Update: Due to the threat of legal action, I've updated this post (and all linking posts) and removed all references to the company involved and replaced them with the name of a completely fictitious company - "FooBar Pty Inc". I've also changed the products involved so the "field of business" of the original company can't be identified either. Any comments that reference the original company have also been removed.
Update: 6 Jan 2010: I've disabled comments as it's becoming quite clear a lot of people are dissatisfied by the service offered by this company. If you have any issues, I encourage you to contact your local Trading Standards Office, Citizens Advice Bureau, BBC WatchDog and/or the Office of Fair Trading. I'm sure they'll all be more than delighted to offer some assistance in resolving your issue.
Update: 11 Oct 2013: The company that offered me my poor customer service and then threatened legal action because I was honest and didn't provide a glowing review has gone bust and their websites are now dead. You can now search Google for the company to see everyone else's experiences.
As is now becoming customary for "FooBar Pty Inc", what is said and what happens are two completely different things. Today also marks the 2 month anniversary since I placed my order and I've still not received a single item from it.
In my last post I pasted an email which stated "All of the items should be in stock by the end of this week and with you the latest the beginning of next week". Guess what. It never happened. Instead I got ANOTHER automatic email sent to me on Sunday evening saying the items will be in stock on Wednesday.
I responding to this asking about the rest of the items on my order (remember I was promised those would be dispatched in the mean time when I phone) to which I got the response...
Dear Colin, Thank you for your email. The other items from your order are all in stock and will be dispatched with the "FooBar" kit. You will be notified by email once your order has been dispatched and your DPD tracking code. Kind regards "FooBar Pty Inc"
Great!!! Another scripted response with no consideration about customer service or even about their own promises. I responded with...
Hmmm, this contradicts what I was told on the phone. Anyway, I would like my order dispatched TOMORROW, Wednesday 25 November, regardless. If the "FooBar" kit IS delivered to you tomorrow, then great, please dispatch the entire order as one. If it's not, please remove the "FooBar" kit from my order, refund the cost of the kit to my bank account, and dispatch the rest of the order (as the rest of the items are in stock). Friday will be exactly 2 months since I placed my order which has been continually delayed by this single item. Kind regards, Colin
Wednesday came and went without any response or notification of dispatch, however I did note this email has made it into the correspondence section for my order on their website, which is good. Several of my previous emails, including the terse one sent on 11 November have not made it into this section, nor received a response.
I thought I'd leave it until Thursday lunchtime before chasing just in case their order came in late on Wednesday evening and I've not received a response to that update request yet either. I do however note that they have finally managed to get their website to reflect that the "FooBar" kit is out of stock, however it seems this has broken something as the website isn't really coping too well today - it keeps timing out or hitting MySQL errors, though this isn't really an excuse for the lack of response or dispatch of my order.
As I can't see any reason for a delay for my order now and no one is responding to my emails, I just gave them a bell to find out what's happening with my order...
Well, apparently, and quite conveniently, an order for the "FooBar" kit arrived with them TODAY, however now they don't have the "BeeFoo" in stock - even though their website says they do - but this will be arriving on Monday and I've been assured my order WILL be dispatched on Monday.
Once again, the lady who answered the phone didn't identify herself (I recognise her as the same lady as I spoke to last time) and once again, she was in a hurry to get off the phone once I'd identified myself (via my order number) and she'd let me know the order came in today and would be dispatched on Monday.
As I see it, "FooBar Pty Inc" is either...
a. Going bust and trying their damnedest to keep hold of as much money as they possibly can, even if it's at the expense of customer satisfaction (which isn't really important if you're going bust), or
b. They really couldn't give a damn. They've got their money and are quite content with stringing me along as long as it suits them, even if it means brinking on the edge of committing fraud - remember they've knowingly taken money for a product they didn't have in stock and had no idea when they'd get in stock, if at all.
I can certainly understand why they're reluctant to split the order: the "FooBar" kit retails for £9.79. Their minimum postage charge is £4.75. Assuming this is the actual cost the Home Delivery Network/DPD/DHL charge for such a delivery, they'd have to be putting on at least a 100% markup on the cost of the product in order to break even. However, we're at the stage now where losing a couple of pounds from one order should be the least of their worries. Hell, I've even given them the chance NOT to lose any money by completely stripping this item from the order.
Only time will tell if they stick to their word and actually dispatch my order on Monday. I'm not holding my breath. They'll certainly be getting a phone call from me on Tuesday morning if I don't receive the notification email on Monday evening. Oh, and I doubt they'll stick to their word about the next day delivery either.