I suspect retailers might have a pessimistic sense about their future in the digital age. And, every so often, I understand why.
Many retailers are just awful.
A recent experience at the local Jump Plus store here in Kingston reminded me why I am increasingly going online to shop.
Two weeks ago I went to the Jump Plus shop to order a replacement for my aging iMac. As I live downtown, I wanted to support the local retailer.
The customer service was neutral. I knew the exact specification I wanted for the new machine and the transaction was pretty basic: please order this machine.
I was told that it would take them 5 to 7 business days for a custom order iMac to be delivered to their store. And that was fine with me.
They had my name, address, email address and telephone number on file as I have purchased from them many times before.
I asked them specifically if they required a deposit for the order. I was told no.
I decided to call them to check on the status of the order as we were now 10 business days since the order was placed. The person who answered the call asked me who placed the order for me. Odd. You couldn’t find the order?
After trying to describe the salesperson who helped me, another person came on the line, the salesperson who had allegedly placed the order.
I quickly recounted the order that I had placed with her and the machine configuration.
“Did you get my email?” she asked.
This gets old pretty quickly.
“No.” I replied.
I receive several hundred emails a day. I archive them. I might have missed this one, although I doubt it. So I searched for any email from Jump Plus over the past two weeks.
“Well,” she continued, “we can’t order the unit because it is a custom build and we require a deposit. That is store policy.”
I pointed out the obvious to her. I had asked if a deposit was required when I placed the order two weeks ago and she told me no. The order specifically highlighted that it was a custom build when it was placed. If it was store policy, why wasn’t a deposit requested when it was placed? Why didn’t you follow up immediately with the request for a deposit if it was required for the order? You had both my email address and my phone number on file.
“Well, you will have to come in and place the deposit and then we can process the order.”
I really do not like people who are deceptive.
She could have responded with: “Oh I am so sorry. I was not able to get your order into our system without a deposit. And, with everything going on, I neglected to contact you to come into the shop to make the deposit. To make up for this, we’ll give you [whatever, a slight discount, a gift card to a coffee shop] for your trouble. You’ve been a long-time customer and we really appreciate your business.”
Instead she made up stories about “emails” and “store policies” when she either forgot to place the order as requested or her manager told her that she should have requested the deposit at the time the order was placed and she just never followed up.
I ordered the unit from Apple direct and it will be to my door in 3 business days.
So much easier.