The most exciting moment of making a purchase online is when you actually receive your items in the mail. You have waited patiently for days or even weeks for your purchase to make an appearance at your doorstep. With anticipation, you open the box, rifle through the mounds of packaging material, and finally make contact with your brand new item. But wait, what IS this? You turn the item over and over in your hands and a slow realization overcomes you… this is not the item you have ordered! Panic overtakes and you dive into the box frantically searching for the shipping order form.
This is the scenario that I encountered when I made my last purchase at katespade.com.
After the initial panic and shock, I carefully cross reference the order form with the items I received in my shipment. What became apparent to me was that the item number on the protective plastic wrap matched the item I ordered but the item within the plastic was the wrong one.
I call the customer service hotline. The pleasant service provider on the line was courteous, but was not even familiar with the order form. Although both of us were looking at the same form, I had to walk her through the form. After the initial confusion, she informed me that the item I purchased was a sale item and was bound by their “no return” policy. “But you sent me the wrong item!” She repeatedly told me that she understood but could not offer me any resolution. I asked to speak to a supervisor. She informed me that there were no supervisors available at the time due to the time of day. How convenient. She asked me to call back. Ok, fine.
I call the customer service hotline. Got another pleasant service agent. Had to explain the whole situation to her again. Apparently, the previous call wasn’t logged and there was no history of my previous conversation. I was told the same thing again – that it would be difficult for me to return the item since I had purchased it on sale. How ridiculous is it for a company to restrict their clients from returning something that they had not ordered? I asked to speak to a supervisor. Service agent #2 advised me that it would take a very long time to get a hold of a supervisor on the phone since they were terribly busy during this time of day. Since I was in a hurry, I asked her what she could do for me. The agent said she would generate a report documenting my issue. I was informed that someone from another department would get back to me with a resolution.
No email from the “other” department
No email from the “other” department
I call the customer service hotline. With no time to waste and short on patience, I immediately asked to speak to a supervisor. Service agent #3 tried to offered her assistance instead, advising me that it may be difficult to get a supervisor on the line. Situation was explained yet another time. I was told the same thing – the no return on sale item policy. I asked to speak to a supervisor. She chuckled and said “oookay”…. but it will be a very long wait. About 10 minutes later, service agent # comes back on the line and informs me that she was unable to reach a supervisor. “What? Really??” She furthered explained that she could not just throw me into the queue to wait because she herself had to speak to supervisor before transferring me over. I proceeded to to inform her that I needed this taken care of ASAP as my schedule was very limited. I asked her if I should go directly to a retail store to return the item. Her response: “You can try”…. I don’t see why they wouldn’t take it back, since it is indeed the wrong item”. My thoughts exactly.
With a glimmer of hope, I call the retail store that I intended on visiting. I asked to speak to the manager. After explaining the issue to her, she apologized and informed me that they were not authorized to take any “sale” returns from online purchases. I had hit another dead end. The retail manager said that a similar situation had occurred with one of her clients and the online customer service department was able to accommodate her return. In utter frustration, I went on to tell this manager that I could not get a supervisor on the phone to assist me with the return. Retail manager was shocked. She took down my information and said that she would inform her manager and the district manager of my situation.
2 hours later, I received an email from this “retail store manager”. She informed me that she was able to get through to customer service and they advised her to have me call back for a return shipping label. Yay!
I call the service customer service hotline. I proceeded to tell service agent #4 that “retail store manager” had called on my behalf and that I am now calling for my return shipping label. I was put on hold. 2 minutes later, a real live supervisor magically reveals herself on the line. Wow, that was easy. Huh! The supervisor informed me that she would have to seek approval for the return. Oh goodness, how high is this chain of command? I was told that I would receive an email once it was approved and then a return shipping label should follow within 2 days.
Receive email from “supervisor” informing me that the “return” was authorized.
I received my “return” shipping label.
REALLY???¬† 8 days to rectify and shipping error?¬† I love you, Kate… but this is too much.
The Good Customer
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