Tech for Less
Product Delivered as Represented but Extremely Poor Customer Service Experience
A review by purchaser64 written on Oct 21, 2010Full review
First, Tech for Less sent me the wrong item. (I ordered a hard drive and I received a wireless dongle.) It arrived by Priority Mail 8 days after the date I placed the order, a Saturday. Their customer service was closed by the time I received it, so I left a voice mail message with my number and also sent an email message through their website, requesting a return phone call.
When no call was received from them by late morning, I finally reached them on the following Monday (10 days after the order date), and after a protracted wait on hold listening to Tech for Less' mindless bravado and promotional hype, I finally did reach Don who identified himself as a customer service rep. Upon providing my invoice number, he indicated that he had my message of 2 days before in front of him. Don told me that their inventory number of the item I received was very close to that of the item I received. He indicated that he would arrange to ship the correct item by FedEx, 3-day delivery and it did arrive just 2 days later - however, that's 10 days out from the order date.
Secondly, during my conversation with Don, I expressly requested that they issue a pickup order to FedEx or UPS with which to effect the return of the item sent in error, as it would have been extremely inconvenient for me to drop it at a FedEx location as he had specified. He didn't comment on my request, but left the phone abruptly to "walk" the actual item I had ordered to their shipping department. After a protracted delay, he returned. I, again, repeated my request that they issue a pickup order so as to spare me the inconvenience of going considerably out of my way, again, with no response. I should add that Don was always courteous and respectful, though he seemed to be rather distracted as our conversation progressed.
Later that evening (after their customer service department was closed), I received an invoice by email indicating that the very same erroneous item that I had erroneously received was being billed to me. The email subject line included the notation that a tracking number was included in the message, though none was evident. Needless to say, I was a bit perplexed. Later yet, about 3 hours after receiving the first email the same evening of the day I had spoken to Don, I finally received another invoice listing an unspecified "retail sale item." There was also a tracking number included. I assumed that it was the item I had originally ordered, but had no way of verifying that. After all, considering my initial experience, I felt anything was possible. I sent Tech for Less another email through their website requesting clarification of the second item shipped, as well as clarification of the circumstances related to my request for a pickup of the item received in error.
When no response was forthcoming the following morning (11 days out from the order date), I phoned Tech for Less' customer service once more and spoke with Selena. She assured me that the correct item had been shipped. By then, there was a notation on the FedEx website that the shipment was enroute. Of course, that was no assurance that I would receive the correct "retail sale item," nor would I be able to confirm that until the item was actually received.
Inquiring of the status of the pickup, Selena told me that the item would have to be dropped off at a FedEx location; that there simply was no other method available with which to effect the return shipping. (Now, what do you think? This is a fairly large retailer and they undoubtedly have several available options. It's simply a matter of a lack of inclination and a concern over the economics presented by choosing to inconvenience a customer while saving a bit of money on their bottom line - nowhere in all that is there a shred of concern for the customer!) When I emphasized that this approach was not convenient for me and that it did not address my situation, she intimated that she was unsure as to why Don had asked for the return of the item at all, given its relatively low value. She said that she would have told me to keep the item and dispose of it as I wished. She went on to say that, since Don had made the arrangements to have a prepaid shipping label sent to me, the matter was out of her hands and I would have to take it to a FedEx location. She essentially stonewalled me when I indicated that this was extremely inconvenient for me and she then employed the "broken record" technique of resolution, which is no resoluation at all. When I persisted, she abruptly hung up on me.
I immediately telephoned the number from which the call from Selena had originated to be greeted by her voice mail. I left a message that I resented being hung up on and that I would call her supervisor. Indeed, I phoned Tech for Less' customer service number. I after a wait on hold with the infernal commercials, my call was taken by Rhennon, who identified herself as a supervisor. I recounted my experience with Don and Selena to which Rhennon acknowledged that she had already been advised by Selena to expect my call. Whether or not she was simply answering customer service calls due to a high demand as she stated or not, I do not know. Her explanation struck me as a little over the top but who knows?
Rhennon reiterated that the Tech for Less stock numbers for the item I ordered and the one I received in error were very similar, as if that excused their mistake. (How many times must that happen with a multitude of merchants, yet they somehome manage to ship the right item? Lame excuse!) Then, she proceeded to tell me that the reason that Don and Selena did not accede to my request for a pickup was that they didn't know they could do that. I quickly pointed out that all the above was simply not addressing my needs and spoke to a poor customer service orientation. Further, I stated that I am not responsible for Tech for Less' negligence regarding its employee training.
For a while, Rhennon attempted to rely upon the "broken record" routine as well, however she finally relented, indicating that she would issue a pickup order for the item sent in error. I emphatically requested a telephone confirmation that same day when the order was issued (now 9 days out from my original order). When, by the end of the day, none was forthcoming, I assumed (correctly, as it turned out) that it was highly unlikely that I would receive a call, so I went out of my way to drop the errant dongle, packed in its original shipping container and with the original packing materials, with the FedEx prepaid shipping label affixed, at a FedEx location, at considerable inconvenience to myself, effectively resolving what was a bungle by Tech for Less.
That very same evening, I sent a message through their customer service internal email from their website advising them of my actions on their behalf. As with my previous attempts to elicit a response from them, it was never acknowledged by email, though I gave my address, nor did anyone from their customer service department phone me in reply.
The next day, 10 days from the order date, the hard drive I had originally ordered arrived and has already been installed. It seems to be working well thus far. I have not a clue as to the disposition of the dongle and, frankly, do not care.
I further wish to state that, at no time during any of the above telephone exchanges, I did not resort to abusive or offensive language and/or derrogatory and disrepectful comments. Rather, I remained civil, using a modulated tone of voice that probably rose a bit in tenor, but never did I resort to shouting or derisive commentary, as I do not believe such behavior results in a successful resolution anyway. I understand that mistakes happen. It's certainly possible that any merchant occasionally might ship the wrong item in error. That is not the source of my frustration.
The reason I've written about my experience in such depth is because I believe I provided the customer service people at Tech for Less several opportunities to take appropriate action to resolve the issues at hand without difficulty. Because of either poor employee training, or simply a calloused lack of concern for the customer's experience, they simply failed to provide me with the service I requested and deserved. Had Don followed through on my request, I would have been somewhat inconvenienced by the delayed receipt of the item I originally ordered, however I would still be a moderately satisfied customer - after all, the product seems to be working fine. That they found it necessary to inflate a small issue into a larger conflict simply speaks to a poor attitude by Tech for Less' ownership and management toward its customers. If that were not the case, management would have in place the necessary means by which they could have resolved my concerns without further difficulty or inconvenience to me. Instead, they chose to buden me with the necessity of writing 3 separate email messages at their website, all still unanswered to this date, and to endure many minutes on hold waiting for someone from customer servcie to answer my calls on 3 separate occasions and to listen to their litany of excuses while extending precious little actual customer service.
As it is, they can count me as a wholely dissatisfied customer and I will never darken their doorstep again, either in person at their physical store or online. The hard drive may be spining as I write, however my dissatisfaction is spinning a good deal faster. I suggest anyone considering a purchase from Tech for Less look to other suppliers. The potential for bad customer service isn't worth any savings you may potentially realize, if it should exist at all.
About the Author
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Reviews Written: 1
Location: San Mateo, CA, USA
Location: San Mateo, CA, USA