This is very long and quite wordy, so congrats to you if you get through the entire thing!
Regarding Wendy ______'s refund
This is Wendy ______. We spoke yesterday regarding my order #7798. I would like to have a full refund. If we can arrange UPS to pick up the items from my work, that would be easiest. I just need to know when they will pick up so that I can have them with me.
As that is worked out, I figured it was appropriate for me to explain my position of dislike for your company instead of just requesting the refund and moving on. When you contacted me yesterday, it seemed as though you were unsure as to my reasons for wanting to refund the product. As you are the owner, I think it's fair for you to know what is going on within your company.
10 years ago, and maybe even 5 years ago, one had to learn about a company through word of mouth or the occasional newspaper/magazine article. Now, with the internet being the source of most stored information, companies have to realize that word travels fast. It works in a positive and negative way; you can build your business' clientele by using advertising and other tools on the internet, but you can also greatly damage your reputation by one bad review on the internet that thousands of people could potentially see.
That being said, I contacted your company on January 7, approximately 12 days after ordering my items, and stated that there were some issues with my order. I was unsure as to whether discussing the issues over the phone was appropriate or via email. I got no response and on January 12, I contacted again stating that I hadn't heard back from your company. I was given a phone number to call in relatively short order. I emailed again on January 24 as at that point, I had called twice and left messages with multiple phone numbers to reach me on, and I never received a return call. On January 26, I still had not received a reply email or a phone call. I emailed once again on January 26 and said that I would file a dispute with my credit card company if I did not hear back by close of business that day.
I got a phone call within 2 hours, was unable to answer my phone, but called back the customer service number in about an hour after they left me a message. No one picked up. I again left my information. On January 28, I emailed again stating that I would be following through with the dispute (remember that I gave your company an additional 48 hours to respond).
Later that day, I received a phone call from a young lady who asked me if I was "Allie Cosmetics". I said no. She fumbled, and then finally got my name correct. She asked me what the problem with my order was. I went into great detail; I explained that 2 of the brushes were very poor quality and the rest were improperly described on the website. They were not useful for the purposes that I purchased them for in my kit. She replied with a mere "okay", and we sat in silence on the phone for a while. I finally asked what was going to be done about it. She offered to let me return both of the defective brushes at my own expense and offered no other help on the other items. I said that was unacceptable. She put me on hold for nearly 10 minutes, came back on the line and told me that I could mail ALL of the items back at my own expense and my refund would be processed within 14 days of receipt of the items. I was uncomfortable with that option, but I asked her for the mailing address anyway. She gave me 3 different addresses before finally settling on the last one as being correct (this is while speaking to another person quite loudly in the background). I said I would consider it and got off of the phone with her.
My initial issue with your company may have been the quality and usefulness of the products being sold, but after my first emails, it became an issue with your customer service. Frankly, you should never not respond to a customer. It makes your company appear as though it doesn't care about its customers, which are essentially why you have a business in the first place. Your response when I told you this yesterday was that you received over 7,000 orders in the month of December.
While I understand your plight, this is simply no excuse. Unfortunately for you, companies like Qtica/Zoya, Sephora, and even non-cosmetic companies such as clothing stores, etc., received a high volume of orders in the month of December. It is the holiday season; that is quite normal for that time of the year. I ordered from all of those companies and had no issue with contacting customer service and working out any possible issues with my order. Specifically, Qtica/Zoya is a small company such as yours, and received 10x the order volume you had in the span of 4 days. Myself and others had no issue contacting their customer service. This is how it should be. It's the holiday season, you have to prepare accordingly and cannot fall back on the excuse of being understaffed. Maybe you should not have run the sale if you did not have the appropriate amount of team members?
The point of all of this is the following: I have a blog. On said blog, I have over 400 regular followers and 28,000 page hits. I am also on the front page of Google on many of my blog posts. I blogged about the customer service issue with your company, got a high response, and also had other people relating their own issues with your company and it's service. Bad customer service spreads like wildfire on the internet. People WILL hear about it. No one wants to order from a company that doesn't care about it's customers. In today's world of fast paced technology and communication, you have to keep your company to a certain standard of customer service and a customer should never be allowed to be treated how I was treated.
I would have been happy at the onset of the issue to exchange the brushes for others, thinking that maybe I read your descriptions wrong and selected the wrong brushes. After being ignored numerous times, I no longer wanted any of your company's products. You essentially have lost me as a customer, and therefore my money, and quite possibly anyone else's who comes across my page or one of the other people that have had problems with your company. Just the other day, I read a story where someone ordered around the same time I did, and as of yesterday's date had not received their items... nor a shipping confirmation. Are you aware that in the United States, regulations force a company to ensure that a customer receives their items within 30 days from the date of purchase, or the customer is allowed a full refund? I made sure they knew that.
All of this is adding up to me trying to tell you that you need to have a look into your company's practices and who you hire. The woman that called me on the phone on January 28 was one of the most unprofessional people I have ever spoken to from a company. You never call someone not knowing who you're calling (she referred to me as "Allie Cosmetics") and you certainly don't read up on the issue at hand before calling them... that would have saved her repeatedly putting me on hold to check with who I am assuming is a supervisor. If she was looking to a supervisor for help, maybe the supervisor should have been the one to call me? Having untrained and unprepared customer service reps also makes your company look bad. All employees need to be knowledgeable about the products; and further, need to have read up on a customer's issue before calling them completely clueless.
I apologize for this being lengthy -- but I feel like as the owner of Crown Brush, you are owed a full explanation of what your company is doing wrong. I hope that you can take in some of the words I've written to you and reconsider how you are running your business. I also urge you to research on the internet some of these customers that have been left in the dark by your lack of customer service. You'd be surprised how many of them there are.
UPDATE: 10:30 AM on 2/17/2011:
I received a response email already from the owner. He completely misunderstands my angle and probably barely read the email. His justification is that no matter what, you will have unsatisfied customers. Sounds very familiar... I'm sensing some "Sleek" attitude in this. What a joke. He's issuing me a refund and letting me keep the products, but I'm gonna stick them in a cheap envelope and send them back anyway!
I appreciate your email, but I just want to resolve your order. We have been in business for over 30 years and trust me orders and emails get lost and delayed form time to time. Honestly the surge of orders we had during the month of December was like nothing we have ever seen. We did our best to complete each order and answer each questions as quickly and best as we could. I realize that there were some mistakes made during this process and some unhappy customers. One thing that I realized in this business is that you can be giving out free gold and your still going to have a few unhappy customers. We just do our best and if there is a problem, try to solve it in a manner that is satisfying to the everyone.
I will be more than happy to refund you and even take it a step further to complete this transaction as quickly as possible. Please keep the product you purchased and do with it as you wish. I will make a full refund on your order and we will consider this matter closed. The refund will take place today and will take up to 2 business days to post on your account.