I've purchased plenty of stuff online through out the years. In particular, I've frequented sites like Amazon since they're pretty user-friendly as far as the actual interface goes.
They were great right up until I ordered my video iPod. I ordered the 30gig in black, and paid out the ass (something like $15-20) to have it shipped one-day. I placed the order on Tuesday, 11/15.
Fast forward to Friday. I have been waiting all week for my iPod. I gave them the benefit of the doubt that I placed the order at around 1pm, so it was probably processed on Wednesday. If it was processed Wednesday, it might have been shipped Thursday. And if it was late arriving, it would be there by Friday, right? I called my room mate at 3pm on Friday from work, and it had still not arrived.
I called Amazon's customer service since I never received a tracking number, and they said they outsourced the order to a third party electronics company. Fine. I got their number from Amazon, and called them. Their customer service told me right off the bat that the cut off time was not being met yet for deliveries, and that I should expect UPS to deliver it by 5pm. I asked that they at least look up my account before giving a generic canned script message, and sure enough, there was a problem.
It seems, the 30gig in black was out of stock, and on back order. The overly-perky sugar-sweet girl told me she expected them to hopefully be back in stock before Christmas. I was a little upset, needless to say. I explained that I paid good money for an item that was advertised as in stock, and additional money to have the item express shipped. She skipped any sort of apology and basically told me that it was Amazon's fault, not theirs, for that error. I asked what she planned to do about it, and only then did she help me. She said they could switch the order to the other white model, and ship it out. I said ok. She blind-transferred me to another person, who answered the phone. After five minutes of explanation of my story again, he began placing the order. When he asked for my credit card number, I stopped...why in the hell did he want that?
Come to find out, he was placing a new order. The girl had misinformed me. She said they would modify the original order when in fact she cancelled it and transferred me to a sales queue. I'm guessing she got some kind of referral credit for it...I was pissed. I asked how long it generally took to process a credit, and the rep had no clue...he said they send the request within seven to ten days to Amazon...and from there Amazon would credit me. In essence, I was looking at weeks rather than days in terms of a refund. I still wanted the ipod, so I went ahead and had him place the order. (Mind you, I had to place this particular order through Amazon since I was using a $100 gift certificate.)
Anyway, so I placed the order, and the guy said everything should be ok. The order was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday since he said his manager would make sure the order was processed that day. I thought everything would be ok. (Ha!) This time I actually received a tracking number. I tracked it all the way through the end of the day Tuesday. By around 3-4pm, I was getting worried when my room mate was still saying it had not arrived. Online tracking said it was guaranteed by the end of that day though, so Customer Service all but refused to speak to me. They read (from a script, since one of the reps kept stumbling over it), "Our drivers have all the way up until the cut off time to deliver One Day Air Saver (or whatever it was) packages. It is only (such and such) time now sir, they will deliver it."
Low and behold, it never arrived. I called Customer service and they told me it was delayed in getting shipped out of their originating location, and that it would definitely be there by the end of the next day. The next day, or course, was Wednesday 11/23. I waited all day. I was off work for the holiday for the rest of the weekend, so I had the time. I waited all day and still...no package. The due date had passed and I was pissed. I called UPS after 5pm that evening, and their customer service line was off, of course, since they closed early for the holiday.
I called on Friday, 11/25 - the day after Thanksgiving, to see what was up. The rep said they probably just didn't get to the package with the holiday commotion, but it would be delivered by the end of that day guaranteed since they were obligated by their corporate office to have all packages for that week delivered by end of day. Mine was part of that obligation. The rep acknowledged this and said it would be there, no question, before midnight friday night.
At 10:30pm, I was a little pissed. Here's the conversation I had with them around 10:30 that night:
Me: Hi, me again. I've been calling all afternoon and evening to see why my package that was paid for and supposed to be delivered today has not arrived. (the rep looked up my info)
C/S Rep: It is the day after a holiday, only Air packages are being delivered today.
Me: Mine *is* an air package. Your company said this wouldn't be a problem back on Wednesday morning, as well as earlier today.
C/S Rep: Well, truck drivers have to deliver until all of their packages have been delivered. They have until 11:59 PM to do it.
Me: So you're saying some random person could be ringing my buzzer up until 11:59pm tonight?
C/S Rep: Yes. They have until then to deliver the package.
Me: Yes, I heard you the first time you said it. What I'm thinking though is that all the Chicago area drivers have gone home for the night, and I won't be getting it until Monday. It's snowing outside, so it makes sense.
C/S Rep: Oh no no no! It has to be delivered...
Me: OMG, I know! By 11:59pm tonight! Please! (*sigh*) Let's be realistic. How often is a driver going to knock on someone's door after 10pm? Can you just tell me Monday so I can go to bed now?
C/S Rep: I apologize sir, but all I can verify is that they...
Me: Oh nevermind. I'll call back tomorrow when it hasn't arrived so I can get an update.
...and the package never did arrive that night, surprise surprise! When I called on Saturday, the rep apologized until she was blue in the face saying that it should have arrived Friday. I was guaranteed that the shipping cost would be refunded, and that I'd get it sometime Monday. When I asked if I could change the destination address since no one would be there to sign Monday (where as some one *was* there each previous day to sign), of course that wasn't possible. I asked how the shipping would be refunded, and they said they didn't take care of that...I would have to contact the shipper.
I called the electronics company back, explained what happened, and had to be escalated to a manager...unfortunately, the manager that needed to handle it was off until Monday. No biggie.
Monday, 11/28 rolls around. I call them back (from work) and ask to speak with that manager. She's not available. I leave a message. Meanwhile, I get a call from my neighbors...UPS came by and left the package at my front step! If I lived in a rural town, this wouldn't be an issue...but I live in Chicago...and that just was *not* good. Luckily, my neighbors saw and were kind enough not to steal it from me.
Around 4pm the manager from the electronics company calls me and says there's nothing she can do about the shipping. I would have to "contact Amazon since my original payment was to them." I hung up on the woman and took the loss on the shipping. I was over it all. I will never use Amazon's expedited shipping again unless I have to, let me tell you. Ugh!