What do you expect from a company’s customer service? I recently had a very disappointing experience, which gave me renewed appreciation for the customer service of the US-based companies I am accustomed to dealing with.
Here’s what happened:
I am somewhat of an impulse shopper. When I decide I like something, I obsess until I buy it. That is how I felt recently about the vibrant high-end fitness apparel (please, I hate the term athleisure!) by a certain Australian brand, Lurv Sportswear. I was thrilled to order a few items online (which included free international shipping). $160 was the total. I couldn’t wait to receive the clothing.
Thursday night, my doorman handed me a package from Australia. There was nothing from the outside of the package that seemed out of the ordinary. I opened the package Friday morning – to my shock the inside of the bag was drenched, and each of the ziplock-type bags holding the items of apparel were filled with soapy water. Sopping, drenching, dripping wet. I had to mop the floor there was so much water.
I tried to find a toll-free phone number for the company, without success. I sent emails to the company as well as private messages to their Facebook page with photos. It was already weekend in Australia and didn’t know what to do. Fearing that the items were or would become mildewed, I took them out of the bags and washed them. My soapy wet clothing was now hanging all over the bathroom.
The whole situation was so peculiar – how did the water get into the packaging? I truly have no idea, but guess it had to be at the warehouse where everything was packed up.
I then heard by email from the company. I was told in no uncertain terms that nothing wrong had happened on their side. The rep asked me to report again on what I had experienced. I felt that there were insinuations from the rep that perhaps I was somehow responsible. I began to feel like I was on trial. This was not the kind of customer service, especially from a high-end company, that I was accustomed to.
The fact is I did not receive items in brand new and dry condition – which is what I had bargained for. Instead, I received defective wet, soapy products, soaking in water, and was then put through the wringer (literally and figuratively) by the company.
The company offered only these 2 choices: (1) I could keep the wet gear and buy one new product from their website at a 50% discount; or (2) I could send back the items at my own cost and they would issue a refund, plus $20 towards the shipping.
At the least, I thought the company would offer a full return and replacement of the goods and/or a credit of an amount between $25 and $50 back to my credit card for my inconvenience.
By this point, I wanted nothing more to do with Lurv or their products. I told the rep they should set up the return shipping and send me a pre-paid label and I’d be happy to send back the items. They refused and reiterated the two choices set out above.
I am spoiled by excellent customer service I generally receive from USA-based companies. My favorite fitness apparel companies, and there are many of them – – Inknburn, Oiselle, Patagonia, Lucy and Reebok, to name a few – – all have phenomenal customer service and return policies.
I had hoped this matter would be resolved directly with the company. I’ve never had to dispute a charge with my credit card under circumstances such as this. Well, this was the first. I called Citibank, as I had charged the purchase on a Citibank Mastercard. I explained the circumstances and disputed the purchase. A few days later, I received the following message from Citibank: The dispute was resolved in your favor.
A Penny For Your Thoughts
What has been your experience with receiving, disputing and returning defective goods, and customer service under such circumstances?