Staples Complaint - Online order confirmation
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- This was my letter to Staples which describes my experience. The core of my issue was not receiving what I ordered after I was promised the item.
I believe you should receive and order that you place and verbally verify, especially if the customer service rep tells you it is on its way.
Unfortunately this is not the way with Staples. According to Jenifer, even their own staff do not have access to their warehouse inventory and it's only when they actually go pack your order they will really know whether it is available.
So I am not sure I would actually be able to shop on a web site that might just contain virtual merchandise.
I am writing to you to describe a unacceptable buying experience at Staples.com.
Yesterday (6/14/07) I ordered an IBM Thinkpad T60m off your web site. The item was available at the time and I got a message to call Staples at 1-800-839-3067 to confirm the order.
I called in and spoke a very polite person who confirmed and processed my order. They told me the machine would arrive today (6/15/07). At this point I requested that the machine be delivered only Monday (6/17/07) to ensure that I would be at home to receive the order. The person made these arrangements and told me to expect the machine on Monday. I also commented on what a pleasant experience shopping at Staples was.
This morning (6/15/07) I went to the web site since I was curious to see if the special was sold out. It was still available.
However today at 3:10pm I got an e-mail stating that the machine I ordered was no longer available and would not be shipped. I was horrified.
I am an avid web shopper and I have never had an experience where after purchasing an item, called in for verbal verification, told it was on its way - was now not available. I also find this business process flawed since I had called a person who obviously has access to all the enterprise systems and should have been able to tell me that the order was not available. Not to mention that the site still showed this item as available this morning.
I called the number indicated in the e-mail and was unable to resolve the issue. I was told that my order is not guaranteed until it ships. I find this completely unacceptable as there is nothing on your entire site that indicates this to be the case. I think it is implicit in your order confirmation process that I will receive the item I bought. Unless your intention is for me to now shop for something else which, since this is illegal, I doubt is the case. It would also be disconcerting for any shopper to not know that he had made a successful order until he actually received the item. For web shoppers, receiving an order confirmation should alone be confirmation that he will receive the order.
I am a software architect by trade and I would be surprised that Staples would be unable to confirm product availability prior to reviewing customer credit or doing manual verification.
My preferred outcome would be to receive the item I had ordered over the web and verbally confirmed, or an equivalent IBM Thinkpad. I would appreciate you urgently looking into this matter and bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion.