sakanagai (sakanagai) wrote in bad_service,

Oh your order is soooo canceled

I like browsing various resellers such as woot (and its affiliates), Yugster, and, until recently, Stootsi. The later two didn't have quite the reputation of woot, but fairly good as far as resellers go. This post focuses on the latter. While I am aware that business with resellers is a crap shoot, there are times when it goes too far.

I've bought a few items from Stootsi and while I was somewhat disappointed with opened Best Buy remnants from Stootsi, in terms of speed of processing it was comparable to the others. Their second anniversary was on August 1st with a special event. They had several different types of item collections up for sale over the first several days of August and announced that orders would start shipping on the 11th, the first business day after the conclusion of the event.

In addition to getting their presumed best mystery box (MB) and a gamer-focused box (GB), as a gamer I found it impossible to resist the "One Random PC Game", $.25 each, no limit, $5 shipping regardless of order size offer. The example they gave of a possible order was 250, but I went for just 100. All of this was on the first day of the event, Aug 1.

Fast forward to the 11th when items are expected to ship. I get a tracking number for the MB, nothing else. Over the next two days, I get the tracking info for the GB and PC games, respectively. Each set of tracking info has an expected delivery date and the date for the MB to arrive had already passed. No sign of it that day. Or the next one. I get an email (sent to all event buyers, it appears) stating that the shipping process is taking longer than expected and most are still in the warehouse. They give us a rough sketch of target ship dates that spanned the next three days. The MB did ship at the end of the week and arrived the next Monday. But no sign of the GB or the games. A second email was sent out on the 15th updating (read: delaying) the ship dates for the remaining orders. Those, too, aren't accurate.

It should be noted that during the course of these events, the various message boards attached to the items were filling up with posts of the anxious. I, too, joined in admittedly. The gist of the comments was that we just wanted to know how long we would have to wait.

Jump again to the 19th, eight days since the initial shipping target and 18 days after I paid for all three items. Another email arrives listing the event items each with a shipping status. The GB shipped the day before and arrived the next day (an already opened, complete with Best Buy return labels and someone else's save data, 64MB memory card for the Xbox 360; that was it). The games were all that were left. The email update claimed that they didn't expect the volume of orders and that caused the delay. But why not limit the number of orders available? And if you can't do large orders, why use 250 games as the example?! They gave Friday (the 22nd) as their next target date and extended on offer to cancel the orders for anyone who wanted it and receive a full refund. I don't know how many takers there were, but the message board activity didn't decrease; I can't imagine too many willing to wait 19 days would give up rather than wait a few more.

Then a whole lot of nothing but speculation. Many of the orders still hadn't shipped by the following week. The posters on the boards even started to grow worried that their orders would be canceled. A moderator and Stootsi-staff member assured everyone via a comment that no orders would be canceled. I'm sure you've figured out what happens next. The 28th arrives, over a week since their last update and 28 days after they took my money. We get an email stating that the orders had been canceled (although they weren't clear about that fact and I had to ask twice for clarification). The said they had more than enough stock to fulfill orders (dubious at best, more on that later), but they were concerned about the frustration of those still waiting. So canceling the orders is their solution? They gave us the chance to cancel. We chose to wait. Surely that was some sort of indication we wanted our games. We shortly thereafter received a $5 coupon that expires in December.

At least when they were sending inaccurate emails they were showing customers that they gave a damn. Giving up and canceling despite us passing that offer when it was optional is something else entirely. A $5 coupon won't buy me back and I am not alone in this sentiment. One person went so far as to post his coupon code as he (or she) had no more use for it.

As far as those that received their games, almost all sets were identical. It was like Stootsi had a list of some number of games and if you ordered 15 games, they'd pick the first 15 from the list. And despite the item name being "PC game[s]", upwards of 15% of those received were Mac-only.


tl;dr: Ordered 100 random PC from Stootsi, didn't ship at either of two target ship dates provided to me. After holding my money (and that of many others who ordered) for 28 days, they cancel all unshipped PC game orders despite the fact that the cancellation offer had previously been extended and rejected by all still waiting. Then they sent a $5 coupon. Damned if I ever use it.

Twenty-eight days they had to prepare orders for shipping. 28! And nothing to show for it at the end of the day.

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