Priceline Fail – Why Priceline won’t be getting my business any more

 

Let me begin by saying that USUALLY Priceline has given me excellent service over the years. The people who work there are always super polite and accommodating and I’ve usually loved going in there. My experience during their recent 40% off cosmetics has, however, completely altered my view of their company.

Again, let me emphasise that my issue is not with the employees in any way, shape or form. Everyone I dealt with throughout this complete fiasco was lovely and polite – it’s the company’s processes, especially with regards to online ordering, which I have been utterly disgusted with. So grab yourself a tea and let me tell you a really long-winded story!

I placed an online order with Priceline on March 22nd during the 40% off cosmetics sale. I made a pretty substantial order totalling over $100. I wasn’t sure I’d have time to get in store so I wanted to grab the items I most wanted online just in case I ended up working too long to stop by during the sale.

On March 24th, a day after the sale had finished, I got a notification that my order had shipped… missing two items for which I was refunded. I was baffled. Why had the online store showed them as having sufficient stock when clearly they didn’t? I was also pretty annoyed that I was being told this AFTER the sale had finished. I did end up getting time to go in store, so if I had known I could have picked up those missing items. I was a bit miffed but I shrugged it off. It happens, what can you do? No big deal.

On March 27th, a package from Priceline got delivered. Hooray! My excitement knew no bounds. I was super keen to blog my haul for you guys. I picked the box up and I was instantly puzzled. It felt far too heavy. I’d ordered a fair bit sure, but this seemed a bit over the top. I opened the box and my heart sank – sure enough, my pretty array of cosmetics was not present. Instead, I received four bottles of hand sanitiser. Wonderful. Appropriate given that at the time I was sick with the flu, but in my disappointment I failed to appreciate the humour and irony of the situation. I called customer service and they arrange a replacement order to be sent out.

March 31st, I got a notification that my replacement order had shipped. I was already frustrated that it had taken them FOUR DAYS to ship my replacement. I’m a beauty blogger – I needed that order to come in good time so I could update my followers in a timely fashion while there was a lot of hype around the Priceline hauls. I had now already well and truly missed the boat so I was pretty miffed. But then I looked closer at the order and, surprise surprise, it had shipped missing yet another item. I’d now missed out on three items I wanted to try. Wonderful.
I decided to call customer service and see what, if anything, they could do. I called, explained and the lady I spoke to was lovely. She told me that the items I missed out on were in stock according to her computer, so she would honour the sale price and refund the shipping cost if I placed a new order. I was thrilled. She told me that to do this, I would have to place an order for the three items and pay full price plus shipping and THEN they’d refund me the difference. I was less thrilled, but I decided to do as she suggested.

Now frankly at this stage warning bells should have been sounding. They told me that they wouldn’t refund me straight away but once the order shipped. I wasn’t happy about this, but again I was trying to be polite and understanding so I went with it. I placed the order, cringing at the full price cost plus shipping (which totalled over $60 just for the three items I missed – remember that my original order in the sale was only around the $100 mark). It occurred to me that this process was ridiculous. I could not, and still cannot, think of any other company I’ve dealt with (and bear in mind I deal with a LOT of different companies who deal with selling cosmetics) who operated in this way. Usually they’re aware that they’re the ones at fault, so usually they’d either just issue a discount code to use to honour the sale price, or they’d refund the difference straight away, or by this point they’d be recognising how much they’d already screwed me over and just offer to send the missing items at no cost.

But wait. It wasn’t over yet.

A notification came through on April 3rd that the order (now my third might I add) had shipped… missing two of the three items I ordered. I screamed internally but I was too busy with work to call during their customer service hours to chase it up.

April 4th I got a voicemail from customer service telling me that they’d launched an inquiry into what was going on with their stock and database and they’d let me know what was happening as soon as they could. I was annoyed as hell by this point but I was still too swamped with work to call them back and sort it out.

April 7th I finally had time to call them. Customer service immediately started telling me that they were waiting to hear back from the higher ups about what was going on with the stock. I, still polite despite the fact that I wanted to scream with frustration, told them not to worry about it as honestly it was just too hard and not worth my time over these last two items, but could they please refund the shipping cost and the difference to honour the sale price for the one item that did ship? They assured me they’d put it through to finance that day and get my refund issued. I thanked them, and hung up.

Fast-forward to today, April 13th. I have been working pretty much flat out (their customer service number is not open on weekends) and haven’t had time to call during their open hours. No refund has been issued despite it having almost been a week. Now officially fed up with the whole thing, I sent them an email pretty much outlining this whole process, much as I have for you guys here but in a much more concise and irate fashion. I asked them to refund the difference in price to honour the sale cost, as well as my shipping costs, for the one item that did ship so I can be done with this whole fiasco.

Naturally, being Easter long weekend, I won’t hear back from them until Tuesday at earliest. At this stage, I have not only missed out on two items, but I have also essentially paid $39.90 ($29.95 for the full priced cost of the item that shipped, plus $9.95 shipping) for an item which SHOULD have cost me $17.97 by the sale price.
Just to add insult to injury, I didn’t even like the bloody product when it did get here.

I understand that mistakes happen. I’m usually pretty forgiving of companies and businesses when they stuff up. Assuming that Priceline do actually get their shit together and refund me on Tuesday, it will have taken a total of 27 days from start to finish, plus two emails and seven phone calls for this whole process to be over. That’s the best-case scenario. 27 days, two emails, seven phone calls and two missing products.
In a world rife with retail competition, not good enough Priceline. Not even close to good enough.

 

 

What about you guys? What has been your worst shopping experience?

 

 

Update 18/4: Received an email from customer service today saying they had issued my refund. Hallelujah! Fingers crossed it processes soon.

19 thoughts on “Priceline Fail – Why Priceline won’t be getting my business any more

  1. I love Priceline but this would definitely be enough for me to not shop there again! They can’t handle the online orders during the sales at all. The service is always appalling so I always make sure that if I genuinely want something, I make time to get down to a store (obviously not an option for everyone). This is so so disappointing.

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    1. I’ve always loved them too, which is why I was so disappointed with this whole mess! I’d never heard about them having issues with online ordering during sales but definitely learned the hard way! I still like their stores so I might still shop in store, but definitely never again for the online system. So disappointing 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, that would be so frustrating. How can they stuff up that many times for what was meant to be one order? And that ‘pay the full price + shipping’ THEN we’ll refund you procedure is BS! Thanks for the update to this story, I won’t be online shopping with them after reading of your horror experience.

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  3. They always seem to have issued with online orders! I have a horrid shopping experience which I have endured up until today. I bought a pair of Keepsake silk white dress pants that were on sale from an online store called Lookbook boutique. I recieved the pants, and saw that they were not the pants I ordered and were a different style. Not to mention, it was in size medium and I am a size 8. Keepsake generally have a generous sizing so to me they were at least 2 sizes too big! Not to mention, they have a red lipstick stain on them and the tag specifies it is a dress in XS. Wtf? I emailed them, no response. So I called them, voicemail. I left one. I Facebook messaged them, no response. I went into their Facebook page and saw someone else complained about a missing order so I commented on her post and then funnily enough received a message from them saying they didn’t get my email and can I send it again. Which I did. Their response? Literally, word for word. “Just send it back. It was a sale item after all” like are you freaking kidding me? I don’t care if it cost me $1!! I ordered something and expect to get the correct item, the correct size and without a stain!! So I wrote back and said okay provide me with a returns shipping label and I will send it back. I don’t believe I should be the one that has to fork out money to return a product that you completely messed up. So now I’m here with a pair of pants I can’t even freaking use or give to anyone because of the stain and I refuse to pay return shipping for their mistake. I left them a 1 star review on Facebook and wished I could have given a zero.

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    1. Oh my gosh Fel that’s horrible! I’m so sorry to hear it. It shouldn’t make any difference that it was on sale, and absolutely you shouldn’t have to pay for the return postage! I’ll definitely be avoiding them, wow.

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      1. You should post about it – brands who behave like that need to be named so others can avoid them :\ I’m not a fan of spreading snark unnecessarily but I also feel like people should have a chance to be warned and make their own call, if that makes sense.

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  4. In my experience, Brick and Morter stores simply cannot adapt to online in the slightest, and this is why in a few years, they’ll almost be out of business in places outside the CBD as it’s easier for something to order a correct product, have it delivered to their workplace or a 27/7 parcel Locker and suit them. Gone are the days that we have to adapt to the 9-5 that stores are open. I’ve had the same experience with Myer.

    I even used to work at Myer when they first launched their online store and nothing came from a warehouse, everything was picked by floor staff from the store floor – fake tan stains and all. Such a ridiculous system!

    Maddie | http://www.maddiesbeautyspot.com

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    1. That’s awful! I can’t imagine how mad I’d be if something came with a fake tan stain on it XD I think it’s such a shame that they’ll go out of business though – I actually really like physically shopping for a lot of things, especially cosmetics (testers for the win!) but I agree. If they can’t sort out their systems, people won’t deal with it.

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  5. That is so frustrating. I’ve heard so many people who have ordered stuff in sales and it not arrive and then they were told that they had to order it at full price instead. I don’t understand how hard it is for them to update their stock appropriately and then honour it when it does happen.

    I actually had a similar experience with Myer when I ordered some Mac products in a sale they were having. I ordered two things and one was shipped, but I didn’t hear anything about the other for a few weeks until the money appeared back in my PayPal. No email, no nothing. They just emailed saying ‘you know, in sales we run out of stock’ which I understood, but I bought as soon as the sale started, why is the product shown as having stock if it doesnt….

    It’s such a frustrating experience, when it could all be made so much simpler and pleasant… :/

    Laura || http://www.thelifeoflaura.com.au xx

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    1. I had no idea this was a common thing for them.
      And that’s horrible on the part of Myer! It’s doubly frustrating when you’re being understanding and they’re just so blah about it 😦 it surely can’t be that hard!

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  6. Sorry to hear you had such a negative experience with Priceline, I’ve never ordered from their online store, but I’ve generally been pretty lucky with online shopping, fingers crossed that continues! X

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  7. Wow, that’s crazy! Personally I think the fact that you have to spend over $100 to get free delivery is a bit much. When you then do decide to do an online order of that value you expect it to be right. Understandable that its been busy but to stuff up that many times is not acceptable. They need to get it right.

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