Customer service is one of the most important parts of maintaining your company’s reputation. It seems though that there are still some companies who don’t actually believe in maintaining a positive relationship with their customer base.
Halloween is my favourite holiday, easily. It’s great banter to dress up, go out and have a laugh. This year though in a bid to better my last effort I decided to go wild and splash out on a Darth Vader costume. Despite being for halloween though, the only thing scary thus far has been the shocking customer service from Collectors Kingdom, suppliers of my Light Saber…
Last week (Wednesday 13th Oct) I ordered the costume. I ordered a full Darth Vader costume from escapade.co.uk (£59.99), and – because it only came with a face mask – I bought a full helmet mask for an additional (£27.99) and £7.95 for P&P. Both pieces arrived on Monday in immaculate condition I might add. On the same day as I placed my other order, I also ordered a Star Wars Force Action Lightsaber from Collectors Kingdom (through Amazon) for £35.14 (including £1.90 P&P).
On Tuesday a package arrived from Collectors Kingdom. I left it a few hours before opening it, confident it was the right product. Turns out I was wrong. What arrived instead was not a ‘Star Wars Force Action Lightsaber – Darth Vader’, but a ‘Star Wars Electronic Darth Vader Lightsaber & DVD’. Wondering if it was maybe just the packaging, I did a bit of research on Amazon.co.uk and discovered that the two products were in fact quite different. Disappointed, I sent an email to Collectors Kingdom (via Amazon) which read as thus:
To whom it may concern,
On the 13th October I placed an order -
Order ID: #### 1 of Star Wars Force Action lightsaber – Darth Vader
- with yourselves. Today (18/10/10), I received a package from you containing an item with a product code of HAS94177A. I don’t know if this is the item number for the item I ordered, or the one that was eventually delivered.
Here is the item from Amazon that I ordered:
And here is the item (sourced from Amazon) that actually arrived:
Now, while I appreciate that the two items are obviously similar in nature, it was specifically the Force Action Lightsaber that I required to complete a halloween costume for a party on the 26th October.
I need to know where to return this item to, and know if I’m going to be able to receive the correct item in time for the event I’m due to attend.
Thanking you in anticipation of a response,
Which I thought was quite reasonable! Today, I got a response that read:
HelloMany apologies for the error made with this order.
It appears a clerical error has occured which has lead us to listing the item we have incorrectly. We do not actually have the item you ordered and have now removed our listing from Amazon.
As for your issue we can either:
1) Issue you with a £5 refund if you are prepared to keep the item
2) You can return item to us for a Full refund including your return costs (please use Royal mail and let us know how much it costs)
Please can you return the item to:
C/O Mini Clipper Logistics
Leighton Industrial Park
Please include the following info:
1) Amazon order number
2) State reason for return
3) State what you wish to happen next – eg. Send out replacement order or request refund.
It is important that all the info above is included in your return so we can process your order quickly.
Clerical Error? Assuming that was right (which is possible), the cost for a SWELSDV&DVD is on average £12 cheaper than a SWFALS-DV. A £5 refund? I made my mind up at that point to return the item upon returning home from work. I was surprised though when I got a second email…
HelloOn doing some further checking on this it would appear that both Lightsabers are exactly the same its just different packaging between the 2009 version & 2010 version.
That said my previous offer still stands.
Hmm. Let’s look at the facts here:
The Force Action Lightsaber is 105cm long.
The Electronic Darth Vader Lightsaber is 76cm long.
The Force Action Lightsaber is 749g whilst boxed
The Electronic Darth Vader Lightsaber is 481g whilst boxed (even with an additional dvd!)
It’s important to note that Hasbro make both products. So, just to be sure, I called them too…
The Force Action series was a specific type of Light Saber. If it doesn’t say Force Action on the box, you haven’t been given what you’ve asked for.
I’ve sent Shaun an email asking him where he found the information suggesting that the items were identical except for the packaging. Meanwhile, get a load of this print screen showing CK falsely advertising their products:
THEY ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
Shaun hasn’t replied as yet.
When your entire business is based around web-sales, you’d think a company would be more concerned about their online reputation.
This is reputation 101 – follow up on sales with quick and effective customer service and you can avoid a large number of negative comments on the internet. With the amount of user-generated-content flowing freely throughout the internet, with ‘review’/'feedback’ options on sales sites, article sites; the possibility for negative feedback is potentially endless.
Somebody might even write a blog about it…
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