Posted by: Chad | March 28, 2011

Online Ordering (what are your expectations?)

Recently, I ordered 3 different camera parts from 3 different companies online.

Typically, when I order online, I save the return receipts to “hand in” at the end of the month.  In this case, I found 2 different scenarios.

In one case, Biggs Camera sent an immediate PayPal receipt with the cost, tax and shipping all very clear on a one page email.  Thank You Biggs Camera and PayPal.  Silly me, I thought this is how everyone did it.

In the second case, I received an invoice, but was charged a different amount on my credit card.  I figured out that shipping was not included in the invoice.  I found a phone number online (no email) and called.  The first time I did not leave a message.  On the second call I left a message explaining that I needed an accurate invoice.  On the third call (3 days later), someone picked up the phone.  Let’s say there was a language barrier, but, I believe we finally had an understanding.  Prior to agreeing to email a receipt “in a few days”, she told me three things:

  • “Oh well, it’s going to take a while, this is a special request”
  • “The extra cost is shipping, just write it on the invoice you have”
  • and of course, “do you have a fax number” (what is that?)

I explained to her that I could neither turn in a receipt with a hand written charge, nor did I feel like I was asking for anything special.  I am still waiting.

The third case was much like the second, a higher charge than my receipt, clearly shipping.  This one was the winner for oddest customer service experience ever.  If you remember Peggy on the Discover card commercial, she also works for this company.

To reach this company, I was given 4 choice:

  • Live Chat – I thought, excellent, I love technology, tried it 4 times, never worked
  • Phone number – I talked to 2 different Peggy’s (I thought I was being set up).  At one point while I was on hold, a voice said, “thank you for calling customer boat covers” (I was on with a camera store).  Let’s just say, the 24-48 hours passed days ago.
  • Write.  Yes.  They gave me the option to write a letter to them.
  • Email.  the first response was yes, the extra charge is shipping, product was $xx.xx and shipping was $xx.xx, but no receipt.  I sent a second email stressing the importance of receiving an accurate receipt.

I did not mention the bad companies, as that is not my point (but if you see me, I will tell you).

I am two weeks away from launching (with great help of course) my first eCommerce website, so, what are your expectations?

Is it too much to ask to get a clean and accurate receipt for all charges?  Or is it an option to give less?


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