Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Where's My Order?" and the Art of Complain

Hi everyone,

Christmas is coming and for those who have ordered their gifts online since Black Friday, I hope they are coming to you. Although the internet is a good place to shop and you tend to have better deals than purchasing in store, it is the waiting that gives us a lot of jitters. While a lot of companies deliver their goods on time, some don't, mostly due to overwhelming orders placed from such sales.
Usually, I would give them a week to 10 days before I start making some noises. Although I am not like Dr. Sheldon Cooper in "The Big Bang Theory," I do believe in complaining to customer service to get my orders. After all, it's my money and it's their responsibility to deliver the goods to me. This is a tried and true method and it works. So if you placed an order about three weeks ago and you haven't seen it, here are a few tips for you:

1. Read the company's shipping policy: while most companies do have policies to ship out their stuff after 48 hours to 5 or 7 business days, others may take longer. If you purchase from Etsy, definitely pay attention to this part. Since Etsy stores and some other small businesses are ran by one person, it is hard for them to juggle all the balls at once. Also, during the holiday season, a lot of these small businesses are swamped with orders so it might take them longer to ship.

2. Find your electronic invoice and shipping notification: if the company already sent you one of those, please read to see if a tracking number is attached. If not, move on top step 3.

3. Email customer service: legitimate companies often have an email address to their customer service department. If you haven't seen your order after 3 weeks (internationally, 8 weeks,) it is fair game to email them and ask where your order is. You should include the order number, content of your order, as well as the account number you have for that company. Better yet, forward them your e-invoice. It should have all the information. Wait 2-3 business days to see if you receive a reply. If not, move on top step 4.

4. Call them: again, legitimate companies should have a phone number for you to call. It might take some time and make you feel like you are jumping through hoops but again, it's your money and you don't want to disappoint a certain someone in your life so jump! Again, have the information in step 3 ready.

When you call, make sure to ask the representative for his or her name and ID number as well as extension number. Should more problem persists and you have to go higher up to the ladder, at least you have a name and some information to tell the supervisor, rather than "I talked to someone on the phone the other day."

5. Take it to their social medias: I hope you don't have to go this far to get your order but if that's the case, Facebook and Twitter are surprisingly beneficial. I had a case when I could not get a satisfactory answer from emails and calls. I was so frustrated that I put a tweet online with the company's name (something along the line of "I placed an order in @soandso's website 3 weeks ago and haven't received it yet.") Within an hour later, I checked my email and saw my order was shipped. Was it a miracle or what?

Apparently, companies these days are very conscious of how the social medias view them. Who knows where that tweet or that Facebook status would go. Within a click of a button, that tweet would be retweeted so many times that it can make your head spin. Of course, they don't want to be badly perceived. Also, companies tend to have people checking tweets and posts on their Facebook pages, even during the weekends.

6. If all fails and months later, your order is nowhere to be found, it's time to file a dispute to your credit card company. If you can't have your goods, they can't have your money, either. I hope none of you have to go to this extreme and it is very annoying to be in this state.

I have seen good companies fail because of bad customer services. Apparently, regardless of how awesome the products are, customers can only put up with the bad services for so long. If you are not in a rush, it is worth the wait but since this is the holiday season, you need to do all you can to get your orders. Good luck in that area, everyone!

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