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.

Dance Club Shopping at its Finest

Lately I have noticed a trend at shopping malls and outlet malls and it isn’t one I like.  Most of the smaller stores you go into these days have the music up very loud. It feels, perhaps intentional, like a dance club.  Or at least how dance clubs use to feel. Now if you go to a dance club or the movies you will likely go deaf.  It’s upsetting on so many levels.  I think it is very unhealthy, and for many like myself unpleasant, but also I think it isn’t good from a security stand point unless of course you have someone in a massive camera room in the back like in the casinos, which most small stores do not.  So I am left to wonder, what is their goal in doing this?  At first I thought maybe it was just a younger vibe, younger people, but managers set stuff like this and it isn’t just younger demographic shops that are doing it.  So what is the goal?  I personally find it disorienting.  Instead of wanting to spend time shopping and spend more money I can’t wait to get out or forego it altogether in some cases. It makes online shopping seem like the perfect alternative. It would seem that background music is a thing of the past.  So is the goal to drive everyone to online shopping? Is the goal that only young people get to enjoy going to a shop? I can’t imagine a shop owner would seek to disenfranchise any of it’s demographic, or intentionally harm any of it’s customers.  I personally think that there are a lot more like myself that are uncomfortable with it but just don’t say anything.  So what about you? Have you noticed this trend? Do you like it, or not like it? What do you think the goal of doing it is?

Here are some links about popular activities that are harmful for our hearing.  I personally feel that shopping might be becoming one of them. So some quick research says that stores are intentionally damaging our hearing because it makes many of us spend money. Wow! I should have known it had to do with their bottom lines. Just wow!

Movies

Nightclubs