first sounded Hispanic, this one was Indian/Pakistani), and was saying "oh, things sometimes get backed up on the weekend, and try on Monday". I point out that the deal is a limited-time deal and will NOT BE AVAILABLE on Monday, but this does not elicit any additional "customer service" ... only a fall back to telling me about cookies and browsers, etc.

At this point it is now mid-afternoon. I have one more thing to fall back on ... and I call the ORDER number, hoping to be able to get this taken care of with a live body. I wait a VERY long time, but am eventually answered by a non-accented person, who regrets to tell me that the item is now "sold out online", but he could check if a STORE somewhere in my area might have it. Yeah, like I'm going to rent a car for more money than the discount to run out to a suburb to pick this up.

I wish I could say that I'm "never going to shop with TigerDirect again!", but I realize (especially with the recent demise of Geeks.com), that's unlikely. This did manage, however, to burn up nearly a DECADE of customer goodwill in the course of a half day or frustration. It's bad enough that I wasn't able to get the sale item I wanted, but the constant ABUSE of treating me like I'd just wandered in from 20 years in the outback with zero computer knowledge REALLY pissed me off, and I'd really like to kick each and every one of those "customer service" morons in the teeth over it!

This really brought to mind the most recent of Scott Stratten's "UnMarketing" podcasts ... which is about customer service ... click this for a listen:
{OK, I still can't get LJ to successfully embed an audio widget, so you'll have to click through HERE to go to the web page!}


Visit the BTRIPP home page!



Tags: audio
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