Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: norrina on August 09, 2010, 01:41:39 PM

Title: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: norrina on August 09, 2010, 01:41:39 PM
I'll try to make the backstory as brief as possible here.

On July 15 (a Thursday) I placed an order for a textbook through the fractionally named subsidiary of a well-known online auction site. On July 19 (the Monday following) I received an automated notification from the site that my order had been shipped, with a tracking number. Unfortunately, when I used the tracking number at the shipper's site, it showed as no record of the item. Initially I figured the package has simply not been scanned it at pick-up as I've seen this happen with delivery confirmation before. When I still did not have delivery by July 29 (Thursday) however I became a bit concerned, as my experience has been that even media mail usually delivers in less than a week, especially when coming from only a few states away as this was. I was beginning to suspect that this book never made it to the shipper, and I decided to check the tracking one more time before contacting the seller. This time the number was in the shipper's system, showing as received by the shipper on July 26. The book was delivered the next day, Friday, July 30. It had been shipped in an unpadded mailer, which had torn open in transit (this was a 1700+ page textbook) and was held together by rubberbands wrapped around it by the shipper.

So, to summarize, a book that I ordered on July 15 was not shipped until July 26, with no communication from the seller about the delay, and the packaging of the shipment was insufficient. After deliberating with myself considerably, I opted not to contact the seller about my displeasure, as there was nothing to be done to correct the situation. I left negative feedback, the first time I have ever done so in my 7 years of using this site, stating that "Ordered & pd 07/15/10, shipped 07/26/10. Poorly packed, unpadded envelope ripped."

Now, to my question. Today I received an email from the seller, "I just saw your negative feedback you have left for me on my account. I am terribly sorry to hear this! USPS has been letting me down lately, however I must take the responsibility. Would a 20% discount rectify the issue? Again, I am so sorry you are not happy. I cannot accept negative feedback from my customers. I hope to hear from you soon."

How do I respond to this? The problem did NOT lie within the shipper, it was solely with him. He did not ship the package in a timely manner, and he did not package it properly. A discount cannot in fact rectify this. What is done is done.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Dindrane on August 09, 2010, 01:48:10 PM
I'd be tempted to ignore it, but I don't think that's a good idea.

Instead, I think you should state as simply as you can that you don't want anything from seller, and that nothing he can give you or do for you will change your negative opinion of the transaction.  If you think it's necessary, you could also ask not to be contacted again.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on August 09, 2010, 03:03:40 PM
It seems the seller is at least trying to right the situation by offering a discount. He/she may not realize the necessity of the 'timeliness' of the item being shipped was the most important to you. Perhaps they believe you ordered it from them because it was the lowest price...?

I would send a simple message back.   "I appreciate your apology, unfortunately since I needed the item on 07/17, it was a great inconvience to me. If I had been notified prior of the shipping problems I would have made different arrangements."

Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Shannon on August 09, 2010, 03:09:56 PM
I'm confused--how was the seller able to give you a tracking number if the package hadn't been delivered to the shipper yet?
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Deetee on August 09, 2010, 03:16:31 PM
I'm confused--how was the seller able to give you a tracking number if the package hadn't been delivered to the shipper yet?

I think  (in the US) it's possible to pre-purchase shipping envelopes and materials. So you buy the shipping box (flat rate) and put the book in it. You can then send the shipping info and drop the box at the post office (or directly in the mailbox/courier pickup) and they will even pick up at you door.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Elfqueen13 on August 09, 2010, 03:22:12 PM
I'm confused--how was the seller able to give you a tracking number if the package hadn't been delivered to the shipper yet?

I think  (in the US) it's possible to pre-purchase shipping envelopes and materials. So you buy the shipping box (flat rate) and put the book in it. You can then send the shipping info and drop the box at the post office (or directly in the mailbox/courier pickup) and they will even pick up at you door.

There are also shippers that will let you sign up for a online account that will allow the shipper to assign tracking numbers and print labels. 
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Bibliophile on August 09, 2010, 03:23:11 PM
Was the book damaged?  Did the shipper have a guarantee in the ad about how long he/she takes to ship packages?  
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: veryfluffy on August 09, 2010, 03:28:41 PM
To be honest, I would have contacted the seller and asked for a replacement, properly packaged. As you said, it was their fault it was damaged in transit, due to inadequate packaging. I would have given them the opportunity to rectify the problem before posting negative feedback.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: DottyG on August 09, 2010, 03:30:03 PM
To be honest, I would have contacted the seller and asked for a replacement, properly packaged. As you said, it was their fault it was damaged in transit, due to inadequate packaging. I would have given them the opportunity to rectify the problem before posting negative feedback.

Kinda sorta what I was thinking, too.

Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Harlow on August 09, 2010, 03:33:19 PM
To be honest, I would have contacted the seller and asked for a replacement, properly packaged. As you said, it was their fault it was damaged in transit, due to inadequate packaging. I would have given them the opportunity to rectify the problem before posting negative feedback.

Kinda sorta what I was thinking, too.



Agreed, I was thinking that to. People shouldn't be so quick to leave negative things about  a seller, without giving the seller a chance to fix the problem. To me it's very OTT. I've had bad experiences from sellers to, similar to the OP.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on August 09, 2010, 03:38:28 PM
To be honest, I would have contacted the seller and asked for a replacement, properly packaged. As you said, it was their fault it was damaged in transit, due to inadequate packaging. I would have given them the opportunity to rectify the problem before posting negative feedback.

Kinda sorta what I was thinking, too.



Agreed, I was thinking that to. People shouldn't be so quick to leave negative things about  a seller, without giving the seller a chance to fix the problem. To me it's very OTT. I've had bad experiences from sellers to, similar to the OP.

How does that rectify the problem of an *eleven day* delay between receipt of payment and shipment?  Once a seller has my money, my purchase should be on its way within 3-7 days.  Eleven days is simply outrageous, absent a notice about delayed shipping.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: norrina on August 09, 2010, 03:40:26 PM
I'm confused--how was the seller able to give you a tracking number if the package hadn't been delivered to the shipper yet?

I think  (in the US) it's possible to pre-purchase shipping envelopes and materials. So you buy the shipping box (flat rate) and put the book in it. You can then send the shipping info and drop the box at the post office (or directly in the mailbox/courier pickup) and they will even pick up at you door.

Sort of like this, yes. The post office has stacks of delivery confirmation labels with a barcode and tracking number pre-printed on them that you can pick up for free. You take a stack of these labels home, and when you sell a widget you stick it in a box, address it and affix a delivery confirmation number, and then pay for the whole shebang when you actually ship the package. There are a couple different ways to pay. You can use an online account to print a paid shipping label from home and have the postal service pick up your package for you, or you can take your package to the post office and pay and ship your package there.

My seller appears to have prepared my book for shipping on the 19th, but he did not actually take the package to the post office until the 26th. When you take your package to the post office and pay for the shipping there, the post office will print a postage label with the date on it. My package had one of these types of labels on it, dated July 26th.

I did get the book before my classes started, but I simply feel that 11 days to ship is entirely unacceptable. I also should have mentioned in my OP that the seller's description promised, "Fast shipping, GUARANTEED!" I do like your email regardless jania, because if I had been notified of the delay, I *would* have made other arrangements.

The book was not actually damaged, luckily. Only because once the mailer tore the PO wrapped it securely with rubber bands to keep the book from falling out, and appear to have handled it with care. If there had been anything the seller could have done to rectify, I would have gladly given them that opportunity, but there honestly wasn't/isn't. I did get my book, and it is in usable condition, but overall this was a negative experience for me.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: flo on August 09, 2010, 03:43:41 PM
I'm confused--how was the seller able to give you a tracking number if the package hadn't been delivered to the shipper yet?

If you use Click and Ship, you can print a shipping label from your computer and that gets the package info in the system.  You can either ship from your home or drop the package off at any post office.  So, if you just didn't actually put the package out for pick up, or drop it off, there would be a huge delay.

Personally, I think 11 days to ship is outrageous, but I would check the rules on the site to see if that falls within their acceptable shipping time.  I also think there is no excuse for poor packaging, and would hat to have my intelligence insulted by a seller blaming the shipper for what is clearly the seller's fault.  I think a 20% discount doesn't even come close to what should be offered.  However, I also think a buyer should contact a seller and let them try to make it right before leaving negative feedback.  As a seller, I would rather give up the money then the good feedback.  I would offer a huge discount to please a buyer and keep my good feedback record.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: bah12 on August 09, 2010, 03:44:35 PM
I think it's very possible that the 11 day delay was with the shipper, although the poor packaging was not.  I had this happen with something I shipped my mother for Christmas.  I got a tracking number at the post office, but for some reason, the package didn't leave that day or the next (not for a week).  I don't know why, but these things do happen.

I would have contacted the seller after a few days and let him know that you didn't get the package and couldn't find the tracking number on the shipper's website.  He may have been able to find out what was happening and get the book sent sooner than it did.

I also think that it would be more polite to let the seller know what the problem is before you leave negative feedback.  I understand, at that point, that nothing would make it better, but at least give him a chance to try to make it right first.

 That being said, I wouldn't go as far as saying that it was rude to leave negative feedback with calling him first.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Harlow on August 09, 2010, 03:45:33 PM
To be honest, I would have contacted the seller and asked for a replacement, properly packaged. As you said, it was their fault it was damaged in transit, due to inadequate packaging. I would have given them the opportunity to rectify the problem before posting negative feedback.

Kinda sorta what I was thinking, too.



Agreed, I was thinking that to. People shouldn't be so quick to leave negative things about  a seller, without giving the seller a chance to fix the problem. To me it's very OTT. I've had bad experiences from sellers to, similar to the OP.

How does that rectify the problem of an *eleven day* delay between receipt of payment and shipment?  Once a seller has my money, my purchase should be on its way within 3-7 days.  Eleven days is simply outrageous, absent a notice about delayed shipping.

By contacting the seller directly before posting any negative feed back.

Plus if I'm thinking of the same website the OP used, every seller has different shipments. They will state specifically on their page what their shipment policies are.  I always buy from one who only ships once a month.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: MandiC76 on August 09, 2010, 03:51:14 PM
This is also dependent upon whether the seller is an individual or business. I have sold used textbooks on that particular site. I personally have always shipped within a 3-day window of receiving payment, but if I held on to it too long, or used insufficient packaging, I wouldn't necessarily expect the recipient to contact me before giving negative feedback. At that point there's not a lot I can do other than refunding at least part of their payment, which may or may not be sufficient. As an individual selling a single textbook, I certainly can't send them a replacement. At that point, if they leave a negative feedback, I deserve it. I won't like it, but I would deserve it.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: shhh its me on August 09, 2010, 03:51:45 PM
To be honest, I would have contacted the seller and asked for a replacement, properly packaged. As you said, it was their fault it was damaged in transit, due to inadequate packaging. I would have given them the opportunity to rectify the problem before posting negative feedback.

Kinda sorta what I was thinking, too.



Agreed, I was thinking that to. People shouldn't be so quick to leave negative things about  a seller, without giving the seller a chance to fix the problem. To me it's very OTT. I've had bad experiences from sellers to, similar to the OP.

How does that rectify the problem of an *eleven day* delay between receipt of payment and shipment?  Once a seller has my money, my purchase should be on its way within 3-7 days.  Eleven days is simply outrageous, absent a notice about delayed shipping.

It would depend on what they advertise as their shipping time , "Items ship within two weeks" or "Items ship in 3-5 business days".  It's not outrageous to preform exactly as advertised.
Damage due to insufficient packaging I'm if A then B if C then D, if I could get a replacement within the time frame allowed to receive the original then I'd accept a replacement and adjust the feedback. If the replacement would arrive significantly after then I might improve the feedback but not all the way to great or possible remove the feedback all together.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Harlow on August 09, 2010, 03:52:05 PM
I'm confused--how was the seller able to give you a tracking number if the package hadn't been delivered to the shipper yet?

I think  (in the US) it's possible to pre-purchase shipping envelopes and materials. So you buy the shipping box (flat rate) and put the book in it. You can then send the shipping info and drop the box at the post office (or directly in the mailbox/courier pickup) and they will even pick up at you door.

Sort of like this, yes. The post office has stacks of delivery confirmation labels with a barcode and tracking number pre-printed on them that you can pick up for free. You take a stack of these labels home, and when you sell a widget you stick it in a box, address it and affix a delivery confirmation number, and then pay for the whole shebang when you actually ship the package. There are a couple different ways to pay. You can use an online account to print a paid shipping label from home and have the postal service pick up your package for you, or you can take your package to the post office and pay and ship your package there.

My seller appears to have prepared my book for shipping on the 19th, but he did not actually take the package to the post office until the 26th. When you take your package to the post office and pay for the shipping there, the post office will print a postage label with the date on it. My package had one of these types of labels on it, dated July 26th.

I did get the book before my classes started, but I simply feel that 11 days to ship is entirely unacceptable. I also should have mentioned in my OP that the seller's description promised, "Fast shipping, GUARANTEED!" I do like your email regardless jania, because if I had been notified of the delay, I *would* have made other arrangements.

The book was not actually damaged, luckily. Only because once the mailer tore the PO wrapped it securely with rubber bands to keep the book from falling out, and appear to have handled it with care. If there had been anything the seller could have done to rectify, I would have gladly given them that opportunity, but there honestly wasn't/isn't. I did get my book, and it is in usable condition, but overall this was a negative experience for me.

If you paid for the shipping, you should ask for a refund the shipping. Than take 20-30% off the book price itself.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: norrina on August 09, 2010, 03:52:44 PM
To reply to a couple more things that came up:

I *finally* was able to find the site's shipping requirement (it was quite buried), the policy is that "[Site] requires that all sellers ship the item within 72 hours of receiving the order notification." Presuming that this is 72 business hours, my order from Th, 07/15/10 should have shipped by Tues, 07/20/10.

I am absolutely 100% certain that the delay originated with the seller, not the shipper. I can tell this from when the postage label was generated. The label is of the sort that is generated at the post office, at the time that the seller tenders their shipment and payment, and the date on that label was 07/26/10.

Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Harlow on August 09, 2010, 03:54:41 PM
To reply to a couple more things that came up:

I *finally* was able to find the site's shipping requirement (it was quite buried), the policy is that "[Site] requires that all sellers ship the item within 72 hours of receiving the order notification." Presuming that this is 72 business hours, my order from Th, 07/15/10 should have shipped by Tues, 07/20/10.

I am absolutely 100% certain that the delay originated with the seller, not the shipper. I can tell this from when the postage label was generated. The label is of the sort that is generated at the post office, at the time that the seller tenders their shipment and payment, and the date on that label was 07/26/10.



If that's the case, do not respond and keep the negative feedback there.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Onyx_TKD on August 09, 2010, 04:34:02 PM
I'm confused--how was the seller able to give you a tracking number if the package hadn't been delivered to the shipper yet?

I think  (in the US) it's possible to pre-purchase shipping envelopes and materials. So you buy the shipping box (flat rate) and put the book in it. You can then send the shipping info and drop the box at the post office (or directly in the mailbox/courier pickup) and they will even pick up at you door.

Sort of like this, yes. The post office has stacks of delivery confirmation labels with a barcode and tracking number pre-printed on them that you can pick up for free. You take a stack of these labels home, and when you sell a widget you stick it in a box, address it and affix a delivery confirmation number, and then pay for the whole shebang when you actually ship the package. There are a couple different ways to pay. You can use an online account to print a paid shipping label from home and have the postal service pick up your package for you, or you can take your package to the post office and pay and ship your package there.

My seller appears to have prepared my book for shipping on the 19th, but he did not actually take the package to the post office until the 26th. When you take your package to the post office and pay for the shipping there, the post office will print a postage label with the date on it. My package had one of these types of labels on it, dated July 26th.

I did get the book before my classes started, but I simply feel that 11 days to ship is entirely unacceptable. I also should have mentioned in my OP that the seller's description promised, "Fast shipping, GUARANTEED!" I do like your email regardless jania, because if I had been notified of the delay, I *would* have made other arrangements.

The book was not actually damaged, luckily. Only because once the mailer tore the PO wrapped it securely with rubber bands to keep the book from falling out, and appear to have handled it with care. If there had been anything the seller could have done to rectify, I would have gladly given them that opportunity, but there honestly wasn't/isn't. I did get my book, and it is in usable condition, but overall this was a negative experience for me.

I agree that there was little point in contacting the seller in this situation. If a steep discount would have made the purchase worth the delay, then contacting the seller makes sense, but if having it on time was important, then a discount doesn't really help. Since a discount probably won't help future buyers who are counting on that fast shipping, I think negative feedback is the way to go. If it is possible for you to edit the feedback, then I would update it to mention that he did offer a discount (someone else may consider that acceptable compensation), but I would still leave it as a negative.

I think the reply should be something along the lines of:
Dear Seller,
I'm afraid that a discount cannot make up for the shipping issues I experienced.

This textbook was a time-sensitive purchase. Your posting promised "Fast shipping, GUARANTEED!" and I received a shipment notification with a tracking number on July 19. However, the package is stamped as being received by USPS on July 26 and did not arrive until July 30. I also received no notification that the shipment was delayed, so I did not have the chance to look into other options. This is not acceptable for an item advertised as "fast shipping" and could have caused serious problems for me.

The packaging was also inadequate and tore during shipping. USPS handled the situation admirably by reinforcing the damaged packaging, and their care prevented the book from being damaged.

I do not leave negative feedback lightly, but the fast shipping was a major criterion for my purchase and a discount cannot compensate for this delay. I cannot in good conscience change my review, and I consider the matter closed.
[Or, if you are willing: "I have updated my feedback to reflect your offer of a discount, but it will remain negative."]

BTW, the seller's comment of "I cannot accept negative feedback from my customers" really rubs me the wrong way. Sorry, buddy, but you don't really get a choice in the matter; that's kind of the point. The fact that he tries to blame the delay on USPS, without even trying to explain away the July 26 shipping date mentioned in the feedback, suggests to me that he really didn't bother to ship it before then and thinks he can just fix it with a discount rather than fixing his shipping habits. That makes me think the negative feedback is even more needed as a heads-up to future buyers.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on August 09, 2010, 04:36:44 PM
I would respond to his email with all of the points that you have made including the site's requirements that packages should be shipped out within 72 hours of purchase.  Let them know that you saw the package invoice date as July 26th so you know that they didn't ship the item until eleven days after you purchased the item.  In your case, he's shifting blame onto a different business entity when the fault lies with him for not packaging the item correctly and for waiting so long to actually ship the item.  Keep the negative feedback up because others should be made aware of what he's doing.  As another customer, I would greatly appreciate honest feedback like that.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: wyliefool on August 10, 2010, 07:50:36 AM
I used to sell on that site. I always tried to get the book out the next day, or 2 days max. It's not really all that hard to swing by the post office on your way somewhere.

If I recall, the site itself generates the 'your order has shipped' notification automatically after the 72 hours. Stupid system. It used to be that the seller had to generate that message themself--I liked that system much better, since there woulnd't be any disconnect between the message and the actual shipment. One reason why I quit selling there.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: norrina on August 10, 2010, 08:52:24 AM
Giving a heads up to future buyers really is what gets at the heart of it for me. When I go back and really look closely at the feedback I found one that was positive but mentioned slow shipping, I didn't catch it before I bought because it was positive. And there were a good number that talked about the seller refunding their money because their order didn't get to them in time, which with the retrospect of my experience also seem to speak to a shipping problem. I wish these buyers had at least given neutrals, I would have noticed those more and might have been able to avoid this situation.

Thank you for the suggestions, I've got some good wording for the emails. I especially like Onxy's suggestion, and I think I am going to essentially send that verbatim.

Also, I don't think the system automatically generated the shipping notification, since the tracking number I received *was* the number used when the package eventually shipped.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: LadyClaire on August 10, 2010, 09:13:57 AM
I once bought a book from a 3rd party seller on Amazon. I was notified that it shipped, but never got a tracking number. I waited..and waited..and waited...three weeks went by, no book. I contacted the seller, and got an e-mail back stating that they'd discovered that their local post office had been mishandling packages and mine had never been shipped once it got to the post office. They assured me they'd rectified it and I'd be getting my book shortly.

I thought that was a weird excuse, but hey, you see stories all the time about postal workers hoarding mail, so it might've been true. So I waited, and waited, and waited..and another 3 weeks went by. I e-mailed the seller again, feeling extremely irritated, and told them if I didn't have the book within 4 days, I would be filing a complaint through Amazon.

I get another e-mail back from the seller stating that their own employee had been the one hoarding packages, and that employee had made up the post office story and they'd only just found out about it. They'd ship my book "if they could find another copy of it" (it was an out-of-print book).

No offer of reduced shipping, discount, or expedited shipping.

I finally got the book another two weeks after that.

I left the seller negative feedback, and they e-mailed me with a sob story about how it wasn't their fault, it was their lying employee, and my negative feedback was out of line and I was ruining their feedback score.

I didn't answer, left my negative feedback as it was, and never bought another book from that seller again.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Marisol on August 10, 2010, 09:29:49 AM
I don't know, maybe I am too nice, but I would accept the 20% discount/refund and revise my feedback to neutral.

One, because it is money back, and
Two, because you did get your book and they are trying to make things right, and
Three, because as a seller I know how sometimes mistakes are made and I know how bad I feel about it when it happens.

Not saying they didn't do something wrong, but I think it warrants a neutral feedback in this case, not negative and not positive.   

As a buyer (and I buy way more than I ever sell, I only sell when I just need to get rid of something), I would be glad they are trying to work with me to make things better.  I'd be pretty happy with a refund of 20%.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: NOVA Lady on August 10, 2010, 09:30:30 AM
I think that you should have contacted the seller after the shipper's website showed no knowledge of the package. Why did you wait so long? So, while the shipper should have shipped right away, I do think that your responsibilty included raising a concern right away, not waiting until you did finally receiving it and leaving a negative feeedback. I think the offer of a discount is fair. Nothing can fix the issue now (though had you raised the issue right away it could have been resolved by the seller) so a discount is about all he can do to help soothe the issue.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: alegria on August 10, 2010, 09:38:41 AM
I think that you should have contacted the seller after the shipper's website showed no knowledge of the package. Why did you wait so long? So, while the shipper should have shipped right away, I do think that your responsibilty included raising a concern right away, not waiting until you did finally receiving it and leaving a negative feeedback. I think the offer of a discount is fair. Nothing can fix the issue now (though had you raised the issue right away it could have been resolved by the seller) so a discount is about all he can do to help soothe the issue.

It's not the buyer's responsibility to babysit the seller and ensure they complete the transaction appropriately.  The OP bought the book on July 15, received a shipping notification on July 19, and received the book on July 30.  If she had contacted the seller on say July 23, allowing four days for the shipment, that might have been better, but it still doesn't solve the problem that the seller created.  I think there is no excuse for waiting 11 days to ship a sold item, and that the seller deserves the negative feedback.

Feedback inflation is why I am rarely influenced by feedback ratings other than negatives.  Too many sellers pressure their buyers into giving them positives with the enticement of a discount or partial refund, when they really didn't meet the terms of the sale and deserve a negative rating.  As a seller, you are not "entitled" to a positive rating every time, nor am I as your buyer "required" to give you "every chance to fix a problem" before leaving you a negative rating.  A buyer should contact the seller with an issue, but it is not their responsibility to hand-hold the seller through the process and then reward them with a positive rating at the end.  A seller should earn their positive ratings, not be entitled to them for merely existing.

I understand the feedback systems are set up strangely these days, and so I don't blame the sellers for doing what they have to do.  However, I still strongly feel that a seller needs to earn their positive rating, not just sit there and assume it will happen.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: NOVA Lady on August 10, 2010, 09:47:33 AM
Oh its definitely not on her to make sure he completes the transaction well. BUT if it were me and I wanted that item in a timely fashion...has I gotten a shipping confirmation and gone to look it up the next day and saw it has not been received I would have contacted the seller to rectify it. Should I have to do that? not at all. But...is my goal to be "right" or is my goal to get the item? If its to get the item quickly, if I see the seller is dropping the ball I nudge them.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Onyx_TKD on August 10, 2010, 10:07:20 AM
I don't know, maybe I am too nice, but I would accept the 20% discount/refund and revise my feedback to neutral.

One, because it is money back, and
Two, because you did get your book and they are trying to make things right, and
Three, because as a seller I know how sometimes mistakes are made and I know how bad I feel about it when it happens.

Not saying they didn't do something wrong, but I think it warrants a neutral feedback in this case, not negative and not positive.   

As a buyer (and I buy way more than I ever sell, I only sell when I just need to get rid of something), I would be glad they are trying to work with me to make things better.  I'd be pretty happy with a refund of 20%.

If the seller had given a plausible explanation for why a one-time mistake had happened, I might agree; everyone is going to miss a deadline occasionally. However, the OP said she has rechecked his previous feedback and seen that many people have said they received a refund for late merchandise; he also tried to blame the postal system, when the stamp indicates he didn't even send it until the 26th. This suggests to me that this is the seller's standard MO: promise fast shipping; don't bother to get the item shipped quickly, and then give a discount/refund in exchange for positive feedback. If those buyers feel that the refund makes up for the late merchandise, so that the overall transaction is positive, then that's their business. But if I were buying a textbook for a class, I would rather pay a little extra (by using another seller) and have it arrive on time, not get a discount for receiving it late. If the promised shipping time was long, but accurate, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but lying about the shipping time is unacceptable.

I would consider it my responsibility to leave negative feedback so that other buyers would be aware that this is a problem and can choose accordingly whether to buy from him. If he cleans up his act, then one negative feedback shouldn't destroy his business.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: Dindrane on August 10, 2010, 11:49:27 AM
The thing that strikes me is that the seller isn't even offering a refund -- he's offering a discount.  Meaning, norrina would have to buy something else from him in order to actually receive what he's offering.  To me, that's the absolute biggest of all "I want to make it right" cop-outs when a business has seriously screwed up.  Unhappy customers aren't going to be made less unhappy by being "given" something that requires them to do yet more business with you.  Your best shot at making an unhappy customer less unhappy is to give them some money back from the transaction they have already completed and are unhappy about.

It probably would have been a good idea to keep a closer eye on the tracking number, since that might have clued her in that it hadn't been shipped a bit faster.  But if there was no way to actually track the package, and norrina was operating under the assumption that it could take as long as a week to get the package, then she wouldn't have contacted the seller until July 26th anyway...which is the day the package shipped.  So it wouldn't have improved her opinion of the transaction in the slightest, and there'd still be basically nothing that the seller could do.

Plus, seriously, sometimes I forget about things I've ordered, if I have it in my head that it will take a week (or something).  Unless I get an email reminder, I might not think to check until the time frame I'm expecting has already passed.  I've got other things going on in my life, and don't always have the head space to remember about packages and whatnot, especially if they're coming through USPS (since that doesn't require that I be home to receive it).

Either way, with the way the events transpired (even if it would have been better to do things differently), I agree that there wasn't any real point in contacting the seller privately.  There wasn't any way that he could make her experience positive or even neutral, and the negative feedback clues him in to the fact that she was not happy with the service.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on August 10, 2010, 01:31:45 PM
On sites like this, your feedback is your reputation, and your reputation needs to be earned.  If you want a good reputation, you do a good job.  In this case, that means shipping the goods, well packaged, according to the time guidelines posted by the site or in the listing.

I don't leave negative feedback lightly, and I know that sometimes things go wrong.  If something happens, and a shipment is late getting out, and I get a sincere apology and explanation from the seller, and possibly a partial refund, I'd most likely leave positive or neutral feedback.

In thos case, though, there are three strikes against the seller.  He waited WAY too long to ship the package.  Unless your listing says that you only ship once a month, or once a week, or something, I expect things to ship within a few days, especially if you advertise fast shipping.  Then, when the OP complained about the shipping, he blamed the post office, when she had proof that it was his fault.  And on top of that, he didn't even secure the package so it would arrive in good condition.  Had just one of those things happened, I could see giving him a break, but all three is pretty good evidence that he's just not professional.

As a buyer, I would definitely want to know about this guy's lack of professionalism.  I'm also not going to read through hundreds of positive feedback messages to find the ones that are actually negative.  I skim the positives, and read the negatives and neutrals, and I really appreciate people giving honest feedback.

If he can't accept negative feedback, then he needs to improve his business practices, and earn positive feedback, not try to buy positive feedback from his customers.
Title: Re: When the vendor can't make it right
Post by: norrina on August 10, 2010, 05:41:46 PM
I think that you should have contacted the seller after the shipper's website showed no knowledge of the package. Why did you wait so long? So, while the shipper should have shipped right away, I do think that your responsibilty included raising a concern right away, not waiting until you did finally receiving it and leaving a negative feeedback. I think the offer of a discount is fair. Nothing can fix the issue now (though had you raised the issue right away it could have been resolved by the seller) so a discount is about all he can do to help soothe the issue.

The reason I did not contact the seller immediately when the shipper's website did not recognize the tracking number is because I have seen it happen before that a package is not scanned at the post office upon receipt. In fact, for a while I was seeing it happen that way more often than not even. So my initial thought was simply that there had not been an origination scan of the package, and that it would show up shortly. I expected the package to come media mail (which it did), so I didn't start to really wonder about its delivery until the 29th, at which point in time I learned that it had finally been shipped 3 days prior.

What Rainha said about 3 strikes was exactly what motivated me to leave a negative rather than a neutral and then decline to delete the negative feedback later. If the package had merely been sent late with no communication, I would have left a neutral and if the packaging had been the only issue, I probably would not have simply foregone feedback altogether. But the combination of the two took this from a neutral experience to a decidedly negative one, and then the seller's attempt to foist the blame onto the post office took this further into negative territory. In my mind, any mitigating effect of his offer of a 20% discount (which I did read as an offer to refund 20%, not apply that money to a future purchase, FWIW), was negated by lying to me about the chain of events.