Sunday, October 20, 2013

Online Shopping: To try, or not to try? This is the question.

In the Comment Section: Forum: Where have you shopped successfully or unsuccessfully online?

I've always been an extrovert. For some reason, however, I have always hated shopping for clothes in a store with crowds of people out and about. I have always preferred to buy online, but it's hard to know store policies online so today's review will bring that process to light!

Top Customer Service: 

L.L.Bean: Besides the fact that 100% of products are guaranteed from L.L.Bean, they have free shipping. Which means that they will ship returns/exchanges back to you for free and give you a free shipping return label, which comes with your initial order so you don't need to print anything. They also have live chat online which has always been very helpful for me, especially when I'm trying to figure out product weights or materials questions for hiking and camping gear.

ModCloth: I won't lie, I was really irritated last week when my $54.00 sweater came by FedEx with a completely broken zipper:

But then, ModCloth Customer Service reached out and linked me to Live Chat so that I could resolve the issue. The representative sent me a free shipping label to return it, and sent me another sweater in the meantime so that I didn't have to wait for them to process my return. That was great customer service...and it was smart: they didn't know I was a blogger! I think we should applaud great customer service.

Amazon Prime: Did you know that you can pay a one time fee ($80), and then have everything Amazon sells shipped to you with FREE 2-day shipping? I have many friends who use Amazon Prime all year long and they really rave about how awesome it is to get everything with 2-day shipping. There are other perks of Prime also: 41,000+ movies/t.v. shows to stream for free and 350,000+ Kindle titles to borrow for free! If I was planning to get all of my X-Mas presents online, I would definitely upgrade to Amazon Prime. 

Mattie's Mountain Mud: If you want incredible, organic, fair trade certified coffee hand roasted by a master, Mattie's is worth the try! (Bavarian Chocolate, need I say more?) Recently, I ordered my standing order from Mattie's but I used Paypal to check out and my delicious coffee was sent to my old address because I hadn't used Paypal in years. Mattie expressed her sorrow for me via e-mail and even offered me free shipping for a new order. Just before I ordered more, I decided to see if it was still in Florida. Normally, I would have assumed that it was being consumed by a new tenant, but because I love that coffee so much, I drove over to my old address and checked for the package at the Clubhouse to see if it was there: it wasn't. So a few days later, Mattie e-mailed me a picture of the returned coffee and shipped it back to me for $7.

That was great customer service! It only cost me $7 to get my coffee back from an i.d.10.T (me) error on a $18 gourmet coffee order. I was very pleased. (Of course I updated my Paypal address so that my chocolate organic coffee never goes anywhere else!)

Lackluster Customer Service:

Victoria's Secret: It's been years since I've ordered anything from V.S., but back when I did they had a similar return policy to L.L.Bean with the exception that for a return or exchange you were re-billed for shipping once. That was frustrating because it was hard to guess clothing sizes even with their "size charts" because they have many different brands on the site by different manufacturers. Now you can see why I've stopped buying online from this retailer. My husband is contributing to this article today, because he has been ordering car parts from this company since 2008. Recently, the wrong part was shipped to him and he had to pay triple shipping to get the right one. (1) Original wrong part to him, (2) the return shipping and (3) new, correct part shipping. So he paid $30.00 in shipping for a issue that was not his fault. Now this company should have looked at his records, seen that he had been purchasing a dozens different parts (many expensive) over the past six years and found a better solution. However, because it was a busy dealership, his order was overlooked and they responded badly to his request, losing a customer.