I am a huge online shopper – groceries, gifts, items for the house, and family… I love to shop online, it’s often the only opportunity I get for spending my hard-earned money.
There have been occasional issues – parcels disappearing (usually at the hands of our rather pathetic national postal service, but that is a whole other blog to write!), items missing or incorrect. But they were minor problems from vendors that had customer service at their heart and went the extra mile to fix the issue. As a Quality Manager, one mistake is ok – learn from it, implement changes and move on. So those stores stayed in my circle of online stores to use.
Then, in the last 2 years, there was an explosion of online stores and sellers – as every man and his dog got on the bandwagon of chasing profits. Some of these sellers are the deals groups. I don’t like them. Too much miss rather than hit. Disappointment rate too high to make the rare bargains worth suffering for. Many of the misses relate to incorrect RRP claims, or claiming the RRP of the brand name item when offering a cheaper alternative. Which is pretty naughty – and illegal. ACCC seems a little slow of the mark dealing with these. Then there are the deals where you just cant book in for the service – had this happen twice. The only times they would give me were ridiculous of a working person. Lost my dough on those. And then there is the quality of items – a disgrace in some instances. So I am passing on those deal offers now.
Online stores that drop ship from a multitude of sites are another bane. Tried a number of times to get items shipped (having paid upfront) for Xmas and birthdays and even though given 2 weeks notice, each failed dismally. IQToys, sends stock from NZ to AUS then on to customers – dont hold your breath waiting for them to ship, they failed my Xmas present order by 7 days (ordered on 9th December). Fishpond.com.au – who seem to advertise based on what potential vendors display on own websites, have such disgraceful inventory understanding that it took 2 weeks and a reminder email from me, before they finally told me the item I had ordered could not be fulfilled. Wow – that’s pathetic. And then they had the gaul to tell me I would not be refunded for 2-3 days, having had my money under false pretenses for 2 weeks! No customer service focus there! They are just a website, they stock nothing, they order from vendors you can order from yourself, and take a profit (if of course they actually manage to find the item to send to you).
The other online trick I came across in numerous online toy stores is to indicate low or free postage – always a great way to get people to shop with you. So you order up big, then go to checkout and see the fine print, and an astronomical postage fee is attached to your order. Talk about waving a red rag to a bull – it is automatic hit delete and never come back for me when that happens. Note to all online vendors – adding a tiny asterix to such claims doesn’t make your customers sit and think oh its all my fault, I will order anyway, it makes us think you are deceptive.
My bad run didnt end there either. My niece wanted a pillow pet for her birthday. Doing the right thing I ordered from the Pillow Pet people themselves, ensuring it was authentic and putting profits in the original inventors hands. Also ordered one for my daughter. A week later my daughter’s one turned up, but nothing for my niece, it was dropped off the order, no communication! So I had paid for extra postage for nothing. Annoying. I complained, ordered one elsewhere, and did get a call back 3 days later saying there had been a system failure in inventory management. And would I like the pillow pet sent now with a free mini as an apology. Of course, that meant another round of postage costs. Being sick at the time, and already ordered elsewhere, I asked them to ring back, which never happened.
Sadly, these stores have no tangible contact with customers, and what I see happening is simple – without face to face customer contact, the impact of failing to provide good customer service is inconsequential. Never mind, plenty more customer fodder out there.
Makes me want to go visit the shopping mall and hug a shop assistant!
Hmmmm – what a nag that was. I will return to usual humour (well – that is what I call it LOL) tomorrow!
For now – beware with whom you shop online.
Yes – she’s back – I hear you all cheering – woo hoo! Apologies dear readers, I’ve been MIA, leaving you breathless in anticipation of my next commentary.
Fear not – I am back.
Not that I went anywhere – just busy preparing to return to work. And getting things organised for some other plans I have *wink*
But I see there has been plenty to keep you all amused in my absence, I mean, politics around the globe is one giant sitcom if nothing else. It’s a wonder that one of the major networks hasn’t snapped up an option on the Aussie parliament for a series: Wheel of National Fortune – the way our pollies perform there would be a number of Oscars awarded! And now, the award for the best performance of a politician looking like they give a damn goes to………. gee – just too many to pick from isn’t there!
Then we have the financial situation, geeeeeees, talk about gambling with people’s loves to get your jollies. How many pensioners have been nuked? How many homeowners are about to be destroyed as they lose their jobs? Will Aussies survive intact again, or is our luck all used up? Scary times.
On a brighter note, I have been spending time playing with some news toys – a Panasonic TZ20 (after hubby bounced the TZ7 on the concrete – note to all, they dont bounce so well). It’s pretty cool actually, gorgeous HD vids even on hubby’s high-speed RC helicopters. They’ve improved button placements and the touch screen is so cool! And it’s so small it fits in my handbag without having to remove the kitchen sink – RESULT! Also a Kenwood Chef……….oh so yum – a dream of mine I inherited from my mum. So proud to have one now! Have been whipping up pavs, garlic aioli and superb frozen daiquiris by the tonne LOL. BTW – will put my recipes on a new recipes tab above – will add pics next time I make them – so probably some time tomorrow LMAO.
Also had some good and bad customer service experiences – Qantas had me on hold for 20 mins for picking up my call but redeemed themselves with above and beyond service, whilst Three again disgraced themselves with dodgy, uncaring service that left me feeling a little bit dirty.
I also wrote a piece about rescue animals for an RSPCA PR activity – we own a rottweiler who was a rescue dog and I feel it is important for all people to understand how important it is to rescue animals wherever possible. You can find it HERE. Please consider a rescue animal when looking for a new companion – save a life. And please support local shelters – Renbury, Lost Dogs Home, RSPCA.
As for Toldyah, its at a pivot point – we need to bootstrap it for a while now as I concentrate on getting and settling into a new job, and then I will take the time to decide what I want to do with it long-term. If anyone has thoughts I would love to hear them – please let me know via the contact form in post below. For now we’ll stick to customer reviews and perhaps focus more on smart phone access as money allows us to develop apps.
So – if you know of someone who needs a QA Manager/Food Safety Specialist for long or short-term projects feel free to drop me a line!
Ever had an experience where you paid for something and the customer service attitude just sucked? Everyone just said yes didn’t they, LOL.
What is it these days – people don’t think that they are responsible for good service? Slap the product down after payment and that’s it? Take no responsibility for the product quality or experience. Off you go, be grateful we let you pay us……..
Many of you know I used to be a Quality and Ethics manager, so I take great interest in these things. So when American Express (yep the CC ppl) found in a survey (click here) that customer service is abysmal these days, I was interested to read more. Then, wham bam…….
Such an experience whacked me in the choppers. A site I utilise feels to me a bit like it has an air of the draconian overlord going on – mods delete posts without discussion or warning, but not everyone is treated the same , rules open to interpretation…….all a bit unprofessional. And when I pointed this out, the response was…….typical *sigh*
When will people realise that bad service and quality isn’t sustainable? That bad experiences get retold to 15-17 friends, whom tell an average of 9 other friends each. Adds up quickly doesn’t it.
But you know what, if WE, the customer, accept mediocrity, it will continue. We need to tell them that the behaviours arent acceptable (hmmm – am feeling a bit of Nannying coming on). And if telling doesnt change anything, then we need to take these guys by the neck, give them a good shake, and perhaps sit them in the naughty corner for a while.
There is a great site I love – The Customer Underground. Gives fantastic opportunities to tell it like it is, just like Toldyah! Go check them out, tell it like it is, and start demanding better service!