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failing customer service 101

I’ve got a product that I love and I was almost out of it and I was debating whether or not to order some more when I got a 30% off coupon in my inbox. COOL.  Not only did I order one, but I ordered two. Well, actually, it was four because this particular consumable item is sold buy one, get one free.

I had ordered from this company before and it had shipped out right away. But not this time. At first I didn’t worry about it because maybe tons of people were ordering with the coupon and maybe they were just backlogged.  I placed my order on August 17 online and paid with my paypal account (thankfully as you’ll see later.)  On September 3rd, I sent an inquiry wondering if my order had shipped and if there was a tracking number.  Two days later, I received a notice of shipment and a tracking number.

When I got my box, it contained only 2 bottles.  Uh-oh. Maybe they were shipped separately.  When I hadn’t received the completion of my order a few days later, I sent a friendly inquiry on September 12. I heard nothing.

I sent the same e-mail to a different e-mail address on their website on September 15th. Still, I heard nothing back. WHAT was going on?  I looked up the company at the Better Business Bureau and was relieved to see that there were no customer complaints on file. Still trying to give them the benefit of the doubt (aren’t I nice?), I thought perhaps they hadn’t received my e-mails so I sent another e-mail from my g-mail account.

Before explaining more, let me insert here, that there are no fewer than 13 e-mails in my g-mail exchange with D from this company. (who I think is the sole owner/worker at this place.)

I have sent you  two e-mails regarding my order that was placed on August 17th and have gotten no response from you. I e-mailed you on September 12th and again on September 15th from my main e-mail account.  In the possible event you are unable to receive e-mails from me at that address, I am trying again from a different account.

I received only half of the order that I paid for. I see two options. You can either refund the difference or ship 2 bottles of castille soap to me at your earliest convenience. Please let me know what you plan to do. Sincerely,  Guinever

Believe it or not, she responded to me the same day:

I need to se what you did.  It seems you got 50% off the products and then used a 30% discount code-and somehow paid $9.60 for shipping when it would be twice that to actually ship.  No other order came through as that did-so very unclear how you did that.  I will do the math tommorow-I am just leaving for the day.

This e-mail rather irritated me. First of all, I’ve been very nice to her the whole time, it’s been more than a month since my original order and now she is blaming me for her shopping cart problem. With this e-mail, I had the feeling that she shorted me the product on purpose to make up for the shipping charges. It was only an instinct and I kept it to myself.  Also, as an aside, if she had contacted me when the order was placed about the shipping charge, I may have paid it (but I don’t think it should be double the amount if shipped together.)

So, did she get back to me next day, as she said she would?  A big NO.
So on the 24th, I merely sent her an e-mail, “Just waiting to hear from you again.  Thanks, Guinever”

It was nearing 45 days since I placed my order and paid for it. Paypal allows customers to open a dispute within 45 days so that’s what I did on October 1st.  Below is the second half of the letter I wrote.  I’m not bothering to include the first half since the info is all included above.

I regret having to open this paypal dispute but you leave me no choice  as you have not offered any resolution in the matter and we are  nearing 45 days since I placed my order.  You even kind of blamed me for what happened. I merely placed my order. You shopping cart is what “DID” it whatever “IT” is.

I see 2 options for you. You can either immediately ship out my other 2 bottles or you can refund me $22.40 (which is half  of the subtotal before shipping.)

She responded to my e-mail on October 5th (not through paypal channels.)

Guin,
If you really love the soap I will send the rest.  if you were just trying to get a really good deal-I will refund the second box. Here is a 30% off lin for repeat buyers if you do like the soap.

Then my response to her:

I do love the soap and would like it if you’d send me the rest of the order =)  I even wrote about your product on my blog in April. (and I included the link for her but have deleted it here in an attempt to keep her anonymous. Don’t ask me why.)
~blessings, Guinever

Then her response:

That is VERY cool!   I will be sending the two bottles in the next 24 hours.  I just got situated back in Florida.
You are correct it is gentle on skin.  I think a Castor Oil version may be even better and I will send 8 ounces of that also.  The castor oil is more pricey because it is all oil essentially.  But I suspect it is the best when we are talking no drying at all and pets who also have skin conditions.

And then in a separate e-mail the same day, she wrote:

Oh yeah, I was seriously debating begging you to work for us when I saw your order.  It perplexed me that you were so careful and took so much time to get the bets deal.  I was thinking “Purchasing agent!”

OK, this gave me quite a pause and only confirms what I suspected earlier. She was aware of my order. (thinking I was a purchasing agent trying to get a good deal so I could sell at a profit.)  If this is true, then she purposely sent only half my order which miffs me a little bit. By now, it was October 8th.

Then on October 16th, I still had neither received my box of lovely merchandise nor had I received an e-mail stating it had shipped so again I wrote to her. At this point, I still wondered if she was actually going to ship. I only had a couple more days with the paypal dispute. After opening a dispute, you have 21 days to get it resolved or escalate it to a claim where paypal gets involved and makes a decision.  I really, really was hoping to avoid doing that.

Thanks for sending out my order. Hopefully, I will receive it soon. Do you have a tracking # for it?   I just got back home a couple days ago after being out of town for a funeral. …Thanks for the castor oil soap too.  Looking forward to trying that out. I’ve never heard of that.
~blessings, Guinever

And here’s  her response that would be quite unbelievable had it not been for all her other responses and non-responses in the previous 3 months:

I am sending it out tomorrow I hope. Our sites crashed last week as we were moving them to a bigger server.  It caused a total income stop for 7 days and that was just hard on me to afford to breathe. I love your site and I can give you 50% off from here on out.  I should be stable by Monday.  I know I have been through a very transitional summer.
Bottom line I am waiting for more loot to come in to pay for shipping which is $10.  Usually I am not too worried about that-but in this economy it has really mattered.  Orders are just starting to come back in so I can have at least cash flow.
By the way I can make any lotion you want per yoru specs for yoru Eczema effort.  I have Emu here and all of that stuff.  I find Vitamin B-1 in a creme is awesome and menthol as well. that is the Gold Bond formula that has helped some people.

She’s trying to tell me that she doesn’t have $10 to ship out my product.  Now, I just know that she is trying to earn my sympathy so I’ll send her another $10 for shipping.  Forget it.  The time to ask me for more $ or just to off-handedly imply that I should send her money for shipping is loooooong past.  It is now 8 days since she said that she would ship my product within 24 hours, and it is nearly 3 months since I played the original order.

Thanks for your sweet offer of 50% off future orders. First, I’d like to get THIS order shipped and have a tracking number Monday or Tuesday so I can close the paypal dispute before the deadline of the 21st..Thanks so much, Guinever

October 19, I received notice of shipment with a tracking number. A couple days later, I received my two bottles. Noticeably absent from the box was the 8 ounces of castor oil soap that she promised to send because she loves my blog and my review of her product.
Whatever.

I’ve had it with the company. I love, love love the product.  Business ethics and dealings are atrocious, though, and are not worth the tremendous time and effort so I am forced to find another lovely castille soap for my family’s use.

Any suggestions out there?
edited to add a few minutes after publishing:  Well, I haven’t been removed from her e-mail mailing list because I just received this:

I am sending this special offer to customers I think would like this and not to our general mail list.   Our busy season starts the day after Halloween and I am really trying to order in new materials and secure some new equipment.  Geenrally the next three days is a total dead zone for cash flow. I will need up to two weeks to ship.  Suggestions include liquid soap, balm base, lotion base and flavors.  Please do not combine this with other offers-such as already reduced liquid soap.

HA HA HA. I guess she learned her lesson with me since she has included a little disclaimer about not using  the coupon code on already discounted soap=)

October 30, 2009 at 3:59 pm 4 comments

ten today

WOW, double digits.
you are 10 today.

You’re my voracious reader,
a kind older brother,
a budding entrepreneur,
and most importantly,
a young man who loves the Lord.

I am so proud of the boy you have become,
so proud of the young man you are becoming.

Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Remember and live by these words always.
I love you, Alex.

April 10, 2009 at 8:26 am 2 comments

top 5 products that have helped our severe eczema

My two year old son has had severe eczema since birth.  As I  continually find more and more things that cause his rashes and hives, I have also found things that help his skin the most.

  1. sheabutterNatural Shea butter from Vermont Soap Works. This comes in a 64 oz tub for only $35 which is much cheaper than buying 4 oz at a time at your local store for $20.  This shea butter is so creamy and there are never any crystallized lumps (like the brands I’ve gotten at the store.)  If you’ve never used shea butter, it’s very thick and you just scoop a little bit onto your finger then rub into your hands to melt it and then smooth it on your skin. It soaks into the skin and provides relief to anyone with dry, thirsty skin. This is pure shea butter with only a little rosemary added as a preservative.  Also available in a 2 oz tin for $9.99. Those with nut allergies may not be able to use this product.
  2. Pure soap from Cal Ben Soap Company. I’ve tried several different soaps including castille soap (all without sodium laureth sulfate, etc) and this is the one that seems to work the best–leaves the skin feeling clean and moisturized as opposed to feeling parched and itchy.  Cal Ben has several other  non-detergent products that we use and loqh100ccobtrve including their five star shampoo.
  3. Queen Helene 100% Cocoa butter in a stick.  This is available in most drug stores for less than $2 a stick.  Don’t confuse this product with brands that contain additional ingredients. I’ve never seen another 100% cocoa butter, but please tell me if you know of another one. This is a solid stick that is loose in the tube.  To use, just hold it in your hands until it starts to soften, then start rubbing the stick directly into the skin. I can’t tell you how many evenings, my son’s skin has been dry and hurting and as I rub this into his skin, he just relaxes and lets me do it because it really gives him relief.
  4. mabelwhite1Mabel’s Miracle liquid castille soap.  I’ve only been using this for 3 weeks but I’ve loved it since day one.  I’m using it for laundry soap as well as in the mop water for my wood floors throughout the house.  I have the unscented pearl (I chose this one simply because it is buy one, get one free.)  Even though it is unscented, it smells heavenly! I am sensitive to many chemical odors (natural scents too,) but its mild scent doesn’t cause us any type of reaction.   For laundry, I am using only 1 Tablespoon (much less than the recommendation) per large load plus 2 Tablespoons of a borax/ washing soda mixture that I keep in a jar. (equal parts of each so it would be 1 T of each if done separately.)  I started with the recommended 1/4 cup and then just cut back until I reached 1 T and it’s still effective at cleaning clothes.
  5. This last thing is not a product to use, but rather products to avoid.  I first read about detergents causing eczema at solve eczema.  We don’t use any lotions, “normal” soaps that contain SLS, or body washes  because of the drying, stinging ingredients they contain (even natural, herbal, supposed to be for eczema lotions.)  We don’t use any products with detergents in them. More about that in this post.

What products have you found most helpful in treating eczema?

April 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm 12 comments

just a few wedding pictures

October 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm 4 comments

2 boys, 8 eyes

Is that a weird headline or what???  I took the boys to the eye doctor today and both of them need corrective lenses. Alex is near-sighted and Caleb needs reading glasses.

Last week, when the Olympics started, Alex was sitting very close to the television because he couldn’t read the countries on the screen from a reasonable distance.  So I called the doctor and scheduled the appointments–something I’ve been intending to do but just hadn’t gotten around to making the call. One of those things that I thought would have been a well-check up and a co-pay and a couple hours lost time. Boy, was I wrong!

Fortunately, the glasses only need to be worn as needed. So for Caleb, we’ll just get them out for reading and Alex can wear his while attending homeschool co-op and while he watches his Latin and math lesson on DVD and maybe a few other times. I am going to seize control of the glasses when they are not on respective faces.

Alex is getting his braces off tomorrow so he’s going to have a retainer to keep track of as well as the glasses. Oh boy!

I’m thankful for Walmart. After getting the scripts at the eye doctor’s office, I asked them if they had any frames under $100. They had a few undesirable ones for $104 and that doesn’t include the lenses, so we went to Walmart. WOW. Lenses were only $30 each and the frames they picked out were $38 and $58. I was  hoping we would find some on the $10 rack but that just wasn’t meant to be. The $10 ones were mainly of the opaque pink or peach plastic round variety that look good on 3 and 4 year old girls. Alex found a black pair he liked, but they were too small for his face. So we had to upgrade the frame price which still wasn’t bad $68 and $88 for glasses.

They better not lose them or break them! They will be under strict orders to place the glasses in the hard cases and put up high out of Jackson’s reach when they’re not wearing them.

August 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm 2 comments

Mary’s 3rd birthday

Mary still talks about her birthday 3 months later just like it was yesterday. She frequently says the following all in one breath without any prodding.

I had a dolly cake and a birthday and now I’m 3 and I had a dolly cake with a dolly in it and lots of presents and a DOLLY cake.

 

mary-cake.jpgmary1.jpgmary2.jpgeating2.jpgeating.jpgpres1.jpgpres2.jpgpres3.jpgpresents2.jpgcalebdrum.jpgmissmary.jpg

February 9, 2008 at 10:42 pm 1 comment

a scrapbook page

moose151.jpg
thanks to my talented sister for making this scrapbook page for me

February 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm 2 comments

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Welcome to my personal blog about my life as a wife and homeschooling mother of a few energetic children! You'll find my favorite recipes, all kinds of reviews, the occasional rant, and whatever else I feel like writing about.

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