The sad thing is, I know I have no time for this, but I'm going to sit here and write about it anyway. I am too far gone in disbelief at what I had to go through with this internet company. Bernard, you are TOO nice, and the reason I had to endure this all was because of YOU, so shut it!
Mid-November: I suggested to Bernard to get his siblings iPods for Christmas, since Apple was having a pretty sweet refurbished Nano sale ($99 for 2gb, $149 for 4gb, etc.). He considered it, but wanted to do more research.
Wednesday, 11-22: Bernard mentioned he'd wait for Black Friday to see if any good deals exist for the Nanos, since he had decided to get them.
Friday, 11-24: No good Black Friday deals, and he was looking online when I said six words that will haunt me for a long, long time. "Hey, why don't you Froogle it?" He did, and found the one website that has made this entire week an absolute misery (on top of finals and preparing to leave for Europe), and it was www.caliwild.com.
Click on it. Go ahead. Get a visual on what I'm talking about. It's some sort of lingerie site. And, randomly, it sells brand new iPod Nanos for $145 shipped, 2nd link on the left. (Which, by the way, if you click on that, now has a big ol' notice about how stupidly they handled the situation. And complains about how people are abusing them for their poor work ethics. Boohoo. I will find these other people, and we will unite. Then we will make butterscotch popcorn and gab about small businesses that suck at operating.) WHY did Bernard finally choose to buy them from this site? Well, the price is $70 cheaper than retail, considering tax. Also, the company's headquarters are located in LA, and they state that pick-up is a possibility. So, being reassured that they were right around the corner if they wanted to rip us off and take the money, he made the plunge. We received automated emails thanking us for our purchase and saying they had been shipped.
Saturday, 11-25: To see if they had the new red Nanos, Bernard called someone from the company, who gushed about how she went to a trade show and found all these Nanos for super cheap, and was passing on the savings to consumers everywhere! Hip hip hooray!
Thursday, 12-7: Bernard, worried about the slow shipping, called and received an apology for the delay. They informed him that they would be shipping it out with a free case. Yay! All smiles!
Friday, 12-8: We received an email stating, "Just letting you know that your new IPOD NANO 4GB will be there anytime now via DHL Air. We have Included a FREE BELKIN FOLIO CASE as a Gift to you as we have been inundated with orders and are shipping AIR to get them delivered as fast as we can due to the Holiday rush and numerous order demand at our prices." Ok. Whatever.
Saturday, 12-9: Bernard had to leave for Europe, emptyhanded. Now it was my responsibility to take them across the Atlantic when they arrived.
Thursday, 12-14: I email, "I'm wondering if you could tell me specifically what's going on with my order? I bought two Nanos a few weeks ago, and they still haven't arrived. Please let me know! I leave for Europe next week and I need to have them as presents, and I'm trying not to get too anxious here!"
They reply, "We initially state 7-10 Business Days however, We are swamped for Christmas. If it isn't there DHL by tomorrow I will Overnight a replacement and then just please refuse the initial when that arrives. We never expected this many orders for Christmas and are understaffed." By this time, I had a feeling they were full of shit. Who does that? Who would ship out another set of two Nanos just if the other two hadn't arrived yet?
Bernard, however, was still vigorously defending them. "Baby, I'm sure they mailed it, they're just too busy to keep track of when that stuff arrives." Yeah. Right.
Friday, 12-15: "Good Morning Kim, We will email your DHL AIR tracking information this by this afternoon. Thank You for your business and for your patience during this hectic season."
I reply, "If there's a chance that it won't be here by Wednesday afternoon, I can go pick it up from you guys too. I wouldn't WANT to, but it's more vital that I get it by Wednesday since I will be out of the country Thursday. Please let me know what you feel is best."
They reply, "Hi Kim! They will be there by Wed no problem via DHL AIR..."
Saturday 12-16: "I still haven't received the tracking number for the shipment. Can I get it so I can make sure to be home when they arrive? You spoke with my boyfriend Bernard over the phone when he ordered these weeks ago, and now he's in Europe driving me NUTS because he's starting to get really worried that they won't get to me in time. Please, for the sake of my sanity, give me some proof of shipment!" This was true, by the way. I was getting really annoyed with Bernard, who'd call me every day whining about his Nanos.
Their response? "Excuse me...We replied yesterday stating you will receive your shipment AIR DHL BY Wed...We are a well known company and also have Integrity..Would you like an immediate refund? We have hundreds of orders and have to ship AIR next day to get EVERYONE'S ORDERS OUT not just yours" OHHHHH boy. Are you fucking kidding me?! Wow, just reading that again gets my blood boiling. I wanted to tell them off SO badly, but I couldn't, for the sake of Bernard, who needed those Nanos. Now if it were up to me, I'd say fuck the savings, I'd rather keep my dignity intact than be treated like that. But I had to grit my teeth and bear it, since it wasn't for me and we had waited this long anyway.
Still, I couldn't resist writing back, albeit way more politely than my pride wanted to allow. "Wow...up until this point you guys have been nothing but accomodating when it comes to customer service. So that last email was pretty shocking considering how rude it was. I'm going to assume your nerves are really frayed from the stress of the holiday season. Relax! Take a few deep breaths and massage your temples or something. Considering we paid you three weeks ago, and have received numerous emails saying that our Nanos have shipped and yet still received nothing, you can't really blame us for being concerned. My request is a reasonable one, especially since you said yourself I would have a tracking number by Friday afternoon. Not that I have to explain myself, but I live in a complex that's difficult to get in to, and if I'm not home the DHL deliverer will probably go away and take the Nanos with him. I NEED to be home when the package comes, so the best way to approximate delivery time is with a tracking number. And, like I mentioned in my email, my boyfriend is driving me crazy over these stupid things. You've made us wait until the last possible moment to receive these, and now you're angry that I want a tracking number...when you were supposed to give it to me anyway? How does that make any sense?"
They replied within minutes. "You emailed us yesterday and said you needed it BY Wed and we replied back IMMEDIATELY and we stated you will have it via DHL AIR...Yes it is last minute however we are shipping AIR Next Day so everyone will have their orders as we didn't expect this many CHRISTMAS orders and we are small staffed. Would you like an Immediate refund? I will initiate that no problem...We have MANY customers and since it is CHRISTMAS we are behind and shipping AIR as opposed to Ground...We're not rude here.........We are busy."
By this time I was no longer angry. My anger had dissipated into utter frustration. These people were idiots! "Well, thank you for your fast replies, but I still have no idea what day it's coming, and run the risk of not being at home when it does. I live 30 min from you guys, how the heck does DHL Air apply to me? I even offered to go pick them up in order to prevent this from happening. I just need to BE HOME when they get here, and for that to happen I need to know WHAT DAY they are coming. That's the ONLY REASON I asked for a tracking number, and you guys are acting like I'm accusing you of stealing my money. Good GOD, PLEASE help me! All I want is to be able to be home when they get here! Please, I don't know what you want from me. I'm sorry for calling you rude, I'm sorry for bombarding your small staff with emails, just PLEASE HELP ME OUT!!"
They responded with, "I am not going to debate how DHL works..We have customers 10 minutes from here who didn't want to pick it up and asked for shipping so it has to go AIR even though it is close by...As I told you Kim...and I have the email..It will be there Tues-Wed at the latest AIR...unless you want to come and get them Monday..We state 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS and we are a few days over that not much more and considering it is Christmas time, we are human beings packaging 300+ order with a staff of 4 PLUS the other sales we have from our other businesses. I cannot go back and forth like this-we are extremely AS YOU KNOW late. DHL is going out Monday and when it LEAVES, I will THEN have a T# OR you can come and get them." OHHHH. Ok. So the fucking truth comes out. Despite all those emails reassuring me that the order had shipped, that I would soon get a tracking number, suddenly it's not until MONDAY that they are shipping! WTF!! Still, dumbass that I am, I should've just driven down to get them. Instead, I believed them when they said that I would get it in time. Silly me!
Wednesday, 12-20: Yeah. NOW. Nothing. I was actually pretty crushed. I really didn't think they'd screw us over so royally. Who does that?! "Man, I really did believe you guys. For almost a MONTH you have been leading me on. You got pissed when I asked for a tracking number. You shouted about your company's "integrity." You promised it would be here by Wednesday. Welp, tomorrow I leave for Europe. Why am I not surprised that you're not answering or returning phone calls? I can't even ATTEMPT to pick it up tonight because you disappeared! How can you treat your customers so poorly?! Go ahead and process that "immediate refund," since you probably were planning on doing that anyway. I bet you never had the Nanos in the first place. Why not, right? You lied every other time, when you kept saying 'We shipped it! It'll be there tomorrow! Oh, it's a week later, but we'll give you a tracking number! It'll be there before you leave to Europe! We're a good company!'"
They responded quickly, again. I gotta at least hand it to them for timely communication. "We are in fact a good and VERIFIABLE COMPANY we are however HUMAN.. We wil Immediately refund you..May I have the Order #"
So I gave them the order number, and I got my money back. I wasn't worried about that, to be honest. I just couldn't believe they'd stoop that low to string a customer along for four weeks, and then not even apologize for it. Great business ethics, that one.
And then, get this. This is hilarious. I get another email from them, entitled PS. "I strongly suggest you not slnder my company. If you do, you can deal with our Corporate Attorneys: J. LEVINSON & ASSOC Verifiable through the California State Bar..www.castatebar.org We do indeed have the stock HOWEVER, we did not expect a rush like this. Do not slander my company again.. All last minute orders are sitting here for SDHL Overnight..Your being refunded" Then I get ANOTHER email, entitled PS TYPO. Same exact thing, except the word "slander" had been spelled correctly. Sadly, the wrong form of "your" was still there.
So you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to write back and tell them the difference between slander and libel, and how neither of them apply AT ALL to what I wrote. Then maybe I'll feel kind enough to give them a brief grammar lesson, although I doubt I have the time. Then I'll send them a link to this very blog, so they can see my words actually in PRINT, for PUBLIC VIEW, and how defamation STILL DOES NOT APPLY because everything I wrote in here is TRUE!!!! And that part that they got all huffy over, the part about how I bet they don't even HAVE the Nanos, is clearly just my opinion, and if they were so brilliant, why the hell could they find all that time to write all those emails, and yet no time or staff to jot down an address label on an envelope and MAIL THE FUCKERS OUT?!!
AND NOW, I will head to the Apple store in Manhattan Beach, where I will furiously pick out two Nanos for my boyfriend, who better have a delicious European sandwich in his hand when he gets me from the airport!!