I’m having such a great day today that I hesitate to write this post, but it would be unfair to you, dear readers, to leave you hanging after you were so generous in your responses to the polls in the last post.
The bottom line is, you and I are in total agreement. While I certainly understand that life often tosses us wild pitches and business can’t be conducted “as usual”, there are different approaches to recovering from those out-of-control missiles. Just recently, for example, I placed an order with an on-line site. After a few days I received a very sweet email explaining that the proprietor had critical family health concerns, apologizing profusely and giving me a time frame within which they could answer my questions and send my order. I was and am fine with that. I’ve also, in the past, received emails from businesses admitting that they just plain messed up, apologizing, and making things right.
But at other times I have to wonder what a business is thinking. And such is the case when I ordered Addi Turbo straight knitting needles from the Pioneer Heritage Shoppe in Devil’s Lake, ND. I placed an order on Sunday, February 27, requesting 3-day shipping because I wanted the order by Saturday, March 5 and felt that a buffer of two days would be sufficient (allowing that the items would not be shipped until Monday, the next business day). I received a pro forma acknowledgement of the order via email and thought nothing of it.
By Wednesday I had received nothing, nor had my debit card been charged for the purchase, so I emailed the shop. The owner (who signs herself the “CEO”, which I thought odd) blamed it partially on her own shopping cart’s confusing behavior, and then said “Since your order shipped out 3 days after it was received, the same week, this is only a slight delay”. Maybe I’m missing something, but 3 days later than a request for 3 day shipping is more than a “slight delay”. The shop’s website states on its home page this little bit:
WHY SHOP WITH US?
- Original & High Quality Handmade Gifts * Original, Quality Products *
- Attention To Detail * Customized Orders * Personal, Quick, Dependable Service *
- Excellent Product Guarantee * Commitment To Our Customer’s Satisfaction *
Not only did the CEO appear defensive and uncommitted to customer’s satisfaction, but when she did ship the Addi Turbo straight needles she shipped them Ground, not even 3-day!! Her explanation was: “shipping from our store to your location is only a 4 day journey ground service and because of your location the rate for express service was well over what you originally received your rate quote for”. Indeed, she shipped it 3/3 and it will arrive 3/9, which I count as 5 business days. I would have preferred that she had contacted me and asked if I wanted to pay the higher rate, rather than making that decision for me. (She has said that she did include a “free pattern booklet”. I acknowledge this as a small token of apology, but patterns are highly subject to individual taste and who knows if it is even something I want or don’t already have?) When I suggested that, in her shoes, I would have overnighted it at my own expense, she said “we do not upgrade shipping at our expense.” I pointed out that her approach differed greatly from mine when I ran a former online business, that even if making amends for oversights or website behavior dipped into her profit it would pay dividends in future orders and referrals, acknowledged that we obviously had different approaches, thanked her for her correspondence, and left it at that.
So, I get my 3-day expedited order in 10 days (assuming it arrives on UPS’s schedule). Buyers be warned.
If you are looking for Addi Turbo Straight needles, 14″, my advice is to look somewhere other than the Pioneer Heritage Shoppe. You can find locations through the Skacel site, or if you order from stores in Washington State they are likely to be able to get you some quickly because Skacel is fairly local. I should have done this myself. Hindsight, 20/20, etc. I could literally have called my LYS, asked them to place an order with Skacel, and then driven down to Kent to pick them up from the distributor, all in less than a day. So much for online convenience!