Monday, February 02, 2009

A Fabulous Deal Comes Back To Bite Me In The Butt

The other day, I decided to shop online for some things I needed for Girl Scouts. (Have I mentioned here that I was asked to start up a troop at my school? If not, I'll provide details at the end...)

I went to the official online shop and found the few things I needed, plus some great deals on uniform pieces for Offspring. I got really excited when I saw that some of her age-level items were on clearance -- two different styles of pants, one priced at 99 cents, and the other at $1.49. They also had a uniform shirt for 99 cents. I got all happy, and started clicking away. I am always glad to find stuff like this on sale. So, I had my sale items, and one really expensive item. My total is close to $100.

Imagine my dismay when I get all of the shopping done, and am at the end of the transaction, with all of the credit card information entered in, and BAM -- I get an error message. I get "We are unable to complete your request at this time. Please try again later." I got a little ticked, but I just figured that their system was down. I thought I'd try again later, since most of that was a really good deal.

I try again later, but still get the SAME blasted message. Over the next two days, I try this same transaction several more times -- all are unsuccessful, much to my dismay. I end up having to call Customer Service in order to get what I want to go through.

Fast forward to this past Friday evening. JF, Offspring, and I are all relaxing at home, when there is a knock on our front door. The only time someone knocks on our door at that time of the evening, it's usually our friendly UPS man to deliver a package. JF opens the door, and comes back into our bedroom carrying 5 packages. Count them -- FIVE -- packages. I immediately get a sinking feeling.

Lo and behold, through the magic of the Internet, apparently ALL the times I placed that order, it went through. Never mind that I never got a confirmation on any of those attempted purchases, only an error. I now have FIVE pairs of pants, FIVE shirts, and four $75 silk scarves. Ouch!

Of course, the delivery arrives after the Customer Service office is closed for the weekend, and I rush around, all in a tizzy, trying to make sure that I only used a credit card, and not my debit card, or we're in a serious mess. JF is usually the worrier in the family, but I'm worked up -- this is more than $400 we're talking about; money we can't just throw away at this point. JF calms me down, and tells me to check the bank account online. We do, and it seems we're safe as far as these transactions go. They were all made with one credit card, and we can get that taken care of pretty easily.

So, this morning, I call the Customer Support line, and explain to the representative about what has obviously happened. She seems pretty shocked that their internal auditing system didn't catch this snafu, but tells me to box all the unwanted items up and send them back, and the will give me a full refund.

All I know is it's probably going to cost me a freaking mint to mail all this stuff back, and I certainly won't be buying anything online from them for a LONG time.


* Okay, so I was asked way back in November if I would be interested in starting up a troop at my school for kindergarten and first grade girls. I told the Powers That Be that I would think about it, and after some deliberation, I decided to do it. My main reason for agreeing is that I recruited a good friend to serve as my assistant. Leading a troop is a lot of work, and I've had lackluster backup and dismal parent participation before. I decided that if I did this, I was going to need someone that I could count on to ACTUALLY help. My friend, whom I call "Small, But Sassy" was a person that I knew wouldn't let me down. What with holidays, school stuff, and the snail's pace at which the bureaucracy works, we didn't get our ducks in a row until this past week. So, that's the scoop. I'll keep you all posted. Cross your fingers for me.


La Reina said...

KLee -

PLEASE tell me you haven't paid to ship the boxes back yet. Any competent customer service rep who knows items are being returned due to THEIR mistake should be able to provide a pre-paid return label.

If they don't offer, ask for a supervisor. Whatever you do, do NOT spend your own money paying for their error. You called in and did everything right.

If you have already shipped the stuff back, e-mail me and I'll help you write up a polite, direct letter informing them that they will indeed reimburse your for the return postage. I'm not known as the Queen of Complaint Letters for nothing....

kathy a. said...

gah. and la reina has some good advice about return shipping.

but the girls, they will be so excited to be in your troop!