So, a couple of weeks or so ago, I placed a t-shirt order to Cafepress. I buy a lot of t-shirts. I wear them around the house, as well as whenever I take an art class at Lillstreet or Evanston Art Center. When my order hadn't shipped after several days, I contacted them. I kept getting the run-around until, nine days later, I finally requested that my order be cancelled. They cancelled it right away. On a friend's recommendation, I tried Redbubble. They had a lot of shirts that I liked. I was hesitant because of my recent experience, but I decided to give them a shot.
It's now been four days since I placed my order, so I was starting to worry. You can check your status, but it doesn't tell you much--just that it's "in manufacturing." They have a chat customer service option, so I opened up the chat window. After relaying my information, and waiting while the CSR looked up my order, I was told that it was currently in production, and would be shipping soon. As I had recently gone through hearing "soon" for several days from Cafepress, I was not satisfied with that. I explained my recent experience, and how I was trying them out on a friend's recommendation and was really hoping my first experience would be a smooth one. I asked for a specific time estimate. He told me "we have no way of talking to production to see where they are."
You see, I used to work in customer service for a loan servicing company. Generally, there's no such thing as "not being able to contact another division." After all, you can always call or email a department, and have them look up the account. If for some really strange reason, you can't, then a supervisor certainly can. Now, a lot of CSRs get evaluated based on wait time and average call time, not customer satisfaction, so some may not be motivated to do so. When I was a CSR, if a customer had a problem (especially if the company was at fault) I was quick to go to bat for them. I would talk to my supervisor if the problem was big enough, other times, I would email the relevant department and take down the customer's number so I could call them back. I even had customers that learned my name and would only talk to me, since they knew I'd actually do something to help. A lot of CSRs did not, though. Their approach was that the sooner they got the person off the line, the less work for them and the better it looked on paper. So, when I hear things like "we can't contact production" I know it really means "I don't want to bother contacting production. It's taking awhile. Just deal with it."
So, recognizing the clear pat response I'd been given, I responded by asking if I could cancel if it wasn't shipped within 24 hours. After that, I was told "Since we have no way of knowing where they are in production, we can't cancel orders once production has started." What? Seriously? So, let me get this straight...you can't tell me how long it will take for my order to be made and I can't cancel because of this supposed impenetrable wall of silence between customer service and production?
I then informed him that I would give his company until Monday. If, by Monday, it was not shipped, I would be disputing the charge to my credit card and filing a complaint against the company with the Better Business Bureau. I additionally urged him to pass this information on to his supervisor, so they might contact production and expedite the order.
So, we'll see how this progresses. One thing is for sure: I won't be ordering from Redbubble again.