Voucher Site Misadventure

In an earlier post, I talked about this annoying voucher site’s customer service hotline that was practically impossible to contact in the last two weeks leading up to Christmas. I’ve been able to speak with a representative since, but I’d also like to elaborate on my experience. Wonder if any of you went through the same thing….

What the…?!

Back in October, said voucher site—let’s call them “X Co.“—started selling a specific brand of multimedia players for a discounted price. It was decided that a few would be purchased to give out as Christmas gifts, but not before calling X Co. to ask if the delivery/shipping date of our potential order—stated in the voucher that would start on the second week of December 2014 and go on until second week of January 2015—could be moved up to second week of December in time for Christmas gift-giving. The agreeable rep on the other end said it could be arranged, so we proceeded with the order.

On the second week of December, a few days before the start of the delivery date, we were already trying to contact customer service to get the status of the order. The hotline was no good as the hold list could only process up to seven customers at a time. Beyond that, the automated service would automatically hang up on callers. I then resorted to the online chat support that got me slightly better results.

I was able to chat with an agent, but it did not amount to much. Twice (with a space of a few days in between), she told me that she’d check on my order, then disconnect the chat service after a few minutes. I thought, “Okay, maybe she’d update me via e-mail.” But no e-mail update was ever received. On the third try, I had to confront her, saying, “I need a definite answer now, because you disconnected chat on me twice already. If you cannot guarantee a delivery date, then I’ll have to cancel the order.” She was more accommodating then and actually gave me a solid answer about how the product still hasn’t been delivered to their office. She also told me that the products would definitely be at the shipping address by Monday, the 22nd of December.

Well, Monday came and went. I called the next day and, miracle of miracles, was able to get through the hotline. I was promptly told that the orders were already at the courier’s and was given their contact number. Out of the three mobile numbers and two landline numbers listed on the courier’s website, one landline was working. I was able to speak with a representative that promised to deliver my order on the same day, Tuesday. You probably know how this ends, right?

Tuesday came and went with no purchased items arriving. Tried to phone the courier again on Wednesday and, this time, ALL their numbers weren’t working. Not even a busy line, just disconnection. I already had a feeling this would happen, so I didn’t freak out anymore. It was a resigned feeling.

The multimedia players eventually arrived on the 29th.

After having spent weeks on this case, I’m sufficiently traumatized. Moral lesson: There’s no such thing as shipping in time for the holiday season. It is better to order ahead of time and receive the goods during the early -ber months. Stock them at home rather than suffer all the suspense of this customer service nightmare. And if the sale is too tempting to resist, keep your expectations low and you had better be willing to deliver late Christmas presents.

X Co. did such a poor job of preparing for the CS rush of calls in time for Christmas. They neither extended service hours, nor assigned more agents to handle chat support and hotline calls. With this company, I’ll be sticking to restaurant vouchers.

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2 thoughts on “Voucher Site Misadventure

  1. Oh no. That should’ve been standard practice 😦 Almost all call centers, as far as I know, ramp up during the holidays. They usually hire contractual employees/ temps.

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