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When Santa doesn’t deliver

There is nothing worse than dealing with a business that overpromises and underdelivers – especially around Christmas. It is a big business no-no in my books and I was just recently on the receiving end of it and let me tell you, it is not fun!

I was looking for a very specific book for someone the other day (as a Christmas present), and spent hours traipsing through bookstore after bookstore and just couldn’t find the type of present I wanted for my budget. So I decided to give online shopping a go. I am not a big online shopping fan, but will do so if the situation calls for it.

I wanted to try out this new Australian online shopping store because I had heard good things, so I jumped on to check out if they had what I was after. It was a major success because not only did they have that exact item, but the price was right. I thought, great! It was in stock so I purchased it straight away. I registered as a user, proceeded through to the checkout, punched in my credit card details and I was away. I got my invoice in my email inbox straight away, and I thought, too easy! Life lesson number one: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

First off, I checked on the delivery date. It said it would take six days for the item to be delivered. I was a little annoyed seeing as it is an Australian company and I live in Australia – surely it should only take two to three days max right? So anyway, I waited two days, then got a phone call from the company, “I am sorry, we don’t have that particular item in stock.” What?! So I went through the whole process of purchasing the item, registering my details on the site, paying by credit card, only to be told TWO DAYS after the fact that the item is not in stock? The ironic thing is that when the site was launched the company was very adamant that they would have all items in stock that they had a big warehouse full of goods and if they didn’t have something it would say clearly on the website, “not in stock” so as to not mislead or confuse the customer. Could have fooled me. This is a clear case of overpromising, underdelivering. Not happy Jan!

It was very disappointing seeing as I was a first time user and was keen to give the company a go. While they did promise that they would try and locate the item for me, and if they couldn’t, give me my money back, the damage had already been done. They have lost all credibility in my books now and I probably won’t be using their service again.

I am sure that these types of things happen all the time, especially around this time of year. Christmas is such a busy time and demand for items is high. But is hugely disappointing as the customer to be promised something from the get go, only to be let down days later when there is not much you can do about it. I don’t like being misled.

Have you had a similar experience? When have you been let down by a company?