Stephy (pirish) wrote in bad_service,
Stephy
pirish
bad_service

Bad service through Half.com

For a business law class, I got a book on half.com for around $60 since the used version at my school bookstore was $110. Yeah, not worth it. At the time, the price I got it for was hovering around $60 on half, which is why I got way excited when I recently went back to check on it and found that it was going for around $90 now.

Well, I paid for expedited shipping since I really needed the book as soon as I could get it and it was shipped on January 4th, last Thursday. The seller sent me a tracking number and, since, I still hadn't gotten the book (I know it can take a week, but I was starting to get a little worried since it's supposed to only take a few days), I decided to check it.

I live in Indiana. The book has been sitting in Kansas for the last two days. Something was wrong. It either got lost or they sent it through the wrong service.

So, my fiance, who can remain calm under pressure far better than I can, wrote an email on my behalf (thank god!). This resulted in a long back and forth conversation between us and him (I promise, it's pretty amusing and I've bolded the good stuff). When we could have easily accepted a simple apology and given him positive feedback, he decided to bring up a bunch of bullshit excuses that have wound up with us making sure we give him negative feedback once we actually receive the book.

The email transaction went as follows.

This is the first email we sent to him:

"I have not yet received the business law book that I purchased. I used the tracking number you provided to research the shipment. It shows that you shipped it on the 4th. However, it shows that the book has been in Kansas City since the 9th.

I'm wondering if this was shipped to the correct address and if it was expedited or media mail. Your immediate response is very much appreciated...as I have already started this class and needed the book today.

I have pasted the UPSP tracking detail page below:

Enroute, January 09, 2007, 12:49 pm, KANSAS CITY, KS 66106
Enroute, January 06, 2007, 10:21 am, FEDERAL WAY, WA 98003
Acceptance, January 04, 2007, 11:08 am, ELLENSBURG, WA 98926"


His replIES (there are FOUR of them):

"What state do you live in? I would assume that the book was not sent priority since it is still in transit. Priority means that its sent via air. If I sent it media mail it was a mistake, but only because ebay gave me 5 dollars for shipping while priority shipping for that book was 11 dollars as I recall.

Just checking half.com that book goes for at least 90 dollars, so regardless of whether it arrives on time or not you received a very good deal on it.
Let me know what state you're in and I'll try to get a ETA on the book.

If I would have recognized it was being offered as priority I would have increased the price of the book significantly. As of now there is no recourse except to wait for the book and me to double check my records to make sure that tracking number corresponds to your shipment. So let me know what your address is and I'll find the origninal tracking information to match it up with your record.

I'm sorry about mailing it Media Mail, it was a mistake on my part. Hopefully you can share a book with a classmate for a couple of days before the book arrives."


A few minutes later:

"PS.

The book has left the KS sort facility on the 9th so it should be arriving at a sort facility near you shortly.."


Ten seconds later:

"Ohh ok, you live in Kansas city, so should be there any day now."

Two seconds later:

"Ohh ok, you live in Indiana, so should be there any day now."

(Obviously, I would not have fared well if I were the one writing the emails.)

Ok...so...because it costs more, you're going to ignore the fact that I paid EXTRA for expedited shipping (NOT AIR!) because it cost more than half gave wriggle room for? Ok? Except half.com states in the shipping policy that you are to add the extra shipping cost in with the cost of the book. You aren't allowed to send it the cheaper, slower way when I paid for the more expensive, faster way just because you don't feel like covering the cost.

Also, just because I got a good deal, that does NOT mean you can ignore the fact that I paid extra for something specific and you ignored it because...I got a good deal. Yeah, I got a good deal, but that doesn't mean shit. You are required, by half.com policy as a seller to ship it via the method I PAID for. Does he seriously not get that I would have paid less if I wanted it shipped through media mail?

Oh yeah, and then he has the gall to tell me to share the book with a classmate. :O

My fiance's reply:

"I selected expedited shipping and paid additional for it because I needed the book faster than media mail's delivery time. The class already started and I needed the book earlier today.

You were obligated to ship via an expedited method regardless of how much of a deal you seem to think I received. Per half.com's policy page this includes USPS Priority, Fed Ex Home Delivery, UPS Ground, and Airborne Express Ground Delivery. These methods are required regardless of your actual shipping cost. This is again clearly stated in half.com's policy page. You CAN ship the book within half.com's shipping allowance if you select USPS priority mail (approx $5)."

All of what I've said can be confimed with half.com's policy page, for which I've listed the link below.

http://pages.half.ebay.com/help/policy/shipping_p.html

Being that I paid additional for the expedited shipping and the slower/cheaper media mail was used, I am requesting a refund for the diffence in cost.


His replIES (yes, more than one again):

"There was no significant difference in cost. Media mail was 4 some dollars. If you want the dollar I'll be glad to refund it. You should get it in a day or two, which is inline with UPS ground. When you get the package let me know how much is printed for the shipping cost and I'll be glad to refund the approx dollar difference. I only used half.com a couple of times before and was unaware of the shipping policy. If I would have known I would have sent UPS ground and you would get the same arrival time as you are getting now."

A minute later:

"BTW, USPS priority was about 12 dollars, and there is no way in the world I would pay that considering you gave me 5. As I said, I would have sent UPS ground for that price and you would get it in the same amount of time regardless because they are both shipped by
ground.
Let me know how much of a refund you want and I'll give it promptly."


Bullshit.

Media mail cost $3.25 and expedited shipping cost $5.80. That's more than $2.50 I paid EXTRA so I could get the damn book on time. No, it's not a huge difference, but I AM a poor college student and that $2.55 could have easily been my lunch one day.

Another day or two being inline with expedited? I would have HAD the book last weekend or the beginning of this week at the most through expedited shipping. I still don't have the book. According to the tracking number, the book still hasn't even entered one of the states nearby. Do NOT tell me it would have taken the same amount of time when one method would have clearly gotten the book to me already and the other is still up in the air as to when it will get here.

He's only used half.com a couple of times? We went back to his feedback and found at least ten or fifteen half.com transactions. All but a couple happened last year. Is he seriously telling us that he's done this much business through half.com and he's never even read through the policies he agreed to before he started selling? And he's lying about it?

And he's changing the amount it would have cost him to ship it the correct way.

Now, this problem is based on principle, not the price.

Our reply:

"I would have been just fine with UPS Ground service or ANY of the services half.com includes as "EXPEITED."

UPS ground is 5 days via the chart and I would have had it in time. Media mail can take significnatly longer. Ask the post office if you don't believe me.

Generally USPS priority has a flat rate box for around $5.00 though. Thats the way all my other books came. I would highly encourage you to examine that option in the future.

I am really sorry that you are upset w/ the shipping rules. However, that's how half.com works. Me and my fiancee have a combined half.com experience of 5 years. We've never run into this problem before w/ expedited shipping.

Either way, I only ask for the half.com allowed difference in shipping cost between expedited shipping (which I paid) and media mail (you used).

Thank you"


His reply (in which his tone takes a complete 180, which makes it more than obvious he finally looked at the damn shipping policy):

"I did not intend for you to get the book after the class started. I moved out of town to go to college and would have shipped the same day if I had internet to check online to see if I had sold any books. I will refund 5 dollars back to your account right now to refund all of your shipping cost. Again, I am sorry I did not send priority and did not realize that I needed to cover the 7 dollar difference even though ebay only gave me 5 dollars. You should get the book in a day or two, and in the future I will make sure to either not list expedited shipping or increase the price of any item I'm selling to reflect the increased cost."

He refunded us pretty quick and, while it was more than we were expecting, he's still getting negative feedback (thank god he's already left me a positive). If you're going to consistently tell us that WE are wrong and WE are the bad guys in this mess, even after we state policy after policy and give you the damn link to the policy and you continue making excuse after excuse, YES, we will be leaving negative.

Like I said before, a simple apology and a refund for the difference would have been fine and we would have left a positive. It took him seven emails before he finally sounded genuinely apologetic (yeah, he said sorry before, but immediately followed it up with some lame excuse).

Edit: Since this came up in a comment (that was deleted before I could respond), we are NOT reporting him to Half.com. There's really no reason to since he finally did give us the refund. However, the negative feedback is a result of him causing us stress and him making us out to be the bad guys. He also still hasn't removed the option for expedited shipping on his other half.com items, which means he clearly hasn't learned from this incident other than he screwed up with us because we caught it.
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