I'm having trouble phrasing the question I want to ask. I think it is: Is it rude for me to keep asking questions of a merchant, trying to get something we already paid for, when in fact the lesser alternative we've been offered would work OK for us?
Last fall we prepaid for one year of "free" 2nd day air shipping from a big online merchant. (We decided to try it for one year and then decide if it is worth it or not to continue the service.)
Sometimes, when we're not planning a drive to the city, we order some dry pet food from the online merchant. It is a specialty product, and we would have to drive 25 miles each way to the closest brick-and-mortar store that carries that product in the big city. The online merchant's price is the same as the store's price, and with our prepaid-for-one-year 2nd day air service we save money on gasoline for trips to the big city pet store.
Only - today when I went to re-order the pet food, the online merchant refused to honor the 2nd day air service I've already paid for. Their logo for "this item qualifies" is still on the pet food's product web page, but they're only offering ground shipping.
Truthfully, the ground shipping would work fine for us (and in fact I ended up ordering the pet food that way). But I am left feeling a little "cheated" that I prepaid for a year of 2nd day air and the merchant is no longer honoring their promise.
So, I tried a live chat with a CSR from the online merchant.
The CSR insisted that the merchant itself had NOT decided to stop honoring the 2nd day air promise.
His first story was that the manufacturer had told the online merchant that it was unsafe to ship the pet food by air. (He gave the example of lithium batteries being unsafe to ship by air.) What I asked him to please explain what ingredient in the pet food is unsafe to ship by air he could not explain.
His next story was that the shipping companies had told the online merchant that they now refuse to accept the pet food for 2nd day shipping. (His point was that it was the shipping companies' decision, not the online merchant's decision, to refuse to ship the pet food by 2nd day air.)
When I asked him to tell me exactly which shipping companies refuse to accept pet food for 2nd day service (and why they accepted it before today) he wouldn't or couldn't tell me.
At that point I thanked him for being polite to me and asked him to forward the chat transcript to management to ask them to respond to my questions. (I wanted to tell him that I didn't believe his various stories, but figured that would be needlessly rude of me.)
Let me stop here. I'm curious to know what others think.
On the one hand, honestly, ground shipping will work for us. We will probably not run out of pet food before the ground shipment arrives, and if we do, we can drive 25 miles each way to the big city pet store. Next time we will know to order a few days earlier and all will be well. So maybe the polite thing to do is to just let it drop. (I do have other matters to attend to!)
On the other hand, the online merchant took our money in exchange for a promise to ship our purchases by 2nd day air for one year. Claiming that the manufacturer says it is dangerous to ship pet food by 2nd day air or claiming that the shipping companies refuse to ship pet food by air seems quite unbelievable. Is it polite to tell the manger who contacts me that I don't believe what the CSR said and ask him to prove the truthfulness of his CSR's stories? (The only thing is that it's not worth my time - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to be lied to, but it's not worth spending time on, is it.)