I don’t smoke, but I like cigars every once in a while. Never been much of a smoker of anything. Never into cigarettes when I was younger. Never into anything less legal but still smokeable, either. Just didn’t seem interesting to me. But around 30ish, I developed a taste for the occasional cigar. A nice cigar, a big steaming mug of tea and sitting down to some evening writing with some good music. That’s a great evening.
So, I recently ordered some cigars from Cigars International, fine online purveyor of cigars I had ordered from successfully in the past. No worries. Placed the $54 order, then happily tracked my package through UPS until…well until it wasn’t delivered. For some reason that I still can’t figure out, CI shipped to the address I lived at 4 years ago. Now, this on the surface might not seem so strange, but I hadn’t placed an order with CI until I moved to this address. So, they shouldn’t have even had that address. I still don’t know exactly what happened…but I’m looking at you, PayPal. Grrrr…
Anyway, no prob, I figured, the fine folks at Cigars International would clear this up. Ummm…well, after half a dozen messages sent back and forth to their customer service reps, it seems as though, no, they can’t or won’t help. Whatever. The package shows up on UPS tracking as “Undelivered” and “Undeliverable.” (All of this is made stranger by the fact that the wrong address is right down the road from where I have lived for 4 years…literally about 10 houses down. Indeed, the UPS/USPS mail truck has to PASS MY HOUSE in order to get to that wrong address.)
Anyway, CI Customer service tells me that they can do one of three things:
1. Cancel the order, in which case I will not get a refund of my $54 until they get their lost package back.
2. Allow me (graciously) to re-0rder the product, and accept another $54 from me, so that I can get the product I originally ordered. Except now they have $108 of my money with no clear plan for reumbursing me for the package they lost.
3. Nothing. That’s right. Nothing. Sit back and wait for something to happen–the package to teleport to where it needs to be or, evidently better for the folks at CI, me to be struck on the head severely enough to forget I ever placed an order that I paid for and did not receive.
As you might imagine, none of these options seemed tremendously appealing, and I demanded my money back. That, the fine customer service rep assured me, was not gonna happen.
Today, after more wrangling with them, I was basically told that I am responsible for finding the package myself. Once it’s located and returned, they will refund my money. Until then, I am out $54 and out the product and basically out of patience with Cigars International.
I don’t know how the problem occurred. They told me it was my responsibility to check the shipping address, and that’s true. My bad. But since they’d already delivered successfully to me in the past at the address I’m at, I didn’t check. So, this failure on my part, evidently, negates every little common customer service courtesy most companies extend to their customers.
I’ve ordered from them before. I would order from them in the future. And yet, for some reason, they think it’s my responsibility to rectify this problem. I’m not asking for anything unreasonable, either. I even get that they don’t want to let loose of my money until they know that I don’t have the product. But the UPS tracking clearly shows that the package was undelivered. Which means I didn’t steal it from Cigars International and lie to them about not receiving it.
Frankly, I don’t tolerate bad customer service, and this is the worst I’ve seen in quite a while. The folks at CI customer service, while polite, were in no mood to help, only to turn the problem back around onto me. I even asked for a manager or someone else outside of customer service to contact me to discuss this, but I was told there was no one else. I LOVE being told this particular bad customer service lie, because it is so blatantly a lie. Really? There’s no one else working at Cigars International besides two unhelpful customer service reps? Really? No, what this means is that there’s no one here who will help you.
So, I blogged about this and tweeted about this. And probably nothing will happen, because people tend to shrug off bad customer service and say to themselves, “Oh well, I’ll just never do business with them again.” But I think bad customer service is almost endemic here in these United States, and companies get away with it because most customers remain silent.
Not me. Not only will I take my cigar business elsewhere, to either Thompson or even a local shop, I want to let you know not to spend your money there, also. Got some more bad customer service stories? Share them with me or on Twitter.