CityDeals.com / Bad service
On June 7, I purchased two Godfather's Pizza $25.00 gift certificates to be shipped to my home. I received a ship confirmation email on June 8.
Last week, after deciding I had allowed enough time for the certificates to arrive by US Postal Service, I wrote to CityDeals asking if they knew of any issues as to why I had not received the certificates. They provided a tracking number that showed delivery to my zip code on June 9 at 12:33 PM. After asking to verify that the tracking number was indeed my package, they found the hard copy invoice they keep with the tracking number attached and emailed me the address associated to the order and tracking number. It was the correct address. Through this process, they also told me I needed to contact the USPS to work out any issues and they also cited their terms and conditions which they say I agreed to by making the purchase. Specifically, they cited:
"All items purchased from CityDeals.com are pursuant to shipment contracts with third party carriers. The risk of loss and title for purchased items pass to you upon delivery by the carrier. CityDeals.com will not be responsible for lost orders once the shipment has reached the address or pick-up location designated by you in your order."
Although it's likely this is a mistake by the USPS and while normally I would be OK with these types of terms and accept my loss and move on, CityDeals handling of my complaint and their processes in general are less than consumer friendly.
First, the Terms and Conditions are never mentioned during the purchase process. They are retrieved through a link at the bottom of every page, but never referenced anywhere else and they conveniently list in their first term that "By using this website, you agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions of this Agreement. If you do not agree with these Terms and Conditions, please discontinue the use of this site." This type of passive agreement is just wrong. If they want you to agree to terms, particulary when they relate to purchases, they should require a positive response such as a check box indicating consent during the purchase process or at least direct the consumer to the terms that apply to their purchase.
Second, the fact that the USPS lists the item with the tracking number provided as delivered does not mean that "the shipment has reached the address or pick-up location designated by you in your order." My wife was home at the time the USPS shows the package was delivered and retrieved the mail from the mail box prior to running an errand at 1:30 pm. She got off work at 11:00 am, was home by 11:15 or so and then had lunch at home with her sister and mother before going to a store at about 1:30. There was no door bell or knock if the package was left on the porch and if it was delivered to the mail box, it was not with the other mail when my wife retrieved it within an hour of the 12:33 PM delivery time. So, I certainly cannot believe that the shipment reached my address. Even if it did, the fact that CityDeals won't lift a finger to assist in researching the issue with the USPS is distasteful. They certainly have more leverage with their carriers than I do and it would be the right thing to do to assist. If they had assisted and it ultimately was determined there was a good chance the postal service placed it on our porch and it was then stolen or blew away or whatever, I would have been fine accepting my loss and moving on, but I don't think others should have to deal with this kind of company when something goes wrong in shipping and I want to warn other consumers.
Third, I don't understand why CityDeals does not provide the tracking number in their shipment confirmation email. I assumed they had used a non-trackable method because they had not provided it up front and because of the size and type of packaging they would use to send certificates. Because of this, I allowed some time for the process to complete before writing to see if there was a problem. As it turns out, both the USPS and CityDeals thought the process was complete almost two weeks before I wrote to CityDeals. This makes it hard for me to deal with the USPS. Although they have been open to my inquiries so far, it's just too late. Even if I talk with the carrier, I think it's unlikely she will remember anything specific about the delivery like whether she left it on the porch or in the mailbox or maybe even delivered it to the wrong address.