Posted by: Lisa | June 19, 2008

Keeping your word

As a business, one of the biggest things you should do is keep your world. People base decisions on your promise, and if you break that promise, you need to resolve the issue before your customers lose faith in you. It is an integral part your brand.

After dealing with this one shop that sold canopies online, I can say that it has been by far the most frustrating company I have dealt with in recent memory.

Exhibit #1: This company’s guarantee on their front page

Exhibit #2: Another statement guaranteeing a specific time-frame of delivery, with a map illustrating the delivery time frames and shipping origin

So based on what they stated on their website, I placed an order on Monday, June 9 calculating that, even if they shipped out the next day, I will get my canopy by Friday, June 13. (In time for the 7th Heaven fair on Father’s Day.)

So throughout the week I kept checking the order status to see if a tracking number would pop up. Friday comes, and no tent. I called up customer service and asked what the status was, and the following conversation ensued:

Rep: “… well. it takes 1-2 days to leave the warehouse.”

Me: “That’s not what your website says. It says most orders are shipped the same day…”

Rep: “… well, it takes 1 or 2 days for the order to process, and it’s shipped from our warehouse in California. There’s no way it will arrive in 3 days. If you ordered it Monday, we won’t process the order until Wednesday, and we ship UPS Ground which takes about 5 days. Therefore, you should receive it by next Thursday…”

Me: “I’m looking at this map on your website, and it says I fall within the 3 day delivery zone… I see two sentences in bold type stating “3 days or less.” So are you telling me that you’re guarantee isn’t really guaranteed?”

Rep: “Look, it’s canopy season, and we may be delayed by 1 or 2 days. That’s all I’m saying.”

Me: “And I’m just asking you, does that mean your 3-day guarantee is useless because it’s not guaranteed? Is my order on its way? Can I get a tracking number?”

Rep: “I’m sorry, I don’t have that information. The earliest I can get that to you is Monday.”

Me: “So you’re telling me you don’t even know if it has been shipped yet? I needed for the weekend, and I ordered it from you based on your guarantee. And now you can’t even tell me if it’s on the way?”

Rep: “Let me call the warehouse…” (3 seconds later) “I’m only getting their voice mail, and I left a message. The earliest I can give you that information is Monday.”

Me: “Just cancel my order and refund me.”

Rep: “Alright, I’ll do that as soon as I find out if the item is shipped or not… on Monday.”

So guess what shows up at my doorstep TODAY?

With a receipt that says:

“scheduled ship date: 06-12-08” (I ordered on 06-09-08, so this should have been the delivery date)

“cancel date: 06-13-08”

“printed: 06-13-8 07:49:53″ (In other words, they received my request for canceling the order, yet they STILL shipped it.”

I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrated this entire process has been. Had I known that this was not guaranteed, I would’ve totally avoided ordering from this company in the first place.



  1. ugh.
    get the supervisor on the horn.
    what a nightmare. did you miss the fair?

  2. OMG – I would be LIVID!! Are you gonna keep it or send it back? Do they pay for return shipping? I’d send it back and demand my money!


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