For the most part, I think I’m pretty understanding and straightforward, especially if you are straightforward with me. However, beat around the bush, change your story, don’t deliver based on the status of something on your website, and I’m going to get downright pissed, especially if I’m trying to order a gift for someone.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
I rarely have bad experiences online, but when I do, they seem to be really bad. The latest negative experience I encountered was with Pop in a Box Canada. I’ve ordered from them before with no issues, but after my latest interaction with the company, I’d highly recommend steering clear of them.
This saga started a couple of weeks ago when I tried to order something from their website for a birthday gift. After going through the purchase process, entering my address, and my payment information, customer service told me that Pop in a Box could not ship to my address—a physical street address to an actual house they had delivered to before.
So I followed up with customer service on that. The reply I got was short and sweet, but not at all helpful:
“I am so sorry but unfortunately, some products can only be shipped to certain destinations.”Pop in a Box Canada Customer Service
Strike one. If you can’t ship a product from your region-specific website to an address in that same region, then either put a disclaimer on that product page or, better yet, don’t offer that product for sale. I don’t live in a rural area that’s hard to get; I don’t use a P.O. box. I get shipments from FedEx, UPS, DHL, Canada Post, USPS, and more multiple times a week. My address isn’t the issue here…
With hesitation, I looked for a second choice on their website because they have unique products and designs that I haven’t seen at other retailers. I was pleased when I was able to complete the purchase process, and my order went through, saying the item would be delivered within 10-16 days. I was cutting it close (having wasted five days waiting for customer service to get back to me on the other product), but it should make it in time.
A week later, I realized I hadn’t received a shipping notice. I logged into my account, checked the order status, and saw that the order said “AWAITING PRODCUT.” Confused, as the item was listed as IN STOCK when I ordered, I checked the product page, and, lo and behold, it was still listed as in stock. Another ticket with customer support, another couple of days later, and support told me that it was indeed out of stock.
“We are due a replenishment delivery of these products, however we have not been given a date as to when this will be, for which I can only apologise. I am sorry that you were able to purchase this online. In periods of high traffic, our website can suffer a delay in updating in correlation to our stocking system, ultimately allowing you to purchase the product.”Pop in a Box Canada Customer Service
I’m in the tech field. I’ve programmed databases and websites. In fact, in my day job, I work with multiple systems that talk to each other, and the slowest one takes 24 hours at most to update from the other systems but can also be manually synced. It should not take over a week for inventory to be properly reflected on a website; in fact, it should be a nightly (at a minimum) occurrence. Don’t try to bullshit a tech guy.
Because of how unique the item was, I declined their offer to cancel the order and figured I’d get it when they got new stock in, even if it was late. The company’s Twitter support said they would look further into it. I woke up this morning, checked my email, and was surprised to see a cancellation of my order. I was livid as I told them I didn’t want to cancel. The next email was an update on my customer support ticket.
“I do apologise for the situation at hand, I have asked our Operations Team to check this order and sadly it has not processed as we are not able to ship this item to your location.
“This is down to shipping restrictions/a third party issue where we cannot work around this.”Pop in a Box Canada Customer Service
Really? My order went from awaiting stock to suddenly not being able to ship to my address? What a crock. If that was the case, why did the website allow me to complete my purchase and give me false hope that I’d actually be successful in ordering the (second choice) item I wanted? Especially considering the first item I ordered wouldn’t let me complete the process based on the same address entered.
So here I am, a week before said birthday and having to figure something else out… thanks, Pop in a Box Canada! /s
I’ll be direct here; if you cannot properly reflect inventory status on your website, you don’t deserve to be selling online. If you cannot ship all your products to legitimate street addresses you’ve shipped to before, you should find a new third-party partner. If you have to change your story while dealing with customer inquiries, you don’t deserve people’s business.
Pop in a Box: this is not out of your control. Get a new supplier who can and will ship to your Canadian customers or stop offering their products on your website.
You may have had a great experience with Pop in a Box Canada; my first one was stellar. But since then, this runaround has left a bad taste in my mouth. I cannot recommend anyone buy from them to save themselves from a potential hassle, undeliverable product, and changing stories.
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