I am a consumer, I am a recluse and do most of my purchases online.
Last week I ordered 2 pairs of black school trousers for my Autistic teenager from an outfit called Chums. He needs a specific style of trousers being the way he is, and I have ordered from them before via Amazon.
Amazon however did not have these in stock, so I decided to order straight from the chums website.
My parcel arrived within a few days as expected, and I put them to one side to sort out at a later date.
Yesterday I opened the parcel in order to iron the new school trousers ready for the start of the school week.
Imagine my surprise when they were a very light grey/ green colour.
I looked at the invoice and it stated, unfortunately your black trousers were out of stock, and rather than disappoint we have sent an alternative that we hope you will like.
Really ? Why would you think that ?
If I wanted grey/ green trousers I would have ordered them instead of the black ones.
It’s like ordering your food shopping and being sent a live pig as a substitute.
Dear consumer, We are very sorry that the bacon you ordered was out of stock, we thought you might like this alternative instead.
Never assume that you know what your customer might like.
I received no email to say my items were out of stock, and would I like an alternative.
If I had I would have informed them, no thank you, I will look elsewhere or wait until you do have them back in stock.
£32 later and I am left with two pairs of trousers that are absolutely no use to myself or my son.
Upon telephoning their customer services department twice yesterday, it seemed that their computer systems were down and I couldn’t get this matter resolved.
Today upon telephoning again, hurray the computers are back up and running, the customer service representative informed me, even though she called me repeatedly by the wrong name.
She then informed me that i would have to return the parcel before I could get a refund.
There lies the biggest problem. I do not leave the house. The nearest drop off point for returns is 3 miles away. I do not have anybody who can drop this parcel off for me, so now what ?
15 minutes later at 13 pence per minute, plus network charges, a collection has been arranged which also causes problems as I do not like people coming to my house.
All of this has caused me no end of personal problems. By sending me something that they thought I might like, they have made my life more difficult than it already is, plus I am now also out of pocket financially, from having to rectify this issue.
No consumer should be left paying more than they should, due to poor business practices.
Note to self, never use chums again.
Lesson learned, if you are a business owner take heed, bad business practices will guarantee that your customers will never return.
And, if you have loyal customers like myself, then you need to retain that loyalty. Finding out what your customer needs instead of assuming that you know what they need. Making sure that your customer service representatives are trained correctly. And finally always making sure your customer is never in a worse off position financially or otherwise, than they were before they purchased your goods.
Customers are your priority.. if you want to sell and to keep on selling, then keep your customers happy.
A happy customer is a return customer.