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Posted by Adele Sage on August 18, 2011
Oh, look what came in the mail yesterday: The order I tried desperately to cancel last week. But, no, UPS dropped it off, and the packing slip said nicely, “Thank you for your order! We are committed to ensure [sic] your experience exceeds your expectations.” Well, you failed.
Let me start from the beginning.
You see, I’m working on reviews for the latest “Best And Worst Of Website User Experience” report (check out last year’s report if you’re curious), and this year we’re evaluating the user experience at the top four tablet manufacturers’ sites. Instead of actually ordering brand new tablets, we are substituting an inexpensive accessory, completing the checkout process, and then immediately canceling the order so that nothing ships and no cards get charged. All went fine in canceling three of the orders, but the fourth, from a company that shall remain nameless, proved more difficult.
Here are all the steps I took to try to cancel the order:
The icing on the cake? The next day, I got a phone call from an agent surveying me about my phone experience with 1-800-[company].
And then yesterday, about a week after the incident, the package arrived on my doorstep. Despite a chat session, a site visit, five phone calls, and an email, I could not stop that package from arriving. This represents a clear breakdown in the customer experience ecosystem at this company.
How? Well, first of all, the company outsources its eCommerce site to a vendor. The manufacturer name stays on the site, but it’s clearly not handled by the manufacturer directly. This means that it wasn’t clear who owned my order, no one could help me, and both sides evaded responsibility. Second of all, the site itself and the phone routing system weren’t clear about how to contact anyone with questions about an order, not technical support. Even the technical support agents didn’t know how.
This experience won’t get reflected in the report I write or the scores this company receives, but I’ll tell you this: I’m never ordering anything from the company again, and I’m crossing my fingers I can return what I did buy.