I have been put in a situation where I am quite sure that I am right, and customer service for a country-leading webshop are most likely wrong. How do I tell them that they are wrong without offending anyone or implying that they are bad at their job?

The backstory: I am part of a community of hardware enthusiasts who watched a release of a series of products. Almost no information whatsoever was given out about the release in in advance, but through the community I managed to get the point in time where the release was going to happen, and order within seconds of the product page appearing on one of the biggest webshops in my country. An order confirmation was sent out to my email account 2minutes after release. This was just over a week ago.

This was not fast enough to take part of the original stock. And availability is so bad that the webshop did not have and thus give out any information about when the next re-stocks would happen. Just that they might get a handfull of small deliveries until january, and that the people who ordered early will get their packages sent in the order of their ordernumber(corresponding to the time they placed their order). Being sure of the timing of my order being good, I called customer service and asked them if the fact that my order was pay on delivery and picked up at a store of their close to where I live would mean I would have a place in the queue with everyone else, I was assured that I would.

On friday, a small delivery was made and many of the enthusiasts in the community expressed their joy over having their packages send. The status on my order did not change, making me think their new batch is sent and im not part of the lucky few.

After asking the other people in the community at what time they placed their order, many of them had ordered several minutes later than me, and gotten order confirmations almost 10minutes later than me. I asked customer service about this and got the reply that the placement of the order did not necessarily correspond perfectly with the sending of the order confirmation.

So I started asking the others about their order numbers, and while one of them had a lower ordernumber than me, the rest of them did not. I vented my frustration at my situation and one person contacted me telling me he is in the exact same situation as me, and that he has the same circumstances in his order("pay on delivery and picked up at a store of their close to where I live"). After asking around, it appeared that none of the ones who had their packages sent had that choice in their order.

This lead me to feel that I had confirmed my suspicions regarding pay on delivery and picking up at the store.

After getting this information, I wrong a long email with all my findings and asking them how they can compensate me for this error, although the damage has already been made. After reading through the email I deleted it, thinking it just seemed rude and arrogant, and thinking "If I got this email as customer service, I would not feel happy to help this person".

How do I achieve this? How should I formulate my disappointment and tell them how their own process is wrong without being rude?

  • Depends on what your goal is? You just want the webshop know they could do better. Or you want to be Compensated for your loss? – Joel Harkes Oct 15 '17 at 5:14
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    @JoelHarkes Honestly, both. With emphasis on the former. – Flowdorio Oct 15 '17 at 5:15
  • I'm sorry... but isn't it just possible that it takes longer for them to drop ship a bunch of orders to a store and for the staff to receive them, notify the purchaser and have them come pick it up... then having them shipped directly from the manufacturer to your home? Am I misunderstanding what you're asking? – Catija Oct 15 '17 at 5:17
  • Why do you want to "tell them how their own process is wrong"? That is their problem to fix. You just need to clearly state to the highest authority possible how dissatisfied you are, and that you will take you business (along with that of any friends you advise) elsewhere if they can't improve. – user3169 Oct 15 '17 at 6:14
  • Also, did the persons who did not see "pay on delivery and picked up at a store of their close to where I live" pay in advance? Something else? You aren't clear about this. – user3169 Oct 15 '17 at 6:17

Keep in mind that whoever reads your message likely has no control whatsoever of how products are distributed, priced, or... well... anything really. They just work the customer service desk and it probably sucks for them.

To be blunt, the first person you deal with probably can't help you even if they wanted to, so your goal is probably to talk to that person's boss. If the boss can't help, you probably want their boss.

But sadly chances are pretty good that you're just going to have to be patient. If it's a large organization moving a lot of product, you're just a drop in the bucket for them, particularly if they're selling out before the product has even been released.

Even more so, if you're an individual and they're accustomed to dealing with retailers who buy in bulk. I know it's bad business, but they're going to prioritize the person buying 100, 50, or even just 2 over someone who's buying 1 on a cash on delivery.

I know it's not right, or fair, but business is rarely if ever right or fair.

Although, having spent way too much time working in customer service... Sometimes the squeeky wheel gets greased... It's a crappy way to treat people, certainly not a sign of good Interpersonal Skills, but often those that make a lot of noise get what they want, just so they go away. Please don't be that person unless you absolutely have to.

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    You're very right here. Plus: many companies will 1st deliver the ones who paid online rather than the others who CoD. It makes sense (to company AND customers), because you want to satisfy your pre-paid clients, as they'll feel they deserve more because they already gave you the money. – OldPadawan Oct 15 '17 at 6:33
  • They had a limit at 1 per buy, so its not about buying bulk. Cash on delivery being what delays it is possible, but they specifically said that wasnt the case, and referred to the order number – Flowdorio Oct 15 '17 at 9:58

I think you can send the whole email, maybe after slightly editing it.

And the most you will get is a caveat in the small print, that possibly is already there.

Obviously you now know more about product delivery timing than the average customer service guy working for that shop. A large shop is organised around legacy process firmed up with modern patches. You, having a physical shop and actual real money in the loop have, without realising, consigned yourself to the legacy. And it apparently is last millennium slow, as it always was.

You brethren that ordered fully digital are in the separate, distinct and faster fresh patch in the woods. They got slower response but the were patched in directly into the fast track and got provided ahead of your lumbering legacy.

Why? Why!!
Well, for the shop this all makes perfect sense. They got that legacy, it will be replaced Real Soon Now just like last year. In the mean time they make the best of it. And need to provide fast service as the world, and their competitors got faster real fast all around them. And that is all in the fresh patch.

What you really need to do is ask customer service which option will get you fastest delivery, and you can tell them what it is not by using your slightly edited text.

Because, just maybe paying in Bitcoin will get you ahead in the online crowd, next time around.

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