horrific customer service, terrible returns and sleazy biz practices
A review by bluejay2 written on Jan 19, 2010Full review
Okay, stick with me because this is a bit long, but it could save you lots of trouble.
The first time I ordered from them, 2003, they sent me a wicking Tee with body odor. Despite this, I tried them again this xmas 2009 with 2 orders, and it was a very negative experience that also left me with a very bad feeling about the company.
I was lured by the free 2-day fedex service. Yes, it got there in 2 days. Fine. My first order was 2 rainjackets with slightly defective zippers (one worse than the other), and one of the jackets was strangely static-ridden, and we could not get the static out. (Weird.) Then my 2nd order - an insulated coat - was not as pictured. They had a plain red fabric shown, when it was really covered with a loud pattern.
I was so disappointed, and politely emailed to make sure they did not send me the wrong coat (as I would have gladly taken the one that was pictured), and they never emailed back! I ended up giving up when I never heard back and returned both orders. But that was after multiple tries to reach customer service and resolve my issues:
I tried their online chat for 5-6 days and they never connected. I then called for a week and I stayed on hold, once for 15 minutes, unable to get through. It was insane. Finally I got a rep, but he "forgot" to email me prepaid labels.
I had to basically call and call and call for another week to resolve this. I then got one label instead of the two I needed, and this label had the wrong customer ID on it! They reps behaved as if they were either stoned or careless or the company was woefully understaffed... during Christmas. but this was not just one crazy service rep, it was many incidents.
So I sent both orders back eventually, and then they "lost" one of my returns! But get this - since they do returns on the cheap and have no tracking numbers (they use USPS), they could not locate it. After more complaints over two weeks, they magically "found" the lost pkg, but then only credited one of my items of two in the order, and again I had to email to find out what the #&%$ what going on.
As of this epinion review, I am still owed for one of the jackets and am waiting their credit. [UPDATE - they emailed me again to say that credit is coming, but it's been a week and no credit has shown up on my card.]
Oh - and they kept emailing me to review their items. I did, honestly - briefly mentioned the incorrect online coat pic and other fitting issues (I said nothing about their service) - and they creepily censored it and emailed back saying it did not "meet their standards," and said I could "try again" in order to get a discount on my next order!!As a test, I tried three times, and the only way the review was accepted was when I eliminated any criticism and said that they item was just "not for me." So this means you are NOT getting the full story when you read their user reviews. What a terrible biz practice.
What is also notable is that I ordered from many merchants at the same time, right before Christmas, and the others were all a breeze to deal with (Amazon, LL bean, Backcountry and EMS). All of the them were very efficient, and when I had a return, one was very helpful.
I don't care how many nickels Altrec knock off their prices - never again. This whole thing was inexcusable. It feels so much better to shop with companies that do things right... and really care.
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