Monday, December 04, 2006

eye of the Tiger

On Friday, I went online to order a present, on Dan's behalf, from TigerDirect. While I've had no problems with this company in the past (I built my desktop machine using parts ordered mostly from them, and haven't had any problems with the machine since I put it together), I had an awful one with them this past weekend:

Saturday morning, I received a voicemail from a TD representative, telling me that they would like me to call them before they can ship the order out. I called the number they provided...and sat on the phone for 25 minutes before I got frustrated and gave up.

The next day, Sunday, I sat on the phone for another 25 minutes before hanging up in anger & frustration.

This morning, I received a vaguely threatening email from the company, warning me that if I didn't get in touch with them very soon, they would be forced to cancel my order. Lucky for me, this time they provided their call center hours: 8-5, M-F. Right. That little tidbit of information could have been provided earlier! Perhaps in their voicemail, or in an email, or on their website? Or, at the very least, in one of their numerous voice recordings that I kept having to wade through before I got put on hold to wait for "the next available agent". Oh, and when would that have been -- 8am on Monday??!?

So clearly I wasn't in the best mood when I made the call this morning at 8:45am, but I didn't approach the call with malice. I waited over 10 minutes once again before I got a human on the other end, and I tried to explain to the guy (very nicely, I think!) that I had waited on the phone 25 minutes twice over the weekend, and it would have helped for me to know what their hours were, then! He got all defensive (he was just some kid, and apparently he took my friendly advice the wrong way), and said "Well, we [who's "we"?] are open 24/7, but the credit card department is only regular business hours." Yeah, okay. That really cleared things up, thanks buddy!

I then went on to explain that I had gotten a phone call regarding my order, and the guy told me there was something wrong with my credit card information. I asked if I had mistakenly given the wrong #, and he said (rather meanly, I might add), that, "Your billing address is completely messed up" or something along those lines. Oh, yeah? Wow. I thought it was way more likely that someone would mis-type a string of 16 digits than that they would mistype their entire address!!!

Confused, upset, frustrated, and worried, I was then "transferred" & placed on hold for another 10 minutes or so. The woman who finally picked up the line was friendly enough, but she didn't even give me a chance to speak -- just fired off questions that would help identify that I was the person who was really placing the order -- she needed address info, SSN info, the works. My head was spinning, but I apparently answered everything to her satisfaction, because as abruptly as the questions began, they ended. "Okay, I'm approving your order and it should be shipping out within 3-5 days," she finished. I sputtered " there something wrong with my credit card? Do you need that information? I--" but I was completely ignored: "Thank you for calling. We'd now like to offer you a 3-day vacation package. Would you like me to transfer you over?" She had already hung up between my saying "No thank you; I'm fine for now" and "Good-bye." I doubt she even heard my signoff. I'm surprised I was even as successful as I was!

Phew. I'm glad that's over, and that my myriad worries about what the problem could be (that they were out of stock of the product, that they couldn't fulfill the order in time, that I had mistyped my credit card number -- which I always triple-check!) were all wrong, but still. What a nightmare! I hope I don't have to deal with them again. I don't plan to do any further business with them, if I can help it. It makes me feel half safer, half totally annoyed that I had to verify that I was who I said I was. Arg.

And the worst thing? I got an email from their automated emails a few hours afterwards, notifying me that they were running an even bigger sale, which made the purchase I had just finished clearing up (which, at the time it was made, was a big sale) seem like a total waste of money. I wonder if I had just waited a few hours, could I have gotten a way better deal? ARGH!!!

No comments: