Posts Tagged ‘on-line shopping’

Maybe I’ll Learn to Sew and Other Thoughts on Shopping

January 8, 2012

Today I had to do the dreaded “I need work clothes” shopping trip.  Somethings (root canals, paying bills, dealing with faux-drama) all rate ahead of shopping.  In what can only be described as a twisted sense karma, I can actually shop *for* other people.  I can whip together new wardrobes, provide selections to try on and do all the things somebody who has as, her default position, based in retail.  When it comes to me? Sigh.

Body image 101.  I’m pretty sure this impacts most women people at some level.  Today, I had a fairly normal first stop: I went to the Nordstrom Rack to use some Nordstrom Notes and hit their end of season clearance sale (pics on the hit or misses tomorrow).  Suffice to say, that for the price of one dress, I managed to get a ton of stuff for the nieces and nephews, a dress, 2 sweaters and a shirt.  Not bad.  The warning bell in my head (the one I rarely listen to but really need to!) said “go home, reconfigure your closet and come back again.” Sigh.

I headed over to Central/Davis Square area and a few resale shops including a pretty fairly rated Goodwill in Central Square.  Never again.  And by “never again”, I mean I won’t step foot into the Central Square Goodwill.  I walked in my typical Saturday garb: College logo sweatshirt, hair in pony tail, jeans, Dankso’s.  Not exactly sexy, but I’m doing errands.  I started flipping through the racks and an employee came up to me and very gently said “Honey, we don’t carry your size here.”

I was appalled.  No, I was humiliated.  Look, I’m not a size 10 or 12.  I float between an 18 and 20 which is WAY down from my college weight.  I float between an XL, 1X and 2X depending on the cut and make (hello, most people float between 2-3 sizes).  Now, in my stellar running amuck garb and my hair up, I do look heavier.  I stammered something out about ok, thanks and dashed off a text to some friends who know my disdain of shopping.  I found myself shaking: some random woman had managed to say something that left me feeling worse than dirt.  All I wanted was some stupid layering items, or something fun.  I wanted to try to do something to augment the insane amount of clothing that is purchased new, made in places like China.  Hell, I just wanted to trawl through the racks and see if I could find something fun or funny.  In short, I just wanted to enjoy my day.  And it ended with “honey, we don’t carry your size” and some random stranger walking away.  The irony, is, of course that I did find some things in my size but at that point was shaking and near tears.  I simply walked out.

After wandering around a bit, I went to the store in Davis Square. Ok, it was meh.  They had “helpfully” put the larger sizes in its own section.  But I realized how much I just didn’t care.  I was over clothes shopping.  There was one last hope: Buffalo Exchange.  I didn’t realize it was a chain (I walked by it on my way to Goodwill).  Sigh. I got the eye rolls when I walked in: ok, at this point, I was thinking costume jewelry, cheap ass sunglasses and maybe a purse.  Not only did I laugh at their prices (seriously, you could do better at lower end retail stores), I was off put by their attitude: especially when I left and heard two employees say “I knew she wouldn’t buy anything here”.  Wow.

Look, I know I need to lose weight.  I also know that I’m not going to do it on the diet du jour.  I also have the lovely additional problem of 2 artificial hips that have had about 26 surgeries between them.  It’s not a matter of just “hitting the gym”: it’s a matter of finding the right balance.  Oh, and yeah, losing the $580/month bill for my health insurance so I can afford to buy a gym membership at a place with a pool.  I wanted to scream that at all the ultra judgemental looks, people and asshats.  A few of them, I want them to just stand on their feet for 9 hours and feel the throbbing pummeling pain that destroys my body when I do that.

Actually, you know what I wish? I wish people would just mind their own effing business.  I went into a retail store (which, unless my basic grasp of economics is off, sales brings on profits which, in turn, determines staffing needs which, work with me, helps people in retail keep jobs) and was treated like dirt.  Next time, I’ll just hit up eBay.  At least there, I can’t hear or see the judgements.

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Still wating a response from Best Buy . . . . .

November 30, 2011

Dear Mr. Dunn, Ms. Smith and Mr. Paragi,

I am writing to inform you that I have simply never experienced such a monumental break down in customer service that I have endured for the 6 days with BestBuy.com.  While I realize many customers say they won’t shop an establishment again as a mere threat, I won’t shop with you again.  You won’t miss my business: I purchase very little in the way of electronics and when I do, I prefer to use local merchants.

However, this year, my sister wanted to purchase a Sony Computer Entertainment America-PlayStation 3 (160GB) Complete Entertainment Bundle-98310 which, as you know, was Black Friday door buster for $199.99.  This pricing or item was not unique to BestBuy: Wal-Mart and Target also offered the same product at the same price.  My sister’s preference for BestBuy had me purchase the item for her.  I used my credit card, had it shipped to my address.  On 11/24, I received an order confirmation stating that Order Number: BBY01-429769002426 was in process and expected to ship in 0-1 days.  On Monday (11/28) I received an email telling me there was a problem with my credit card or order.  As the on-line status indicated the item could not be cancelled and was in process, I did not pursue it feeling it might be an on-line scam.

Once I received as second email on 11/29 (Tuesday), I felt there might be a problem.  I called my credit card company, American Express, and they verified an authorization in the amount of $297.47 (American Express authorization number xxxxxx) to BestBuy for my order.  At this point, I called your customer service number to inquire as to the problem (I surmised it might have been a missed CIV number).  After spending 10 minutes on hold, to be transferred where I sat on hold for another 20 minutes, my day of sheer lunacy with your company began.

1)      Call number one: I was disconnected after being on the phone for approximately 46 minutes.

2)      Call number two: after second hold time of approximately 30 minutes, I spoke to “Judy” who claimed to be a supervisor.  She opened case number 9296255 regarding the multiple issues with this order.  I asked to speak to her manager: she stated that she did not have a supervisor as she “was” a supervisor.  I pointed out to her that everybody had a supervisor, even Mr. Dunn who reports to the Board of Directors.  I asked to hold: she declined and took my number and said one would call me back “within the hour”.  22 hours later, I am still waiting for a call back. During my conversation with Judy, she explained that because my order shipped in 2 parts, my credit card had to be re-authorized.  At this point, I explained your organization is still holding a charge pending and it’s a debit system back and once all 3 items are deducted, the balance owed to you from American Express and ultimately me would be zero.

  1. I discussed with the next 3 people the lack of “ship complete” options available on BestBuy.com.  I verified this when I made the order and then again today.  I would have done ship complete as the controller and blue-ray DVD remote are of no use to me without the PlayStation.  This is a basic feature for web sites.  In the early 1990’s (fully 20 years ago), Talbots had this feature available for telephone orders.  BN.com has this available today.
  2. I do not understand the logic behind multiple re-authorizations of a credit card when the credit has already been reserved by the credit card company.  At this point, BestBuy.com is holding $279.97 AND $212.49 of my credit for an order that totals $279.97.

3)      After contacting American Express, they agreed to one-off a second authorization to BestBuy.com for $212.49 so the item may be shipped.

4)      I called BestBuy.com again and provided the credit card number: the individual I spoke with was unable to verify that the charge went through (BestBuy case number xxxxxxxx)

5)      At 2:19 pm, I contacted the customer relations department listed on your web site and spoke to a gentleman named Lee.  He informed me it was not his job to handle complaints from BestBuy.Com.  At this point, I would like to point out the insanity of listing a customer relations department on your web site that does not handle web issues.  He then transferred me to “web research”.

6)      After spending 7 minutes on hold, Amy, verified that she was unable to do anything, unable to expedite my order and unable to explain to me why there was not a ship complete option and why the dual charge/charge release was your business practice.

7)      As of 10:38 this morning, the tracking number for the controller and remote are not showing tracking information.  My order for the PlayStation is still showing as “pending” and I have an additional charge (with no credit release) to my credit card company.

I am quite disgusted with BestBuy.com on several fronts: first, my calls were routinely dropped after 10-11 minutes of hold time because the phone lines were “too busy” according to the automated reply.  Second, your employees are not empowered to provide customer service to individuals who purchase from your store/on-line shop.  Third, there is not a mechanism to re-enter a credit card number during your on-line system when you have indicated there is an issue with a credit card number.  Fourth, there is zero point of escalation for individuals when resolution is complex.

I am not asking for a free PlayStation (although that would go a long way in taking your organization off of my blacklist) for my sister.  I do believe that your organization should do something to compensate me for my time and sheer lack of customer service provided by your organization.  At this point, I expect delivery of all 3 of my items by the end of the week and my American Express card to reflect a total charge of $279.97 with no pending debit holds from your company.

As you know, customers are exceedingly choosy about who they shop with for a myriad of reasons.  I had a choice when selecting who to purchase this item from: I made a mistake. The “bargain” that this item sold for has been nothing but a nightmare, between charge/charge backs to my credit card, unable to ship complete on web orders, employees who have lied to me and a simple inability to find out when I will receive my product.

I look forward to your reply,

(A not so) Best Buy: Tales in (missing) Customer Service

November 29, 2011

I’m sure this is karmic revenge for my friends who are tired of hearing me rail on the evils of on-line box stores.  First, let me be clear, this was my good deed of the decade as I was trying to help my sister surprise her tweeners.  It turned out to be my pro-local business, über vigilance coming back to bite me in the butt.  (Really, Santa, it was a GOOD DEED!).  My sister wanted to purchase a video gaming system for her kids for Christmas: since she has prying eyes, we agreed I’d get it for her, she’d pay me back – thus avoiding the problem of a possible false flag for credit card fraud and a surprise on Christmas morning.

Somehow, I managed to check every hour, on the hour, until this blasted thing went on sale.  I pre-notified my credit card company of out of habit spending.  I got it! I received the happy email from Best Buy saying “we will be sending this shortly”.  Great, I could see the authorization hold on my card and thought nothing of it.

Yesterday, I received and e-mail saying their was a problem with my credit card.  Since I don’t shop at Best Buy (and note, never will again), I decided to call them (being a bit paranoid about credit card scams since the on-line status said my order was pending).  I was on hold 10 minutes. .  .to be transferred to the department that handles payments for games.  Ok, seriously? It’s a CREDIT CARD.  I sat on hold for 27 minutes (thankfully, I was working on a table at work) before being told my credit card had been denied. What? I provided them the authorization number given to me by the always fantastic American Express.

So, it turns out when you have an order shipped in more than one package (and there wasn’t a ship complete option!), Best Buy re-authorizes your credit card. Each. Time.  My credit card company thought it was fraud. Fast forward 6 hours (!!!!).  I had called Best Buy numerous times: including a supervisor who when I asked to speak to a manager said she didn’t have one: I pointed out she had a boss, even the CEO has a boss, called the customer service number listed on www.bestbuy.com and was told this number wasn’t for dot.com orders (what?) and that customer service couldn’t help me.  After much frustration and a bit of laughter from my co-workers I finally found somebody who could answer my question: the order was forced through after calls between Best Buy and American Express.  The person who “researches” internet issues told me she’s had a few hundred of these complaints.  Gee, I wonder why? Charging-refunding-charging cards? All with fees attached to both the consumer and company?

I’m livid with Best Buy, I’ll be writing several individuals in the company.  But oh, did I deserve it: I knew I should have bought the damn thing locally.  And trust me, I’m not going to purchase anything from Best Buy Worse Experience Ever again.  And the kicker? People asking me what they could do to help: hint, fix my order.