I purchased a couple of silly gifts from Ann Summers online on the 9th of December and thought that this would be plenty of time for items to arrive, after all they were quoting 3-5 days delivery time. How wrong I was. This is now the 22nd and I’m struggling to get any response from the company and my items have not arrived.
I sent in an online support form around the 19th of December and heard nothing since, not even an acknowledgment of the request. So today, the 22nd, I decided to phone.
The first call to the main support number got me through to a woman who was shocked to hear my order was placed on the the 9th of January, “oh sorry, my mistake it was December”. Her voice returned to normal and the surprise was gone and the mundane tone returned. She passed me onto another department where the phone rang and rang and then cut off.
I called back and was left in a queue, eventually the phone was picked up and I could hear the busy clatter of the call center in the background, but no one talked to me. Eventually I put on hold and instantly greeted with an automatic answering service. No, I do not know an extension, let me speak to an operator. This resulted in a dead line after a few minutes wait.
I called a third time. “Have I spoken to you before?”, yes, and I’m sure we both wish we hadn’t. She suggested giving me a direct dial number which would get me through to the Internet department directly as calls are being bounced back to her all the time. That’s a shame I thought, imagine that being asked of a call center member of staff.
I center the direct number. It rang, rang some more, and then rang again, before going dead. This is now my third attempt.
Correction, fifth attempt. Seventh attempt. Back to the original number.
They’ve just transferred me directly through and I’m on hold. Back through to the automated mailbox, so I’ve randomly selected someone from the directory and left them a message.
Now back to the main number again. This time I said right up front “I don’t want transferred”. I explained the situation and spoke to the Customer Service Manager, imagine the luck of her answering. She told me that the Internet Support Manager was sitting a few desks away but was on a break and would be back in 20 minutes. I have the time at 12:16 for the call, and I am waiting.
15:42. Once again I call the main number, all their operators are busy. It is now 3 hours and 27 minutes from the time I was promised a call back in twenty minutes. I ask for the name of the Internet Support Manager I was previously given, and I am returned to hold.
Surprise, I was held for some time and eventually received her voicemail. However, I now have her email address and will compose a letter for her right now.
No need, as I typed she miraculously found my number and called me back, despite talking over me when I was trying to explain what had happened we get to the bottom of the problem. The order sat from the 9th of December to yesterday, the 21st, when my email of the 19th was actioned and the order sent.
“Why the delay?” I ask, no explanation. However, “it is a busy time of year and the Customer Service is very busy”, “Perhaps that is an internal resourcing issue that you should deal with” I suggest, “Yes.” is the far from satisfactory answer. Quite frankly I don’t care what happens internally to a company, I just want the goods I ordered at the promised time. I do not expect my order to sit for weeks before being despatched.
I am promised that they will arrive before Christmas, that is a promise of Ann Summers, they will courier it to my house. Brilliant, they will ask for a signature and if I’m not there to collect it I’ll be making a Christmas drive to the Courier, allowing for the day for the item to return to their base. Going by that timeline, the goods would need to arrive early tomorrow morning. Here’s hoping.
That has got to be the worst customer service I have ever received. I’ve never been treated so badly as a customer nor spoken to in such a way. The attitude was very much so what, that’s what we’ve done. I will never shop with them again.
The final update is that the delivery arrived on Christmas Eve, cutting it extremely fine and just as well Christmas was being spent at home and there was somebody here to sign for the parcel. If we go all the way back through the history, I’m lucky that I sent an email to complain to remind them to ship the items, think of those who didn’t complain and their items are still sitting at the warehouse.