An Unexpedited Delivery

by Larry Teren

Ok, so you know me by now- I’m a hot head, a reactionary. But I’ll hold off on how I’m gonna tell this one until I cool down.

An hour has passed. So this is what happened. On the eighth of the month (pick a month) I ordered a pair of socks online. No, not any simple pair that you can buy at Walmarts and save the aggravation. These are relatively expensive compression socks.

I forgot to mention that I placed the order online in the early evening. Anyway, the next morning around 10am I see that an email arrived indicating that one of the colors was backordered and I should let them know if they should ship what they have. So I dialed up their customer service department.

I spoke to a “support” person. I told her to go ahead and send the one pair and when the other was available in a day or two, to send that one as well. After all, it wasn’t going to cost them that much more as I chose the Slow Boat to China free shipping method.

She said I was too late. That I should have been sitting breathlessly at my computer and guessed when her company was going to send an email about availability. ‘Cause now both items were out of stock.

I raged about why they didn’t use their high school education to realize that it was okay to send what they had and backorder the other. She said it was company policy not to. (I think she also meant it was company policy to screw up an order as much as possible. Wait- maybe I wasn’t being fair- maybe they only had a policy to screw up one order a day and I won the lottery.)

So I told them to let it be. When the socks would come into stock, just send them. Obviously a mistake on my part or the story would end here.

A week later, still no socks. In the meantime, I went online and checked out my credit card status and saw that those jamokes billed my credit card even though they never sent anything. So I called the customer service people at the socks place and had the pleasure of speaking to another member of their staff.

I pointed out to her that they had honored me with being the one order in their company they permanently keep on backorder but added insult by billing me for it. Reading from the same script book, she replied. “but it’s company policy, sir”.

I asked to speak to a supervisor who came to the phone after a three minute wait on hold while the customer service clerk gave her my vitals and disposition. Their conversation probably went something like this: “take this call. There’s an as..le on it.”

I explained the issue to the supervisor- the two major flaws in her company’s policy. She apologized and said that the item was backordered. I didn’t call her a liar- okay, i did- sue me. I told her that the items I wanted were popular and could not believe that they allowed the stock to not get replenished for a week. She agreed that the order should have been filled and didn’t know why. (Yeah, sure- she didn’t want to admit I was the lucky permanent backorder customer)

She promised to expedite the delivery by having it shipped directly from the manufacturer. Four days later the items came with a packing slip indicating next day delivery. An email came the next day from the supervisor apologizing once again and that she decided to take the next day off so she didn’t get to my expedited promise until two days later. (Yeah, it’s company policy to take a day off after you promise to expedite the solution to a problem.)