This isn’t the first time it’s happened.
I e-mail them a question, and receive a reply which doesn’t answer it. I respond, pointing out that my question wasn’t answered, and get another cut-and-paste reply. After about four back-and-forths in this manner, they may or may not actually adress my question.
Just last night, I sent them an e-mail, asking about a certain book which is listed as “not in stock.” I asked them when they anticpated that they would have it again, and recieved in reply:
No, dipshit! I specifically told you that it’s listed as “not in stock,” not “Usually ships oin 1-2 days!” Christ on Oprah, do they even bother to read the e-mail before selecting a cut-and-paste response?
I would have been fine with it if they had replied, “Sorry, we have no way of knowing when it will come in.” Instead, the answer doesn’t even fit the fucking question.
Now, if the pattern holds true, I will be getting another cut-and-paste response within a few hours, which may, or may not, remotely touch upon the inquiry subject. Pissed, I will respond again, this time possibly resorting to ALL CAPS at certain points to try to make myself understood.
Last Christmas, I strongly considered never buying from them again. I had pre-ordered a video game for my husband. The release date came and went without the item being shipped.
In my ignorance, I assumed if I asked them why, they would answer me. The cut-and-paste response explained to me that they couldn’t ship an item before its release date.
“I know that,” I replied, “but in this case, the release date has already passed.”
They replied that they were sorry, but they couldn’t ship the game before its release date, and no, it had NOT been released.
I got in my car, drove down to the store, and bought a copy. I returned home, and sent another e-mail, telling them that through some amazing space-time continuum glitch I was holding the non-released game in my hot little hand.
They said that they were sorry, but they had to go by what the manufacturer had set as the release date.
I exploded. I sent them an e-mail containing links to about twenty on-line stores that were offering the “non-released” game, and pointed out that they appeared to be the only retailer in the Western Hemisphere which didn’t have it.
What made me so angry about the situation was that they can’t seem to actually write a response which isn’t on their cut-and-paste menu. They never DID reply on point. They just apologized, and gave me a gift certificate for five bucks. They could have kept the money. All I wanted was for someone to write to me, “Sorry. Our supplier dropped the ball. We don’t have any copies of the game in stock, but we’ll be getting them in on such-and-such date.”
I know they must get hundreds, if not thousands of e-mails per day. Probably most of them can be answered with the stock responses, because people don’t bother to check the Help section before writing. However, some inquiries may actually require reading the question and actually composing a custom response. Surely, they must have someone on staff who can perform such an amazing feat.