I'm posting this after having finally received satisfaction. I only got to this point after having filed a Better Business Bureau complaint.
On 12/6/07 I ordered some merchandise from Haband's website. I never received a confirmation about my order being shipped, so I called again on ~12/12 and spoke with a customer service representative who said that my order was in a sorting center in Atlanta and it would be 6-8 days to receive.
A few days later, I used a tracking number they provided in my first call and found the package. The package was in Atlanta on 12/12, and afterward had gone to Charlotte, NC, then to Orlando, FL. It was on it's way here.
When I checked again on 12/18, it had gone *back* to Charlotte from Orlando. As of 12/21, it was back in Atlanta, GA. Since I live in Florida, the package was clearly going the wrong way.
To be clear, Haband said in their BBB complaint response that their typical shipping time is 7-10 days. I didn't file a BBB complaint until 12/25 (largely due to the poor customer service, really).
Anyway, once it looked like my package was headed the wrong way, I immediately called Haband and twice spoke with a supervisor named Eli. We verified my address on the order was correct. I was told that the package probably ended up on the wrong truck and that this happens all the time. He said that their policy is to not provide a refund until the package has been missing for 30 days. He said this was a government policy, rambled on a bit, and indicated that it was out of his hands.
He recommended that I call FedEx SmartPost with my tracking number to find out where my package might be. After pushing more for a full refund, he finally offered to refund my shipping costs, which I got an email about later that evening.
During that same conversation, I asked why the products hadn't shipped before 12/12, considering they had billed my credit card immediately. He said that it looked like my items were out of stock. When I asked why the website didn't indicate the products were out of stock, and why I didn't receive an email or phone call about that, he said that their website had no connection to the warehouse so the website isn't always up to date with their inventory.
The very last thing Eli recommended I do call FedEx SmartPost. I called them immediately, verified that they had my correct address, and was told that my package was not going to arrive and that I should call Haband and tell them it was confirmed (strange, but that's what they told me to do). Assuming the shipping company knew whether or not I'd receive a package, I then called Eli and explained the situation. He said that Haband would require that FedEx SmartPost fax him proof, something tangible. I called FedEx SmartPost again, and they faxed what they considered proof to Eli. The lady from FedEx SmartPost indicated that their word had always been enough for any other company and that she had never had to fax anyone anything before. Nonetheless, she agreed to do it anyway since it was her company that must have made the mistake.
I called Eli, who received the fax but he said that the fax did not explicitly say that my package was lost and therefore they would not issue a refund. I then called FedEx SmartPost, hoping for some better, more "official" proof, and was told that FedEx admitting the package was lost and would not be delivered, plus the fax, should be enough for a to ship a replacement or provide a refund. Certainly, the group at fault for the shipping problem is definitely FedEx SmartPost, but they did everything they could have done to provide proof to Haband. So, at least they were flexible and tried to assist me.
That all ended on 12/21. I'm writing this post on 1/25/2008 and I still have no package. My refund, thanks to the BBB, arrived on 1/16.
Everyone, please take note of the other complaints you might find against this company. I can attest to them being true. I'm certain some folks are perfectly happy with Haband, however I see just as many complaints that I can echo.
To wrap this up -
How many reputable companies do not track inventory along with their sales if they do business online? Most companies can do this in real time so as to keep their status indicators up to date.
How many would require a customer to fax proof that a package was going the wrong way when the company could plainly see it for themselves using the same tracking number they gave me?
The fact that the package went in the wrong direction, as evidenced on the same FedEx website Haband uses to track packages, is a pretty good indication that I wasn't lying and that something had gone wrong.
The fact that the shipping company themselves said I wouldn't receive my package was yet another clue.
The fact that the shipping company took the time to FAX that proof over to Haband is an even bigger clue.
Coupled with a complaining first time (and last time)customer, what more could I have done to prove that I was due a refund?
The best part? I jumped through all of these hoops for less than $30 because I don't have very much money and I really, really, wanted this gift for my mother to arrive in time for Christmas. Thanks to Haband, their policies, and poor customer service, that never happened.