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June 28, 2005 04:57 PM

Broken: order cancellation

From rangelife: Cancelling a order is nearly impossible.



Posted by: Tim at June 28, 2005 05:07 PM

What is really broken is the attitude that so many stores have. (I am speaking from personal experience) They would rather push you into buying something NOW whether you really want it or not, than hope that you will come back later and buy something. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Therefore I think that the difficulty with cancelling orders is a symptom of a lack of interest in consumer relations rather than a faulty procedure.

One way or the other something here is definitely broken.

PS: This whole thing with "first" or "second" is getting old. It may have been funny once but now it is just taking up space on the screen.

Posted by: Sean P at June 28, 2005 05:26 PM


...Just kidding Sean.

I had a similar experience with dot5hosting. What do they think they gain by doing this? A quick buck that they have to do their best to hold on to, of which they sure as hell wouldn't/won't/didn't get from me, and the permanent loss of a customer. Bastards.

Posted by: Ilan at June 28, 2005 05:53 PM

By the way, just to be clear my experience is mostly in store since I can't remember ever buying something online. Also I wasn't only refering to returns. In Quebec (Canada) there is a law that stores have to give you 10$ off the lowest advertised price (flyer, shelf or sticker) (10$ or less and it is free) However I have seen many price errors in stores, usually they will give you the lowest price(but not always) but the 10$ off can impossible to get, even though a copy of the law in question it is posted over top of the cash register.

I grant that that law may be a little harsh but still...

Anyways I just wanted to be clear I think it is the general attitude that is broken. We are "consumers" not human clients to a lot of stores.

[end rant]

Posted by: Sean P at June 28, 2005 06:10 PM

Sorry I forgot to mention the law only aplies to pricing errors.

Posted by: Sean P at June 28, 2005 06:13 PM

_@_v - i had to return an ixla digital camera for being defective and hadda helluva time doing so. instead of just giving me an rma and an address to send the thing they wanted me to give them a credit card number so they could process the return as a new sale (supposedly they'd charge $0 to the card).

_@_v - well i eventually got the replacement camera even though they didn't get no damn credit card number. funny that ixla is no longer in business isn't it...

Posted by: she-snailie_@_v at June 28, 2005 07:49 PM

I ran into this problem from the flip side of the coin: As a customer service supervisor trying to cancel orders for customers. Anything more than 15 minutes old had already been transmitted to the warehouse, and anything transmitted to the warehouse had been printed on a label, picked from a shelf, stuck on a package, and palletized for shipment. That was the official line, and all I could ever get anyone to tell me (to then tell the customer). Of course, it then took another four days for the package supposedly all ready to go on the dock to actually ship and another day after that before tracking data appeared on the shipper's website, but the moment some label printer somewhere spit out the label and some pick list printer spit out the pick list that order was completely unretrievable.

Bonus was the folks who paid $24.95 for the "expedited service" which sent the package via overnight shipping...but still took four to five days to actually leave the warehouse. And the orders that inexplicably just disappeared before shipping. And the orders that inexplicably just disappeared after shipping....

I am SO glad I don't work in customer service any more!

Posted by: Erich at June 28, 2005 07:58 PM

Some interesting aspects from the story indicate that there has not been any real though put into the canceallation process. The first indication is the lack of any confirmation. There was some calling around to warehouses, but as is evident, no actual order cancellation of voiding took place.

The second thing that is interesting (or appalling) is that once the goods shipped, it was up to the customer to contact the shipping company to deal with the mess rather than doing the follow-up.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at June 29, 2005 08:18 AM

I suspect Home Depot is like many other large stores -- they're really more like a goods distributor than a retail outlet; they just happen to also sell to individuals. Once you make a purchase, they're really not equipped to handle customer service, nor should one really expect good CS. However, if you're buying 80 cords of lumber, expect them to bend over backwards to be nice to you. They're more interested in big construction purchases and stuff like that.

Posted by: sir_flexalot at June 29, 2005 08:58 AM

Hi, everyone. I'm the one who posted the complaint that got linked.

The bride and groom are in the process of receiving the gifts I had mis-ordered for them. They've gotten two, and a third is coming. When they've gotten all three, I'm supposed to call again, and then they'll issue package stickers to them, and then UPS will come pick up the packages. This still puts a huge onus on me -- and worse, on them -- to make this all happen. Once again, remember that I began attempting to cancel the order literally five minutes after placing it.

By the way, has not answered a single message I've sent through their online contact form, and I've never spent less than 10 minutes on hold before reaching a person at their call center.

Posted by: seamus at June 29, 2005 03:19 PM

Just a suggestion: Try calling your local Home Depot for a refund if this happens again in the future.

I don't know if they have similar policies, but at Circuit City (where I work) we can refund web orders to the original form of payment as long as the order hasn't shipped yet. Granted, you will have to put up with a couple minutes of "are you sure you want to do this?" and "would you like to come to the store and see if there was anything else you wanted?", but after that we'd refund the purchase.

Posted by: Chris B at June 29, 2005 05:31 PM

Microsoft works the same way.

If you ever order anything using their special reseller programs, make DAMN SURE you get it right.

Five minutes after I ordered Office2003, I get the confirmation email that I did so... in French. Too late to fix it - I had to take delivery of the software and then get an RMA.

Posted by: David Jones at June 30, 2005 12:34 PM

No parlez vous Francais? But seriously, they hope that if they make it hard to return things or cancel orders then you'll give up. I'm sure a lot of people do. Personally, i think that the three hours of Muzak on Hold is the most discouraging.

Posted by: Bob at July 1, 2005 09:47 AM

OK, here is my recent story - with

I ordered an office chair and was billed; UPS tracking showed that the package was damaged and would be returned to the sender.

I called customer service and they said "no problem, we'll get you out another chair".

What they did in reality was CANCEL the original order, create a 2nd order and charge my card a 2nd time WITHOUT MY PERMISSION (the card info was online because they make you create an account before you can purchase from them).

After several phone calls to customer service people and supervisors and getting nothing but attitude (all of this happend the same day I informed them of the UPS situation) I told them to cancel the 2nd order as well, that I did not want to do business with them.

According to MC, all they had to do was call a service no. and tell MC to cancel the charges. Instead, they let the charges stand until my bank account was actually debited (it was an MC banking card) and after 2 weeks (with several calls to their client service people that resulted in zilch) my account was finally credited for the 2 charges.

Posted by: Shalom LeVine at July 1, 2005 01:26 PM

I'm afraid what's broken here is the original post. Really now, black text on a dark blue screen???

Posted by: Loren Pechtel at July 3, 2005 04:18 PM

YES The only way i could read it was by selecting the text while I read!!!

Posted by: no one at July 4, 2005 12:42 PM

Sorry about that. Typepad introduced "improvements" that required all bloggers to republish all their sites. I noticed this on another site, and then rushed over to mine to fix it. Thanks for informing us, Typepad!

Now THAT'S broken!

Posted by: seamus at July 6, 2005 12:27 PM

Sorry about that. Typepad introduced "improvements" that required bloggers using certain formats to republish all their sites. I noticed this on another site, and then rushed over to mine to fix it. Thanks for informing us, Typepad!

Now THAT'S broken!

Posted by: seamus at July 6, 2005 12:33 PM is just as bad. I tried to cancel an online order within 5 minutes of ordering (ordered wrong color) and so called their customer service number. Too late! Already processed and to the warehouse, and no, they couldn't call the warehouse to cancel, I would have to just refuse the shipment. All this was during business hours.

Posted by: Christian at July 6, 2005 11:36 PM

you only waited 10 minutes??? wonder what Q you were in?? the normal wait was an hour or more till they put in the new call center that will be outsorcing the Tampa call center... now you have to go though 3-4 different people to find out anything. oh and by the way those people only got one week of training and that week was on flip cards that you know anything after talking to them is a wonder. but then you do have to give it to them they are passing on the screamers to us to calm down and tell them what is going on for the most part when the systems are running and we can get in them when you hear updating that means down for the count and you best not be counting to fast...

what you don't understand about canceling an order is that there is only 3-4 people that look at the data base for the cancel voids section of the warehouse that these orders are being voided in and they have to see it before the guy in the warehouse is putting the wrong thing on the truck.. oops thats the smashed thing on the tru.... no... thats the right thing on the truck.... thats a return from someone else that was just a tad bit smarter then the last guy in returning his things cause he has used that one and just said that it wasn't the right size and was returning it for another one so that he can get his money back for it... oh and if you do call in and tell us that your item is damanged and you didn't call in within your 3 days from drop off then guess what..... you are SOL on getting anything done and no credit back oh and that also goes for defective things too... your 5-7 busness days for "Usually arrives" is after it gets out of our system and that could take upwards of 2 weeks if not 2 months or 3 months and while you are waiting they can void your order and not tell you... :)that is until you call in and ask where its at after all its been since May and its still not here.. Oh I'm sorry your order was voided... :)"WHEN??" oh that was voided the week after you ordered it....:) "WHY WASN'T I TOLD ABOUT THIS!!!" ;;) why I don't know.. it just shows that your order was voided by the warehouse.. we can rekey it for you and it can go right out..... ;;) .... what you want to take that back to the store in your town... :O oh no you can't do that we are different enities and they can't take our things back..... they do not do credits in the store for items off the web site nor can you return them to the store you have to call in and get a call tag to have it picked up.... need I go on...

Posted by: HD call center at June 30, 2006 01:37 AM

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