How NOT to take care of your customers…

So as a business owner I’m learning a lot about customer service. I may occasionally express my frustration about some of my customers to my very very close friends (hi mom), but I ALWAYS try to do everything in my power to help them have a good experience dealing with me and my businesses.

Having this be a big part of my life makes me even more sensitive to companies that don’t do the same in return when I am (or trying to be) their customer. Read the e cigarette reviews

Case in point – DiscountMugs.com

They’re a manufacturer located in the US that does (and brags about doing) factory direct sales on drinkware and other products. Their website has a minimum order quantity generally of about 12 items. My laser business has ordered from them twice. The first time we ordered 12 of two different colors and styles of water bottles, undecorated since I want to laser engrave them. I used the website to order and they arrived when expected (but took a long time considering they were blank items).

The second time I decided to try to find out if they would let me mix and match colors to get to the minimum order number. I tried using their Live Chat form on their website. No response. I tried again making sure it was during business hours on a week day. No response. Both times I filled out the offline contact, leave a message form and got nothing back. I decided to place a ‘trouble ticket’ with their customer service system to ask my question. Nothing. I decided I’d have to call them. I used the relay service and after being on hold reached Janielle who immediately asked for my email address to access my account. (Ironic since they can’t seem to respond to emails.) I asked her my question and she said that if I ordered 50 bottles she could give me two colors for the 50 bottle price instead of the 25 bottle price. Yeah, not quite what I was thinking, but at least it’s something? She said she would email me the information and that I could reply. I told her how I hadn’t had any luck with the chat or emails before and she said she was very prompt at replying to emails. Turned out she was. We emailed back and forth, I ended up ordering samples of 4 items. I had to call again to give my credit card info since their online system doesn’t work for samples. The order was placed. About this time I got an email from another person in response to my ticket from 2 days before.

I got a tracking number two days later (wow fast!) but Fedex didn’t have any information for it. The original order summary said the 28th was the delivery date. Nothing came yesterday and the tracking number still showed up as invalid. This morning I emailed Janielle. Her out of office message said she was out but would be IN the office on the 29th (today). Got no reply. I called them again.

Since I have it, I’ll post the transcript.

12:28 PM
me: 1-800-569-1980
attrelay: Calling 1-800-569-1980.
Type SKSK and press [ENTER] at any time to end the call.
Connected to Relay Center
thank you .. dialing .. ca 6617 (F) (ca here … if recording would you like complete msg typed or hold for specific department or live rep q) ga
me: live rep or sales ga
attrelay: (recorded msg)
hello and thank you for calling discount mugs(dot)com (holding for a live rep)
(holding to music)
one moment please (holding)
(female)
discounts mugs this is ashley how can i help you ga
me: Hi there, I was wondering if yo u could check on an order for me? ga
attrelay: whats the order number ga
me: it is DM423615 ga
attrelay: theya re all shipped these are for samples correct ga
me: That’s right. They were shpiped 7 days ago and the tracking number I have shows up as invalid ga
attrelay: ok let me see if i can get you the correct tracking number you will have to track via fed ex the tracking number is 218910930029729 ga
me: Not Found
No information for the following shipments/FedEx Office orders has been received by our system yet. Please try again later or contact Customer Service. ga
attrelay: ok where did you get that from ga
me: fedex website ga
attrelay: what you will have to do is place a ticket to customer service on our website ga
me: I really needed these in yesterday. Is there any way to get them overnighted for deliver tomorrow? ga
attrelay: no ga
me: great. thank you so much. ga
attrelay: once you place your ticket a manager will contact you regarding what is going on with the order ga
me: this is messed up. your company is horrible to do business with. thanks for your time. sksk
attrelay: no it s just because you maybe horrible (hung up) ga or sk

Yeah… I don’t even have any comments for that… except maybe she thought I had already hung up… I usually try hard not to vent my frustration on customer service, but it’s part of their job to ignore it.

So I submitted my ticket… which I thought about doing before but figured calling would be faster. I thought it was ironic (or telling) again that they have a specific field for “Did not receive sample or blank/unprinted mug order“. I guess I’m jaded now, because that’s actually not a bad way to get things to the right department quickly.

I did get a reply a few hours later:

Response : Hello

The order was scaned and out of our warehouse 10/22 but fedex have not done any other scaned after that.
Pherhaps we have contacted FeDex and thay have told us they do have the package and that the system will updated today.
Please allow untill the end of the day so you can see the tracking information on Fedex.com.
Your order should be delivery by Tuesday.

We apologize for this inconvinience.

Sincerely
Customer Svc.Dept

Comment By : lily

I almost felt bad about it… maybe fedex did lose it. But then I checked the tracking number, hey it’s been updated!

Date/Time Activity Location Details
Oct 29, 2010 1:32 PM
Picked up
MIAMI, FL

Sorry, FedEx. I should have known you weren’t to blame. That’s about 30 minutes after I sent the ticket. If they shipped them that fast why couldn’t they overnight them?

I guess it’ll be straightened out in the end… but what a pain.

3 Comments

  1. Phil
    Oct 29, 2010

    I, too, have become more sensitive to other companies’ customer service since I started my business, and also to pricing structures and marketing/buying psychologies. UPS lost a package coming to me this year, so it does happen. I’ve also had truly terrible customer service like you had here, most recently with an online bookseller that I tracked down in the UK through his bookkeeper! Hope this one ends well for you!

  2. Sara
    Nov 2, 2010

    Package came in, the “samples” that I paid $5 each for look like they were taken from the rejects bin. Dented, a bit scratched. *sigh*

    In my effort to complain I found this post on Facebook:

    Chris Miller– Do you guys plan on coming back and supporting the supplier > distributor > end user model anytime soon? You’re the biggest direct seller in the industry, and cut more distributor throats than the next 10 direct selling suppliers COMBINED. Will you continue down this path, or will you attempt to regain respect in the industry? Distributors are dying to know! Most of us are avoiding you like the plague though. Professional industry folks who associate with you are being shamed and placed in the same league as you. I cant believe any serious supplier or service provider would even associate with you guys. That’s not too bright!

    Looking at your “Like” list, it seems to be mostly end users, who you sell directly to. Great job!
    September 17 at 1:09am ·
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..I voted Did you! =-.

  3. Jose
    Nov 3, 2010

    Hi Sara!

    Just read your comment on their facebook page. I was planning on placing an order today, but after I read what happened to you, I’ll just try to find someone else. I haven’t been mistreated, but I don’t think I have to wait for that to happen.

    I appreciate you writing this, and hope your problem got solved somehow!

    Cheers!!

    José del Bosque

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