Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's all in the timing

So Monday I realized that there were several dangling shopping problems that needed an answer around here. My emails about these items had either been ignored or the website had been too "busy" to accept my web form. It was time to take matters literally into my own hands and--egad!--use the telephone.

I know, how old fashioned of me. Well, occasionally technology defeats us and we have to resort to the old ways. And this is how it went:

Problem 1: Tickets for a play the end of Oct. The Romance Readers are going, my card is charged for 9 tickets, and the confirmation email said they'd be mailed in 7 days. That was 21 days ago as of Monday. So I punched the number. Answered promptly. Seems they were just then getting the tickets printed. My name was found, the tickets were confirmed verbally and I was assured they'd be sent out that day and I should get them within the week. Tuesday they arrived.

I guess I should have waited to call, but how can you ever really be sure? It's like getting a computer. You have to jump on the wagon some where. But, I REALLY should have waited on the next call.

Problem 2: We'd placed an order with a company in August for 4 items. Two they were shipping and two were shipped from the vendors. Three items arrived in two packages quite promptly. They were on my credit card bill. No problem. The problem was the fourth item, a piece of luggage which we really want for an upcoming trip. I knew it was back-ordered until mid-Sept. Looked at the calendar. It was mid-Sept. I tried the website, but it was no go. Everyone else must have had it tied up. So I called.

Fifteen minutes of listening to the same voice tell me the same thing over and over and I was looking for things to do. I dared not hang up. Finally, a customer service rep answered. I use that term lightly because no matter how I tried to explain the situation, I was told the article had been shipped the end of August, it was delivered to my post office, I was charged for it (she gave me the amount for one of the other packages), and there wasn't a thing to do about it until 30 days had passed. As there was no arguing with this, I said I'd check with my post office.

Four hours later, I call back, wait another 15 minutes, listen to the same incessant spiel, and get another customer service rep. A real one. One who said she'd check on the problem, because yes, the item was still on order, and get back to me via phone.

Monday evening, I get an email from another part of the company which says the item has shipped from the vendor.

Now any day I expect two things: the item and the phone call from the second customer service rep informing me of the shipment. I think I know which I'll get first.

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