I recently ordered a new front door online from the home improvement store with the orange boxy logo. This store offers you the option to have items ordered online shipped (free of charge) to the physical store of your choosing, where you can pick up the item. I've done this several times in the past with no problem.
Two weeks after ordering and paying for the door, I got an email: my door has been shipped to the store! Yay!
The next day, I got another email: my door is at the store waiting for me to come and pick it up! More yay! However, this was a Friday, and not a convenient day to pick up the door. That's okay - they'll hold it for something like 10 days. I made plans to go get the door on the following Tuesday.
On Saturday, I got an email saying I had a credit of several hundred dollars with the store. A credit that was suspiciously the same amount as the gift cards I bought to pay for the door (for extra points at a local grocery chain when you buy gift cards from them). I emailed customer service for the home improvement store, asking if the credit was legit and if they could tell me where it came from. Customer service said they're not sure if it's legit, forward the email to them and they'll see if they can figure out where it came from.
On Sunday, I got an email saying that the door had been returned, and I've been given a store credit for the gift cards used for the purchase.
On Monday, I got a letter from the store I requested the door be sent to. This letter confirmed that I've been credited for the purchase of the door, and that the door I want is not in stock at that store. This was confusing because the whole point of ordering the door online was the fact that the physical stores have a limited selection, and since the door was ordered online, it shouldn't matter what the store has in stock - the door is being shipped from either the manufacturer or some central warehouse to that particular store.
I explained the sequence of events, with attached emails and a scan of the letter, to the online customer service rep, who was very helpful and apologetic. On Tuesday I got a phone call from a manager at the store saying that he has no idea what happened, the door was "accidentally" and "inadvertently" noted as a return right after it was scanned as having arrived. But they do indeed have my door and if I bring the email with the store credit, I can re-pay for the door and take it home. He offered a $50 discount for the trouble, which I felt was satisfactory.
So on Thursday, I finally went to get my door. The guy at the customer service desk stared at me, stared at the notes on his computer, and had someone find the door and bring it to the service desk. Yay! My door does indeed exist! It's sitting right in front of me.
Then the customer service guy told me that since the door had been "returned", the store no longer "owned it", so he couldn't sell it to me.
I have no idea what my face looked like, but it can't have been pretty. I didn't yell or scream, I didn't stamp my feet or make rude gestures. I took a deep breath and just looked at him, looked at the door, and looked back at him.
Whatever I looked like, he instantly back-pedaled and promised me that he'd find a way for me to take the door, and take it that day. And after about 30 minutes of poking around on the computer, he finally found that the manager who had called me had already put together an invoice so that I could pay for the door.
So my new front door is sitting on my porch awaiting the contractor to come and install it (next week). I did get the $50 off, which more than paid for the truck rental to get it home, plus some mulch for my garden. All's well that ends well, I suppose...but I'll think twice before making an online order to ship to the store...or at least, to ship to that particular store, where they return items before the customer who already paid for it can even come and pick it up.