10 May 2010

customer service epic fail

*alternately titled: Why surprises aren't always a good thing.

Early Tuesday morning last week I was still sorta searching for an idea for Mother's Day. Suddenly I remembered that I had wanted to order a rose of sharon for my mom (she'd left one behind in a move once that she really liked) and I asked Jon if he thought that his mom would like one.

"Sure. That sounds like a good idea."

That's as close to excitement over such things as he comes.

Fast forward to late Tuesday morning, I had chosen and ordered plants at the best price I could from a fairly trusted online site, complete with gift messages to be contained in the boxes which were, of course, being shipped to two different locations.

I was a bit disappointed in the knowledge that I hadn't ordered early enough for the plants to arrive in time for Mother's Day, but I just figured that I'd mention to my mom (and Jon could mention to his) to be on the lookout for a shipment this week.


So yesterday afternoon, imagine my surprise when the convo with my mom goes like this:

Me: "So I sent you a plant....."
Mom: "Oh, good!"
Me: "....but I didn't get it ordered in time, so it should arrive as soon as tomorrow."

Mom: "a rose of sharon?"
Me- sorta shocked that her "mom ESP" is still that sharp: "Yeah, how'd you know?"
Mom: "It arrived on Friday."
Me- now it's my turn: "oh good!"

But here's the kicker: There wasn't a bit of information outside of the box or inside the box...ahem, NO gift message...to indicate that I had sent it. Not a shred.

She'd even emptied the box of all the packing peanuts and looked at all the attached paperwork...NOTHING.

Since it was Mother's Day weekend, she assumed it was from me and had Dad plant it in the yard over the weekend.....I had failed to indicate in the card I'd sent separately to expect the package ..... not wanting to spoil the surprise.

That fifty percent turned out okay......

Jon's mom has green thumbs; heck her hands are green. She can make anything grow. She orders from bulb and plant sites all the time.

So when a package arrives at her door on Friday morning with what she later tells me is a bill inside, she gets on the horn with customer service. There isn't any answer from the first number she dials so she finally reaches someone named Pam when she dials a second number.

Believing that she's been shipped something that she did not order and will not pay for, she tells customer service that she will ship it back. And that's just what she has my father-in-law do early Friday afternoon.

So she is horrified and extremely apologetic when she learns from her son yesterday afternoon that she has returned her Mother's Day gift in error. So horrified, in fact, that she calls me specifically to apologize yesterday afternoon and to get the order number to attempt to remedy the situation first thing this morning.

No matter who's at fault.. me, for deciding that the surprise would be fun; or customer service for not including the specifically ordered gift messages... I learned something.

The "surprise" element is never worth the stress.

1 comment:

amanda said...

so even though it's a crazy situation, it totally made me giggle. my mil would've done the same thing though! my mom would've done the planting. thinking she just got something free. lol. hope it gets all worked out!!