Black Friday. A day of shopping joy. A day of shopping bargains. A day many shoppers look forward to for amazing sales, both online and in store.
Why then, do so many of us have frustrating shopping experiences on Black Friday?
If a retailer can’t support the demand, don’t advertise the deal!
And if a retailer can support the demand, keep it real and don’t false advertise!
Is that really so difficult??
Apparently for some.
This guest post is written by my good friend Debbie, pictured above, after having an incredibly frustrating online shopping experience. I invited Debbie to share her struggles and to hopefully educate online retailers how important it is to carefully advertise sales, especially on a day like Black Friday. Black Friday is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. As an avid online shopper, I planned in advance what websites I would visit and what purchases we would make. Today I experienced a really bad case of false advertising coupled with a side dish of poor customer service on the Justice website on one of their biggest online shopping days, Black Friday. For those of you who don’t have tween or teen girls at home, Justice is “THE store” for all things cute, adorable, fashionable, and “must have” with the 8-14 year old crowd. So naturally, when Justice advertised “50% off EVERYTHING” before 10am on Black Friday (excluding clearance and style buys), my 9yo daughter and I went on the site at 8:30 am and loaded up our cart with almost $200 worth of merchandise.
When we went to check out, I noticed that a pair of $30 sneakers (not marked clearance or style buy) didn’t get the 50% discount applied to it. So I removed it from my cart, re-added it, and tried again. Still, no discount.
I tried calling Justice’s customer service but with a hold time of “58 minutes,” (seriously!) I hung up. I am sure the 58 minute hold time might have something to do with other people experiencing the same problem with their online orders.
I abandoned the phone call and I went to an online chat and engaged with CS, an online chat agent. I asked her why my cart wasn’t applying the 50% discount to our sneakers. CS simply responded “the discount doesn’t apply to those shoes.” When I pressed further and asked why not, it took CS about 15 minutes to respond, “Well those shoes are from our new collection so the discount won’t work.” Once again, I asked CS to explain to me why the 50% off EVERYTHING sales promotion did not include new items, but apparently, CS ran out of excuses at that point and decided to disconnect our chat.
Next, I took to Twitter. At this point, I was feeling pretty frustrated both at the waste of time and poor customer service. But Twitter was a whole different ballgame. Justice took about an hour to acknowledge my tweet (now well past the 10am sale deadline) and asked me to DM them with the problem I was having. I tweeted that I would but that it was already past the 10am deadline so the sale was over. An hour later they tweeted that the deadline was extended to 1pm and they asked me to provide specific information, which I did. At this point, there was about 30 minutes left to the newly extended sale time, and after repeatedly tweeting them “hello?” and “are you still there?” the sale ended for the second time and I had no resolution from Justice.
If you are an online shopper like I am, I KNOW YOU FEEL MY FRUSTRATION. I’ve experienced so many incredibly good customer service experiences from online retailers like Amazon and Zappos. When a situation like this occurs, with a retailer we shop at regularly, who was having an awesome sale that we really really really wanted to take advantage of, I have to wonder where things went wrong with them. Is it poor web management? Bad customer service training? Ineffective social media managers? Frankly, with Justice, I think it’s all three. And unfortunately, they’ve cast a very dark light on my online shopping experience with them – and lost hundreds of dollars worth of business from me today and in the future.
I have some advice for you Justice: manage your online property like Amazon does, offer incredible customer service like Zappos does, and engage in excellent social media responsiveness like DollarShaveClub does. You’ve got my lifetime loyalty if you value me like I value your product.
I’d love to hear your stories on how you’ve dealt with similar problems! Anyone else had a problem with Justice today? Any other frustrating Black Friday shopping experiences you want to share?