December 3, 2011

Lehman.com EPIC FAIL

This holiday season I've prided myself in being able to get my shopping done early and generally outside of the dreadful Black Friday craziness.  Every transaction, whether in person or online, went smoothly, save one.

Much to my dismay, my dealings with Lehman's through their webstore was pretty much nothing but EPIC FAIL.

A couple of months ago I managed to pick up a used...widget that I was going to give to a friend.  He had managed to completely boff his widget and I found one at the local Youth Ranch Thrift Store. The one I got was missing pieces and needed the tiniest bit of repairs.  With some new parts and about twenty cents in repairs I figured it'd be a cool present.

When I started looking up replacement pieces and factoring in the cost of said parts as well as the shipping.....and shipping again to my friend, it was pretty much 90% of the cost of just getting a new one.  Sorry, but jumping through hoops for 10% and ending up with an obviously patched widget isn't really a great gift.  I could not buy the parts and hope he still had the old parts.....

An important thing to note is that the widget is an old item that is still being made but not widely available.  I managed to find the widget at Lehman's and saved the appropriate webpage until I was ready to purchase.  That time was just before Thanksgiving.

I popped onto the webstore, prepared to purchase a new widget (which comes with those special parts) and I'm surprised to find that it is on sale for 20%.  Awesome!

I go ahead and order the item only to find that my receipt doesn't show the sales price.  What gives?  Lehman's has an online chat agent so I pop on and wait for someone to come and assist me.  Eventually a "chat agent" pops in, but the best she can do is tell me to call into the store the next day and talk to someone there in customer service.  Evidently they process online orders the next business day.

I find this solution unsatisfactory.  Why should I have to spend effort on two separate days to go shopping because they cannot get their webstore working correctly?

When I fire off an email to their customer service I ask that they either honor their webstore price and send me a new receipt or cancel the order.  Actually, my email ends with "Please charge my card the correct amount and email me a corrected receipt or cancel the order completely."

The next day I get the following email (this is an excerpt): "Yes, the 20% special price was $34.36. I see that your order was cancelled per you request. If you still want it at that price, please place your order on our WEBsite and email us immediately so we can intercept the order and change the pricing."

So.......they couldn't get my order straightened out and they cancelled it.  Actually, I wasn't completely sure if the order was cancelled or not since I didn't specifically ask that it be cancelled, just that they cancel it if they couldn't fix the pricing.  It is "funny" that they couldn't fix the pricing when asked since I was told to ask them to fix the pricing in the first place.  I was a bit confused and fired off another email regarding the order: "Now I’m confused.  Was my order cancelled or not?  If it was then why would I need to have the order intercepted and the price changed?  Either fulfill the order with the correct price (and send me a new receipt) or cancel the order and let me know definitively that it has been cancelled.  I did not specifically request an order cancellation, just to have the order cancelled if you could not charge me the correct price."

Lehman's quickly responded informing me that yes, they did cancel my order.  That should have been my tip-off that they couldn't get things done correctly right there, but I do believe that sometimes people just make mistakes and need another chance.  Besides, they sweetened the pot a little by offering me free shipping should I choose to entrust them with a replacement order: "Yes, it was cancelled. 
However, I thought you might still want it and wanted to give you an opportunity to receive the special pricing because I detected you might not have really wanted it cancelled. 
If you would still like the game, please place your order and let me know immediately so I can intercept the order and adjust the price (and, because of this inconvenience, I will also remove the shipping charges)."

I replace the order, which still should be on sale, and it still doesn't show up as being on sale.  I fire off the email as requested, they respond and it should all be good.  My bank account shows the charge on my card as pending for $52.90, which I completely expect since the charge shows up immediately even if it hasn't been processed.  I figure I'll wait a couple of days and double-check to make sure it it corrected.

A couple of days go by and my friend has already received the widget.  Despite it being a Christmas present he'd opened it up and sent me a quick thanks on Twitter.  This prompts me to check things out with the bank.

WTF?  Not only did they not take off the shipping charge they didn't give me the advertised, and promised, sale price.

I fired up my Outlook to send off an email and before I could get one composed I download one from Lehman's first-class customer support: "Regretfully, I was not able to catch your order and it has shipped, however, I did a refund to your credit card for the 20%."

Really?  You tell me on December 1st that you couldn't intercept an order that you knew about a day ahead of time?  I placed the order on November 23rd and you cannot give me the 20% until December 2nd?  Sure, you missed the order on the 24th.  It is Thanksgiving, I get that.  Maybe you guys took Black Friday and the weekend off from fulfilling orders and taking basic care of your customers.  Fine.  You could still have fixed things on Monday the 28th...Tuesday....Wednesday even.  Nope, you have to wait nine days after I place my order to partially fulfill your customer service promises.

By my reckoning Lehman's still owes me $9.95 since they freely offered to refund the shipping charges.  I politely reminded them of this and was told "nope".  Actually their response was a bit confusing: "And, I forgot to let you know, we have not had any free shipping yet this year. Although, maybe one of our future specials might be for free shipping. 
A month ago there was a $5 shipping day. 
The specials are date specific and there is one daily special per order."

I tried to point out that I wasn't asking for anything special.  There wasn't an online offer of free shipping.  In their November 23rd email they specifically offered to refund my shipping, probably because I've has to spend way too much time on ordering my widget.  If you factored in the time and frustration I haven't saved squat ordering through Lehman's.

I should have never bothered to order from this allegedly reputable company.

I should have been smart enough to see the warning signs and just took my business elsewhere.

I probably should have simply written the whole shebang off and not put any extra effort into this....but now this is just getting under my skin.

My next step, aside from complaining on my blog for 12 people to see, is to go to their local BBB.
Lehman.com's customer service is clearly EPIC FAIL, but I'm not content to let it slide. 

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