An Open Letter to Brick and Mortar Retailers Everywhere that Harass their Customers

 

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Dear  Home Goods, Target, Kohls, Petsmart, (Insert your favorite store here),

Stop harassing your customers! It used to be so much fun to go shopping.  It has turned into a hassle at the checkout, and sometimes even before.  If you want to stop losing SO much business to Amazon, give customers what they want without the hassle.  I am SICK and TIRED, of being aggressively targeted at check out to sign up for your tracking promotions, store credit cards, or to give to whatever charity you have decided to support with the harassment of your customers.  Checking out used to be a breeze. The order would be rang up and we would offer whatever form of payment and that would be the end of it. Now every employee you come into contact with will attempt to coerce you into signing up for a store credit card.  A polite no thank you doesn’t seem to get the message across. You are then made to feel stupid for not wanting to save whatever percentage off they are offering at the time.  When you say no thank you again in a firmer tone, they usually reply with something like “I’m just trying to save you some money and help you out”.  No, you are trying to meet your sales goals so that you can get that bonus or whatever and help yourself out!  Every savvy consumer knows that store credit cards are a rip off. They have high interest rates and are designed to lure you into carrying a balance and paying that ridiculous interest.  I LOVE Amazon! I know…it’s dangerous, but I love the ease and accessibility.  You can find everything on Amazon. You can read reviews, do research, all right from the comfort of your home. Amazon saves your payment info, if you let them, (which is why you should always enable two factor authentication) you push the button, without the hassle of a complicated pos, and voila your items are delivered right to your door.  If you are a Prime member your items usually come within a couple of days.  No fuss, no muss! It’s pretty hard not to love it.  I have now bought things on Amazon that would have in the past been unheard of mail order purchases, like a bed, and a bed frame.  I read the reviews and did some research, and pushed the button.  Lo and behold in a couple days a bed showed up on my doorstep.  It was fricking awesome!  It’s a better bed than the tempurpedic we once paid a couple grand for.  So why would I physically go to a place where I am going to be harassed.  So far the only good reason is, you want to touch what your buying before you buy it.  There are some things that are better seen in person before purchasing.  It doesn’t seem to be enough that we shop at your stores and give you our hard earned dollars, no… you want to collect and sell our info too, and coerce us into high interest rip off cards.  Be warned, there is very little these days that you can’t get on Amazon, and unlike YOU they appreciate, cater to, and don’t harass their customers.

Sincerely,

Frustrated Consumers Everywhere

 

Soda Stream Stumbling Blocks and WTF? Wednesday!

Okay peeps it’s WTF Wednesday.

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So today’s tale involves a popular soda making system called Soda Stream.

My wife and I long ago gave up soda and increased our water intake, but we still love bubbles. So we invested in a Soda Stream soda machine, and we love it! We are water bubbling fools. We take our bubbled water with us on our adventures. It truly is a wonderful thing.

Until very recently though I had never dealt with the company directly.  We purchased our system and refill our bubbling tubes, and purchase carbonating bottles at a local retailer.  As fate would have it there are some new colors that our local retailers are not carrying.  Everyone who knows me, knows how important colors are to me. So I went online. I went to the company directly to get the colors I wanted.  It was easy peasy to place the order.  I received an email confirmation of the order which contained 2 packages of 2 carbonating bottles. One package contained white ones, and the other one red and one green.  I quickly received another email confirming shipment with a UPS tracking number and a scheduled delivery date. Yay! Almost like Amazon.

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So on the delivery date my box arrives. I am so excited. It’s the little things… hehe.

I open the box and there is only one package of carbonating bottles. I review the invoice which clearly states that both sets of bottles were supposed to be contained in this shipment.

Here’s where it gets all WTF.

I call the number from the invoice. I reach a voice prompt that asks me am I over or under 50. I am like WTF!!!??? Cause yeah, I’m supposed to be reaching customer service.  Then the voice prompts attempt to sell me something so I hang up. I go back to my email and realize the number to customer service on the invoice is wrong. I get the correct number from my email conformation and call them. It’s 4:50pm, but they are in So Cal so I figure I have ten minutes.

I reach the customer service line this time and the voice prompts tell me I have reached them after hours and to please call back during normal business hours which it says are from 8am to 7pm M-F.  Now I am pissed because it’s not even 5pm and they are closed.  Guess they left early that day. 

So I call early the next morning before getting ready for work, and lo and behold I actually get in the waiting rotation for a customer service rep.  But then the voice prompt tells me they are experiencing heavy call volume (probably because they lie about their hours and people are pissed) and that I can continue to wait or hang up and call back at a more convenient time. (Convenient for who exactly?) Anyway, I finally get Suzy Soda Stream (name changed to protect the innocent/ guilty) customer service rep on the phone and I explain that my order was short and that the invoice indicated that I was supposed to receive both sets of bottles in this one shipment.

She says “Oh I am so sorry, let me check into this for you.”

Then I say also, the number for your customer service dept. on the invoice is wrong, and it tries to solicit you when you call it! Oh no, she says. The number that is supposed to be on there is this number (reads off number) I read her the number on the invoice to which she quips and does the best to squelch a laugh,

“Oh that’s not good, I will have to tell the warehouse that we cannot provide the best customer service if they don’t put the right number on the invoice”.

Really, I think, and squelched laughter?!  WTF!?.  Wow!

So then she goes silent for a minute or two and then says (scoffing),

“okay I see what the problem is here, UPS decided it would be better to ship it in two shipments. Sometimes they do that and I apologize. You will receive another shipment in just less than a week.

Really?! I was flabbergasted, but didn’t argue because it was clear to me at this point that it would be pointless.  Firstly, I cannot believe she blamed this on UPS.  Not that UPS is perfect, but they are a reputable shipping company that would not have done something different than what they told the customer without updating said customer on the new shipping arrangement.  Secondly, UPS does not generally package things for businesses. I mean they do, if you are a business and you want to drop off things at a UPS facility and pay them to package it for you, which most businesses would not find cost effective.  I am pretty sure that Soda Stream does not pay UPS to package all of their products for shipment. And even if I am wrong and they do, UPS would go off of the invoice the company provides, they would not just decide to ship two items separately on their own and not notify the customer or update the invoice.  Sorry Suzy Soda Stream customer service rep that was an epic fail for you and your company.

So while I still do recommend Soda Stream Soda makers and their other products, because the products are great, I do not recommend you deal with the company directly if you can avoid it. They clearly have their heads up their asses.  I knew I should have just ordered from Amazon. Wow!

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I normally post my WTF? Wednesdays to my Facebook page, but when I realized my lengthy word count I figured it would have to go on the blog instead because Facebook really isn’t the place for a lengthy post.