WOW!  I’m almost speechless.  Simply WOW!  I should be getting to bed but  I just had a horrendous experience with a company online, and it is such a case study in customer service FAIL!!

Earlier today I ordered some mini-garbage pails that I plan to use in a marketing campaign for a business I have.  I’d been searching a number of sites for the best price, and came across a company that had both the best price and did not have a minimum order like all of the others.

So I ordered 20 pails, went through their check out process to see that shipping was going to be almost one hundred buck!  yikes!  But I figured to myself, well, this is why their price is the cheapest…they get you on the shipping, and since I didn’t want 100 (the minimum on another site) this was still the least expensive way to go.

A little while late I thought, well, if shipping is that much anyway, maybe I can add some to the order and save myself from that crazy shipping price a month from now when I’ll likely reorder.

So back to their site I discover that shipping this time is coming up as $15.62…a far cry from the $99 previously quoted.  So I sent a note to the company asking about the shipping cost.  I wasn’t expecting a refund since I had placed the order knowing full well what I was ordering, but some sort of explanation would be nice.  Here is my initial email:

I placed an order today (#506681314803429) and just realized that the Ground Shipped amount charged was $99.  That seems rather high.

I  had gone back to your site to see about possibly ordering additional
items and the shipping cost the second time was appearing as $15.32 for the same items.

Can you please explain the high shipping amount.

Thank you,

Here is their response:

You chose a third party processor, Google.  You were on their website using their application.

When you were on our website you were given the opportunity to check the shipping cost simply by typing in your zip code and apparently you opted out of that.

So to answer your question, YOU are solely responsible for all charges
because YOU made all the choices and yes the shipping charge was excessive, obviously excessive, but YOU paid it.  YOU paid a shipped charge calculated by a third party that you picked and went to THEIR website and paid 5 times more than you would have been charged had you chosen PayPal or our own payment processing.  So you should be asking yourself how did you let that happen?

The point of all of this is that you are asking us about something that was
done by another company as if you don’t have a clue to the fact that you
were on another company’s website.

If we hadn’t already processed your order and shipped it we would just
cancel it and let you go on your way.  We certainly don’t want a client like
you.  But since we have already processed and shipped your order we will now have to spend many more man hours than your order is worth fixing the problems that YOU cause yourself.

We will fix this but we will never accept any future orders from you.

Customer Service

I have never received such a rude response before.  How do these people stay in business treating a customer like this.  Being the outspoken person I am, I replied:

Wow.  What a completely rude response.  I asked a simple question in a respectful manner but received back a disrespectful response.  I did not blame your company for the charge, but rather inquired as to the shipping charge discrepancy.  A simple explanation was all that was needed.

I do not have a paypal account, and given the option between having complete a customer profile or use the google option your site provides where my data is already stored, I chose the faster method.  There is no indication on your site that shipping costs would be different from one method or another, and from a customer service standpoint, it is illogical to offer a different payment method but fail to note that there may be a difference in shipping costs.  But again, my inquiry was not an attempt to blame your company.  I was simply looking for an explanation.
I was pleased to find your mini garbage pails at a reasonable price, without the high minimums required by other sites.  I would have been a repeat customer for that item about once a month, but you can be sure that with your customer service skills, I have no desire to use your company again.
I hope you are simply having a bad day and that the manner in which you handled this is not a pattern for how you treat your customers.
Melissa Amaya

And their oh so nuanced response:

We don’t want your business.

We will not answer or reply to any more emails.

Your email address has been added to our spam filter.

They did refund the difference in shipping (it took them far less than the HOURS they claimed they would be spending to fix the problems that I caused).

All of that hostility over a misunderstanding.  All it required was an explanation and I would have done a face slap to myself and said, ‘stupid.’  I’ll gladly take that refund, but what I was looking for was a simple answer.  What a shame.

Am I delirious?  I’m still in a bit of shock that a company actually responded in this manner.  My business profs would surely have given them an F (well, more like a C since everything was graded on a curve).


Oh, and in case you want to avoid dealing with these people, the website is: