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Posted on Monday, February 13th, 2006

Dave!Most everything I buy now-a-days is purchased online. And one of my most favorite places to shop is

They're a solid, reliable company with a huge selection at very good prices. I like that they make it easy to manage my orders. Their shopping cart is great. They accept PayPal for payment. They ship quickly. Their policies are fair, and most of the time I can count on everything going smoothly when I place an order.

All-in-all, is a great place to buy stuff.

Unless something goes wrong.

Because if something goes wrong, you will inevitably have to contact Customer Service. And Customer Service sucks ass. Every single time I have had to deal with them, I end up so enraged that I want to kill somebody. If you ever hear in the news that I've gone on a murderous rampage and then locked myself in a donut shop somewhere, it's Customer Service that's probably the cause of it.

And the reason for this is because the only thing they ever seem to do to service their customers is to send out piece-of-shit generic responses that usually have nothing to do with the question you asked. I've come to the conclusion that there can be two reasons for this...

A) They don't have actual people in their Customer Service Department, but instead have a big machine that automatically generates these stupid generic responses to your emails...


B) Their entire Customer Service Department is staffed by monkeys with PCs...


Because, seriously, there is no way that real-live people could be responsible for the shitty service you get. Real-dead people maybe, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to employ the deceased.

Take for example my efforts to pre-order a copy of Pauly's new book: The Lost Blogs.

The book is offered for pre-order at for the bargain-basement price of $10.04. They tell you to "place your order today and be one of the first to receive this product when it arrives!" I just love being first, and so I did. I placed my pre-order, then marked May 1st on my calendar with a happy face, because that's the day my book would ship.

Except cancels my order after a week with some generic email telling me that they can't get the item from the publisher in a timely manner. Well no shit! It says right on the site that it's not available for three months! I knew this when I placed the order!

I send an email asking why they would ask me to place a pre-order, then cancel because the item isn't available.

They write back with another dumbass generic response that just tells me the exact same thing they told me in the cancellation notice email. I respond with my question re-phrased to make it clear what I am asking, but never get a response.

Thinking perhaps there was a release date change and it's some kind of error, I place ANOTHER ORDER.

Only to have it cancelled AGAIN.

And so AGAIN I write to Customer Service asking why the f#@% they even bother to accept pre-orders if they are going to f#@%ing cancel them before the release date even arrives.

Another idiotic generic response about the item not being available. WELL NO SHIT YOU MORON!! THAT'S WHAT A PRE-ORDER IS FOR!!

So I finally take a difference approach and fire off a fresh email asking if the reason my order keeps getting cancelled is because I am paying with PayPal. I theorize that there is probably a time-frame that companies are obligated to ship the product when they take your money, and perhaps this is the reason? Is that why? Can they just delay processing the payment until the item is available... just like they don't charge your credit card until something ships?

Same f#@%ing generic response that in NO WAY even comes CLOSE to answering my question.

Ergo, nobody reads any emails that you send to Customer Service. It's either a machine or monkeys. And it's not that I have a problem with companies using generic responses... IF THEY ANSWER THE F#@%ING QUESTION, but how the f#@% can you possible call this kind of treatment "Customer Service?" It's more like "Customer Torture".

And so now every time I need to buy something, I have to ask myself if is someplace I really want to shop. Sure it's great when everything works out, but heaven-help you if it doesn't. If this is the price of saving money on things I want, I'd rather pay the extra and know that I'll be taken care of when things go wrong.

Categories: DaveLife 2006, DaveToons 2006, Internets 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. Jennifer says:

    It’s illegal to employ the deceased? Are you sure?

    *glances furtively at the working dead*


  2. Kevin says:

    Personally, I like Amazon. I’ve had such great service from them that I would even pay a slighly higher price to buy from them as opposed to other online retailers.

    Same thing with Target. They may cost more than Wal-Mart, but it’s so much nicer in there that I will pay the upcharge just to avoid Redneck-Mart.

    Have a pumpkin spice one for me before you off all the customers and employees in the donut shop, ‘kay?

  3. Dave2 says:

    Jennifer: Perhaps it’s okay to hire the UNdead?

    Kevin:I love Amazon. But they don’t take PayPal. When it comes to “real” stores, Target is my favorite. If Target or Fred Meyer doesn’t have it, then it must not exist! I’m partial to maple bars at the donut shop myself. Particularly the bakery here in town, which makes awesome maple bars.

  4. Otto K says:

    They do have a toll-free customer service number:

  5. ChillyWilly says:

    I’d take Otto’s advice on contacting… the phone has worked each time I’ve had issues with, which hasn’t been too often. They are located in Aliso Viejo, CA (Orange County).

    My most recent beef with (which, as I mentioned above, has been rare) was when I was looking to purchase an iPod for my daughter. Their selection was slim to none. And the ones they did have were refurb’d HP models. I ended up getting it at, who also refunded me the $35 difference after Apple dropped the price three weeks after the purchase.

    Back in the early days of, I bought a lot. Now it’s about 3 times a year. gets the bulk, with about 10 other smaller places getting the rest of my online business (including

  6. delmer says:

    I do most of my in-person shopping at Target. Our Target store is just up the road from me and exists in a part of town that was designed with the appropriate number of auto lanes for the amount of traffic it gets.

    Our WalMart is just down the road from me in an area that was boondocks about 10-years ago. Sprawl took over without any thought to adding a lane or two for the amount of traffic that houses, condos, apartments, and super-mega stores might generate. Traffic is a b*tch.

    Once I had an experience with getting generic mails that didn’t help. I got several. I started my last mail to them “I’m in IT. You’re in IT. Why don’t you help me out and read this entire note before you send me a canned response.”

    It may have been coincidence, but the next mail I got was actually helpful.

  7. Jeff says:

    Good info! I too buy almost everything from but fortunately have never had a problem. So if I ever do, I’ll know what to expect. Lucky for me I don’t eat donuts!

  8. jube jubes says:

    OK, way off topic, but
    my computer won’t let me view yesterdays comments. I think it might be the map that’s doing it, cause i’ve never had this problem before.
    what should i do????
    oh by the way, target is having a 1/2 off furnature sale, just thought you should know.

  9. nicole says:

    Your complaint is the exact reason why I stopped shopping at Not only that, but they were unwilling (or unable, since it was probably generic responses I got) to credit me the difference after I purchased an item that went down in price less than a week after. They are on my boycott list, along with Best Buy.

  10. JoeBruin88 says:

    I could have told that sucks. Don’t waste your time and money there anymore.

  11. sadam says:

    its the worst when a website doesnt even have a phone number. what i love even more, is when you buy a product from what you THINK is a somewhat respectabe retailer and it comes in broken. then when you email the retailer they say its not their problem…its the companies issue. then life gets all the sweeter when you ask the retailer if the product comes with a warrenty and they reply with a “nope : )”

  12. Naomi says:

    Monkeys are still capable of coherant responses–I vote for the deceased…

  13. Dennis says:

    I don’t think it can be monkeys-they all manage to find better jobs than responding to customer service emails. Y’know, like chasing weasels round and round cobbler’s benches.

  14. Pauly D says:

    All to save a dollar, huh? You deserve what you get from those rabid monkeys.

  15. Dave2 says:

    Nah, the dollar is no big deal (hey, I’m sure your book is worth it!) it’s all to use PayPal… if Amazon accepted PayPal, then I’d probably start ordering from them. 🙁

  16. This sounds like a truly troublesome scenario that reminds me of the time I was met with zero customer service assistance in Tunisia.

    No one beats the Good ‘Ol US of A.

  17. Michelle says:

    Erm….what is PayPal anyway…? I’ve never really understood it! … I’m not so great with technology!

  18. Gled says:

    What’s the big thing about Paypal Dave? Is there a reason I’ve missed why you won’t shop online without it?

  19. Oh that is so annyoing, Blockbuster Online does the same thing..they must use the same customer service training program for Morons!

  20. Dave2 says:

    I want to use PayPal because I’ve got money in my account (this is how I accept payment for Blogography T-Shirts). Usually it works great, but I’m guessing it doesn’t work on pre-orders. But since can’t be bothered to form an actual response to my queries about this, I guess we’ll never know.

  21. claire says:

    Auto-responses are so irritating! I hate the ones that respond with a faq list (already available on the site) and then ask you to respond to the message if your question wasn’t answered. If it was ever read, they’d know it hadn’t been answered.

    I’ve gone rounds of that for days. I prefer email, but it’s usually easier in the long run to call if you can.

  22. Brian says:

    This may be old but some how I got to this page, just to note that paypal offers a debt card to business clients, you don’t need anything special to change to a business client and they offer you the debt card which you can use anywhere mastercard is accepted.

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