GemsTV / Item stolen in mail...CS ZERO help
I recently ordered a ring from GemsTV that I was really looking forward to receiving. True to their claims, the package arrived "in a matter of three business days". I excitedly opened the package only to find NO JEWELRY. Upon closer inspection, the postage had obviously been ripped off another package and the contents repackaged; this part of the story is clearly misconduct by a UPS worker and I will be filing a similar complaint about UPS. I promptly called GemsTV and, after holding for 10 minutes, talked to Joyce who told me that they would file a claim with UPS and "not to worry" because they would either resend the item or would refund my money "promptly".
A couple of days later, the UPS man showed up at my door to take the package as part of their internal investigation. He was embarrassed and said this was "typical of UPS". He also told me to call GemsTV if I hadn't been contacted in a couple of days.
I sent an email over that weekend which went unanswered, and then called on Monday to inquire about the status of my claim. After 20 minutes on hold, I talked to Abraham who told me that the item was no longer in stock, a fact which upset me as there were multiple in stock at the time of order, and that the refund should already be in my account. I hadn't checked my bank account, but I assumed that the refund had been credited as claimed.
On Wednesday a quick check of the bank account revealed that no refund had been issued. I had also had a couple days to stew on the fact that the item that had been stolen was re-aired without one being placed aside for me. So, I called again and requested to speak to a supervisor. I think her name was Carol, although she mumbled it so I couldn't be sure. She told me that the refund would take 5-10 business days for their accounting department to review so the information previously given was incorrect. She also told me that their was quantity available on the item I had ordered, but that they couldn't allocate one to me without charging my credit card again. I was told that the information Joyce had given me initially that they would just resend the item if available was not their policy. After a heated and ultimately pointless phone call, I hung up.
My complaint has several layers:
First, their customer service is clearly inept. Three phone calls yielded three different and contradictory answers on both status of the claim and company policy regarding such claims.
Second, current company policies clearly treat the customer as if their business has no worth. Re-airing the item without allocating one to the customer who already paid for it is clearly bad business. There was zero risk that that a UPS man would show up on my door saying, "Sorry, I stole your jewelry. You can have it back now". Simply issuing a refund is infuriating when what I wanted was the piece of jewelry that was sold to someone else.
Additionally, I was told by the supervisor that I could re-order the jewelry but that they would have to recharge my credit card. While I would eventually receive a refund for one of the charges, asking the customer to float two charges to get one piece of jewelry is ludicrous. The option given to avoid double charges would be to wait for refund and re-order, but then no quantity would be guaranteed. When I pointed out how circular and ridiculous it was to refund me a charge so that I could recharge it (not to mention how it contradicted everything I'd previously been told), I was told that it "wasn't a bad company policy, but [that it was] just the way the system was set up". This answer is a cop-out because the system can be changed if it proves to be harmful to business so the lack of change clearly represents company policy.
Third, contacting customer service is a hassle. As previously stated, emails go unanswered. My on phone wait time was anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Throughout the duration of the wait, I was endlessly prompted to just send an email. This is especially outrageous considering that there is almost no wait time when you place an order. They seem to be very good at taking your money but not at taking care of you. It took multiple requests to get to speak to a supervisor; at one point the customer service rep was clearly speaking to a supervisor while telling me that I could not. I was never contacted by customer service even though the status of my claim was something I should have been notified about and in spite of constant reassurances that I would be.
Finally, in the face of all of my documented complaints the customer service supervisor was in no way reconciliatory. I've dealt with a fair share of customer service departments in my time and have always been able to partner to find a solution that leaves both sides happy. Although the initial complaint was only their problem insofar as they choose to use UPS as their shipping agency, the fact that I am their customer and not UPS's means that they are accountable to me for my ensuing displeasure. Not only was I never offered a solution, but my reasonable solution that they just re-send the jewelry without double charging my card was deemed "impossible". Most customer service departments would have done that in addition to giving me a discount or something for my extensive trouble, but, in the ultimate example of rubbing salt in a wound, I was told that I would not only pay full price for the ring but would have to pay for shipping!