Orange You Glad?
June 22, 2010


This morning, I was frustrated. The root of this frustration? Shoes. And customer service.

Remember that Alegria sale at Alegria Shoe Shop I mentioned in my last post? As soon as I found out about that sale, I ordered a pair of green tortoiseshell Paloma mary janes. About 5 minutes later, I placed another order for the same style in orange snakeskin. I couldn't resist! I almost immediately received a confirmation e-mail for the first order, but not for the second. I didn't think much of it since I had placed 2 consecutive orders, but in hindsight, I should have.

I was excited! My favorite shoes! In fun colors! But I waited patiently since I wasn't ordering from Zappos. A few days later, I received a tracking number for the green shoes, but nothing for the orange shoes. However, when I went to the site to check my orders, it said the orange shoes had shipped, but no tracking number was listed. A week later, the green shoes arrived. Hooray! I was hoping maybe the orange shoes would arrive with them, but no dice. So I waited another couple of days and then I sent an e-mail politely asking for my tracking number. The reply said a truckload of Palomas had just arrived and they would send me the tracking number as soon as my order shipped out in a couple of days! Okay, great, but why does my order status say "shipped" if they haven't been shipped out? I shrugged it off and waited another couple of days. I sent out e-mail #2 on a Friday, asking for an update and explaining that the other order I had placed on the same day had already arrived and I was a little confused. On Monday, there was still no reply.

This morning, I did something that I probably should have done right after I placed the orders, but avoid doing at ALL COSTS. I picked up the phone and called to talk to a human. GASP!

Someone answered the phone and I gave them my order number and I got the story about waiting for the truck to arrive with a new shipment and they'll send out the order as soon as it gets here. I thanked them and hung up feeling defeated and frustrated. Why would you mark an order as shipped if it hadn't been shipped or if the product wasn't even physically in the store? After dealing with all those attempts to order jeans form Old Navy, I kind of felt like crying. Why did this keep happening to me? It seemed like my order had maybe been misplaced or something, and why would nobody own up to it and just tell me? What is up with customer service? Just because I'm ordering online and not physically standing in front of you doesn't mean I deserve crappy customer service. Be honest. Tell me you messed up, apologize, offer me an explanation and maybe a coupon or something. Is that too much to ask?

It turns out, it's not.

A couple hours later, I received an e-mail from customer service at Alegria Shoe Shop. It turns out there had been a glitch in their ordering system that was letting people order things that weren't there (which may be the reason why I never got a confirmation e-mail for the orange shoes). They had been trying to track down a pair for me and found out they're not making that color anymore. They offered me a pair of shoes of my choice. Which was way more than I was expecting and an offer I couldn't refuse. I picked another pair of Palomas in a fun color and they should be shipping out today.

I'm relieved that customer service is not dead and that I'm still getting a fun pair of shoes. I'll definitely order from Alegria Shoe Shop again. But now I've got another problem. I need to find a pair of orange shoes to wear with all the orange scarves I just bought...



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© Whitney Brandt-Hiatt: All writing, images, and photogrpahy are the property of Whitney Brandt-Hiatt unless otherwise noted.