Friday, August 13, 2010

How not to do customer service

I order a lot of stuff from Newegg. They have good product selection, exclusive promos, and good pricing. On Monday of this week they had a 15% off promo on all keyboards. I had my eye on a Logitech G15, and the final price with the promo discount and shipping was $77. Considering it retails for $100 I felt good about my purchase.

On Wednesday Newegg had a new promotion: $20 off the Logitech G15 keyboard, with free shipping. This brought the final price down to $59. I was a little peeved about my Monday purchase so I did a web chat with Newegg to see if they could adjust the price.

In short: no. They offer no price protection and their policy is to not offer pricing adjustments. I explained to the customer service person that I could refuse delivery of the keyboard and order a new one, and even with the shipping charges and restocking fees I would end up saving money. We could avoid that situation -- and a lot of unnecessary costs and lost of customer goodwill -- if she would just offer the adjustment. Nope, that's not the policy.

I asked to have a manager call me, and she transferred the web chat to her supervisor. He copy and pasted the same policy to me. He did offer me $5 off my next order, which I never would have accepted, but by now I was pretty ticked off and found it insulting. I asked to have the order canceled and was told they couldn't do that since it was already shipped. I know shippers can recall orders from UPS, I've done it myself.

Unable to get any satisfaction from Newegg, I ordered another keyboard with the better promotions and put a note on my door refusing delivery of the first one. When it's all said and done I will have saved $9. At this point it's not the money, it's the principle.


  1. So lets see. You get a very good deal on a keyboard you want from a company that you like, and find that during the process, they've lowered the price more.

    You try and browbeat them into giving you further discount, fail, and now have spent at least 30 minutes, a few days hassle waiting for the new keyboard, and a web rant all for the sake of $9 ? The price of a decent martini?

    Sure - try and get the best deal possible all the time - but $9 ? Was it worth all this?

    ---* Bill

  2. Bill, I think Charles sums up his main point in the title of his post. It's foolish on the part of the retailer to be so inflexible about passing on the extra savings to a loyal customer in a situation where:

    1. They risk losing him on future sales
    2. He has now broadcasted to the world his unsatisfactory experience as a customer and they potentially lose a LOT more sales
    3. The unneccesary extra work involved in the processing of the return of the old keyboard. What is THAT going to cost Newegg?

    Businesses need to be smart in a competitive marketplace where service is valued so highly.


  3. As we have all known Charles for a long time, he BETTER sums up his point in his Blog subtitle "Outspoken, fair and honest."

  4. Bill - My issue was that someone, somewhere, knew they were going to offer another discount on this item two days later. They should also expect some customers are going to notice and not be very pleased. Had they waited a week I would probably have sucked it up and cursed my rotten timing. But two days? That's absurd. The fact that customer service failed at every turn was pretty appalling: making no attempt to collaborate on a solution; not offering any kind of reduction until I got a manager involved; then flat out lying about their ability to recall or cancel the order.

    I have ordered other products online and had the price reduced while my order was in transit. The vendor has always offered to match lower price. I wasn't holding Newegg to some higher or arbitrary standard, it's a level of service I have come to expect.

    Incidentally, the original keyboard was delivered yesterday. The replacement was delivered today.

    Dan - Thanks for backing me up. :-)

    Steven - Absent a last name I don't know who you are, so I'm not sure if you're being snarky. So I'll say thanks, with a questioning cocked eyebrow. :-)

  5. This is what they should have done send you email:

    Dear Mr Robinson
    Thank you for your latest order of " ITEM NAME " and order number.

    We have just drop the price down to $$ and we have adjusted your invoice and given you credit on the difference and will be put on your CreditCard that Ends with ***** 5269 . We predicate your business and hope you continue to shop at Newegg.


    Newegg Customer service

    then your Blog would have been diffent Palmi

  6. To close the loop, I got the credit from Newegg yesterday. They did not charge me a restocking fee and they refunded the shipping charges. We ended up exactly where we would have been had they simply credited the shipping charges and given me an adjustment for the difference in the price of the promotions up front. My final savings was $16.95.