austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Your dreams are never free

So, I offered my feedback about buying a drawing tablet through Best Buy dot com, and my satisfaction scores were low. Yes, they made good for a ridiculously delayed delivery and lying about why it was so delayed, but, simply, to me, a satisfactory purchasing experience does not involve calling three weeks later to ask whether my order will ever be filled.

So they e-mailed back to ask me to call them so they could clear up the causes of my dissatisfaction. I admit to taking my time in calling them (I had other things to do, and besides, I wanted to call on a day when I had to make other phone calls, given the per-diem charge on my cell phone). But when someone did get around to my call I did my best to explain just what was unsatisfactory about it: it was claimed at ordering that it would be delivered in five to seven days, and they didn't actually have any in stock or any idea when any would be in stock.

She explained that the web site wasn't able to put up a warning that something was out of stock because different stores have different inventories, which makes sense as an explanation except for not explaining anything. I tried to make clear my confusion: why wouldn't the web site catalogue be able to check the Best Buy Master Command Inventory for what's there, what's not there, and what might never be there. I admit customer satisfaction feedback consultants may not be fully up-to-date on the intricacies of web site database cross-referencing, but she kept coming back to: different stores have different inventories so they couldn't say what was available.

Anyway, after a couple go-rounds of this, and my reiterating that the only thing I actually found dissatisfying was that the ``5 to 7 days'' was a lie to start with and they kept sending me phony updates about further unavailabilities, and she kept explaining that different stores have different inventories. Finally I gave up, and she thanked me for my feedback, and arranged to get me a $15 coupon for my feedback.

A day after that, I got e-mail asking for my feedback about the phone call experience. I have the feeling I'm not getting anywhere. It's also conceivable that by the time this is all settled I'll have made a profit on my purchase.

Trivia: The ``automatic telephone exchange'' developed and patented by mortician Almon Strowger in 1891, used buttons for its direct dialing. Source: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: A Reader's Guide To The Short Stories Of Mark Twain James D Wilson. Boy, Twain wrote a lot of short stories I never heard of anybody ever reading other than ``The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Caleveras County'', and come to think of it, I don't think I ever read that either.


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