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Athos

Poor Customer Service

13 posts in this topic

My mother ordered the Ninjago Fire Temple for me as an Xmas gift on the 27th of November from S@H. She ordered it that day, so that she could also give me the 2nd Xmas promotional set. A few weeks later, however, the order had not arrived, so my mother contacted S@H and was told they could not deliver the item to a Post Office box and that she would have to place the order again with another address. She did so and when the package arrived, the Xmas promotional set was not included. So, so contacted S@H again to find out what happened and was told the Xmas set was all sold out and there was nothing they could do. Now she had ordered from S@H, specifically to get the Xmas set, when she could have ordered from amazon for cheaper.

So I then emailed customer service about it and explained the situation:

Shortly after Thanksgiving, I ordered set #2507 as an Xmas gift for my son. I specifically ordered it at that time, deciding to forego the option to purchase it on sale at a later date, so that I could also give him the 2nd 2011 Xmas promotional set.

After I placed the order and waited approximately two weeks for delivery, I was informed that my order could not be delivered to my address and the item would have to be reshipped. When I got the order, however, the promotional set was not included. I contacted customer service and was told the promotional item was sold out and I could not receive a copy of it and that nothing could be done.

I am very disappointed with this, as I ordered the item when I did, specifically to get the promotional set, even though I could have purchased the item elsewhere at a lesser price.

A few days later we got the following response:

Thank you for contacting us on 12/27/11 and for your interest in LEGO® brand products.

We're sorry to hear that you're unhappy about your experience with LEGO Shop at Home. We work very hard to provide the best service we possibly can to our fans and their families. We know we're lucky to have so many loyal fans around the world and we're always pleased to get comments back - even when they're about our mistakes.

Listening to what LEGO® fans have to say helps us get better and better so I'm going to pass your comments on to the team in charge of this area.

Thank you again for contacting us. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this email or call one of our friendly Customer Care Advisors

LEGO Direct Consumer Services

I am disappointed in the handling of this matter. I feel that having spent $120 plus shipping and having a significant portion of the order not having been received, we are due more than a simple form letter. I understand that the set was a small promotional item, but it was the motivation for the purchase in the first place. Without that item, the purchased would have been made through amazon.

I am not a huge fan of S@H in the first place, due to, what I feel are high shipping costs, which make any purchases significantly more expensive than going to almost any retail store. Now based on this, I'm even less impressed by S@H. Given that the money is going directly to Lego and not shared with other retailers, I would expect the customer service to be much better than this. As my mother suggested, the least they could have done was offered to send a comparable set to replace the one that was sold out.

Steve

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I don't see what else S@H can do, it's not their fault you guys didn't know about the PO box details. I'm sure they have info about that on their site somewhere, some kind of "not all sets are deliverable to PO boxes".

Shit happens, not everything has to be someone's fault and not every time is there a happy ending.

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I'd try contacting them again. It can also help to call and speak to a person. Sieggy had a vaguely similar issue and was able to get it resolved by being persistent.

On another note, I too had a poor customer service issue with LEGO. I had purchased a set in June that had about 15-20 pieces with varying levels of damage (mainly crushed corners). I tried to use the replacement parts form, but it kept crashing everytime I added more than 5 parts, so I emailed Customer Service. He was helpful, and was going to send me a replacement copy, but the set had been discontinued. Instead, I sent him a detailed list of the parts with issues, and he told me he would have them sent to me. A month and a half later, I still hadn't received my parts, so I called. The lady had said that the parts were never sent, and that she was going to have them sent. I still haven't received them. :sceptic:

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I am sorry about what happened, but I am afraid that there is not much they can do about it now, as the set is sold out.

I'd try contacting them again. It can also help to call and speak to a person. Sieggy had a vaguely similar issue and was able to get it resolved by being persistent.

On another note, I too had a poor customer service issue with LEGO. I had purchased a set in June that had about 15-20 pieces with varying levels of damage (mainly crushed corners). I tried to use the replacement parts form, but it kept crashing everytime I added more than 5 parts, so I emailed Customer Service. He was helpful, and was going to send me a replacement copy, but the set had been discontinued. Instead, I sent him a detailed list of the parts with issues, and he told me he would have them sent to me. A month and a half later, I still hadn't received my parts, so I called. The lady had said that the parts were never sent, and that she was going to have them sent. I still haven't received them. :sceptic:

I would call them and place a new order; just give them the part numbers found in the inventory at the back of the instructions.

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You must understand that the second promotional set had so much success that it was quickly unavailable. I specially ordered for this set too, and received it. But you need to also have a kind of luck about this, because these promotionnal sets are offered in a short period of time and can be forgotten in the parcel. Though, I think you should have some other offered set in exchange, but if you especially wanted this one, you'll need to buy it to a Bricklink seller.

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What is crazy about this is that the solution was obviously one of two options and yet S@H failed to use either one.

1) Set aside the promo set - the package should have prepped for shipping including the promotional set and set aside the package until the address issue was resolved. There is a 0% chance that PO Box address difficulties have never before occurred and cancelling the order is just a way to piss off your customers.

2) Make restitution - once the promo sets were physically gone the customer should have been sent a gift card or online credit for $10 off their next purchase on S@H. No, it would not replace the promo set but it would make a concrete effort at some form of restitution and it would build trust with the customer AND it would encourage a subsequent purchase to use the credit.

Neither of these options should cost the company significant money. Failure to take either option could quite easily cost them since S@H provides a higher return than traditional distribution to the company.

Basic customer service fail.

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2) Make restitution - once the promo sets were physically gone the customer should have been sent a gift card or online credit for $10 off their next purchase on S@H. No, it would not replace the promo set but it would make a concrete effort at some form of restitution and it would build trust with the customer AND it would encourage a subsequent purchase to use the credit.

Good idea.

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Following Sieggy's recent trouble, and reading your story, I can't help but feel that Customer Service at Shop@home has become a bit sloppy and half-hearted. We couldn't believe it when customer service tried to fob off Sieggy with a completely megablocks answer that didn't gel anyway. When Sieggy wrote back and refuted their claim, they changed their tune pretty fast, and now the problem is being rectified. But that really isn't the point, you shouldn't have to do that in the first place, if they are the ones who made the mistake. While your case is different, in that the mistake was initially with your mum making the order and not being aware of the PO box rule, customer service should still try harder to resolve things nicely. It's shocking that the order went through, obviously couldn't be delivered, and just sat there in the queue being ignored for two weeks until you complained about it. If they'd spotted that sooner and notified you of the problem, you might have still received the promotional set.

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Having been ordering Lego for over 25 years now, I have pretty distinct memories of picking up deliveries from my mother's PO Box as a boy. But, after reading a couple of comments about how my mother made the mistake by trying to ship to a PO Box and/or not knowing about the "rule", I decided to see if I was maybe overlooking my family's fault and blaming Lego unfairly.

So I placed an order and went through the process up until the actual final step of placing the order. I put in the shipping address as:

PO Box 1234

Town, State 67890

Here is what I found.

Nothing in the process says anything about PO Boxes not being acceptable. In fact, beyond merely not saying that they cannot deliver to a PO Box, the site actually suggests further suggests a "better" address of:

PO Box 1234

Town, State 67890-1234

So, not only was there nothing saying PO Boxes were not deliverable, they all but explicitly said PO Boxes were fine. And in fact suggested a PO Box.

So, I'm now even less pleased with S@H...

Steve

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So, not only was there nothing saying PO Boxes were not deliverable, they all but explicitly said PO Boxes were fine. And in fact suggested a PO Box.

I think you're reading into their not detecting "PO" too much. For one, for the Australian site they do say no PO boxes...

post-1554-132593296021.gif

...but also it's too hard to be 100% sure that a "check this address is valid" algorithm is perfect. For example there is;

PO Box

Post Box

Post Office Box

How can you be sure to detect that? What happens if there is a town with "Office", "Post", or "Box" in the name? Do you ban those or just warn everyone? (Isn't that what they are doing now?) How about things like "Locked Bags" and "Locked Boxes"? How about other languages? In short I tend to think that any way of trying to sanitise addresses would be more trouble than it's worth... and that's probably what the site designer thought too.

But I'm not saying that it's all your families fault. For one, why didn't they tell you about this? Making you contact them after two weeks of waiting is just plain rude... :sceptic:

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post-1554-132593296021.gif

I hadn't noticed that bit before. But on the US site, only the express delivery options say no PO Boxes. Standard delivery, and though I don't personally know I am sure my mother selected, does not say no PO boxes, which means they should be ok.

Steve

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Sorry to hear about your troubles Athos. I must say that I'm really disappointed with my recent experiences with LSAH, esp. the level of customer service. For me, my issues have been related to the quality of their packaging (i.e. use of airbags / overstuffed boxes).

This was my last order after having returned the previous set due to box damage. On top of this, it took nearly two months to resolve.

gallery_174_93_89019.jpg

gallery_174_93_118248.jpg

LSAH was suppose to investigate and and assured me that they would ship a replacement with better care.

I sent a number of unanswered Email messages and finally gave up after receiving the above replacement. Luckily, the set was placed upside down in the shipping box only smashing the backside of the set.

I am now relunctant to order anything (esp. larger sets from LSAH). :sceptic:

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I've only ordered from S@H twice and dealt with customer service once. Each time was successful and well controlled. No issues. The boxes have been well packed with nothing missing. Maybe I've just been lucky?

From what I have heard about those seasonal sets was how quickly they sold out. So it would make sense if they canceled the order they would put everything back into their warehouse and when you reordered them they would re-choose the sets to place in the box. The fact that the seasonal item wasn't included the second time around was because they wouldn't have had any left to place in the box. More than likely, it being a warehouse, they only go off of what it says on a paper form or computer screen. I highly doubt they would have someone specifically go down there and set aside a promo item for one particular order. The people handling the order wouldn't even be packing them, so they wouldn't be the wiser.

I do agree that customer service should have been better regarding the issue, but I can understand TLC's point of view also as a business.

I do like how Amazon's check out works regarding addresses. It immediately prevents the order and shows you if certain items cannot be sent to certain addresses. So you change it immediately. I've tried having things sent to my parent's PO Box multiple times only to have them say they need a physical address. But they did say they needed it right away before the order was placed, so it makes more sense to me.

That is another reason why I'm glad I don't have a PO Box. Everything gets sent to the main physical address. I always hated having to worry about which address to put on things when I lived at home with my parents.

And Amazon does have a lot cheaper prices on most things, so we've ordered most things from there too. But we considered ordering from S@H more for the VIP points. But shipping is ridiculous! Especially when other sites offer free shipping on orders over a certain value.

Good luck with getting your issue sorted out. Keep us posted.

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