Apr 212014

Went to Newegg.com on Saturday and ordered my dad a gift certificate for his birthday. He didn’t get it all weekend. Then, this morning, I received this:

Thank you for shopping at Newegg.com.

We’re doing everything we can to make sure your online purchase is secure.

Our order verification procedures occasionally require us to contact a customer at his/her billing phone number before releasing an order. This procedure protects our customers, Newegg, and identity theft victims from debit or credit card fraud. Unfortunately, you were unavailable when we attempted to contact you at your billing phone number: 256-xxx-xxxx.

Please contact us from your billing phone number: 256-xxx-xxxx as soon as possible so that we may confirm your order and release it for shipping. You may call us at 1-800-390-1119, Monday through Saturday 9:00AM – 5:00PM PT.

Please note that the shipment will be delayed unless we receive a prompt response for this order. Your order will be automatically cancelled if verification is not completed within five (5) business days of the original order date.

We greatly apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

Now understand I’ve done business with Newegg.com several times before. Furthermore, when I received this, Newegg.com already had the charge pending on my credit card. I replied:

Folks, I will not be required to place a voice call to you in order for you to send my father’s gift certificate to him. I will not do it today or ever.

I do not like the telephone. I particularly do not like being required to use it from my home during hours when I am not normally there.

I see the pending charge on my American Express card, so I know you’re not having a problem with payment. Please send the gift certificate immediately or cancel the order.

Less than an hour later, they replied:

Thank you for contacting Newegg.

I do apologize for the inconvenience. For your protection as a customer of Newegg, our verification department is requiring additional information in which they may need to contact you at the billing phone number provided in your order. Please call customer service between 9:00am to 4:00pm PST Monday through Saturday from your billing telephone number and the verification team will call you back within 2 hours to verify your order.

To which I responded:

As I said, I refuse to use the telephone to complete this transaction. Please cancel the order immediately.

Their reply:

I’d be happy to assist you. Per your request, I have just cancelled this order in our system. You will receive a confirmation email in 10 minutes.

So after they rode their mindless procedure all the way into the ocean, I called them out on Twitter. Then I heard from their Twitter account:

We’re sorry to hear this. We’d like to look into this further for you. Can you email us at wecare.twitter@newegg.com?

To which I replied:

I will forward you the CS correspondence. I don’t like the telephone, and an online merchant compelling its use loses me.

I forwarded the chain of correspondence. Then I received:

Thank you for contacting Newegg.

I apologize for inconvenience. Unfortunately, we could not open attachment. Can you please kindly resend attachment to me at (redacted)@newegg.com?

To which I replied:

The correspondence trail is below. I believe it is between you and I.

Got it? The Twitter person referred me back to the very same guy I’ve been going back and forth with all day long, who then apparently failed to realize that. No further correspondence as of right now.

Online merchants, I don’t want to talk to you on the telephone. Absent a very good reason, I won’t. I’ll just go somewhere else.

 Posted by at 8:45 pm
Mar 232014

acrAs many as eight or ten of you may remember the Dark and Stormy Book Club. Quoting my friend and collaborator Saintseester, it was “a book club geared toward busy people who wanted to read and explore with other folks, but who did not have the time to join an in-person book club.”

We had a blast with it. We had a live internet radio show and associated blog. We read some great stuff. It was high-quality intellectual stimulation.

We’re doing it again—just the two of us this time. ‘Seester and I have just launched Alabamians Can Read. Our launch title is The Great Gatsby, which, believe it or not, neither of us have ever read. (Actually that’s very easy to believe about me, but I’d have bet and lost $100 that ‘Seester had read it.)

acr2Yes, I know you don’t have time for a book club. We don’t either. That’s the point. Join us, won’t you?

 Posted by at 6:44 pm
Mar 122014

Gonna get a Corvette and a surgically enhanced girlfriend with a room temperature IQ and hair transplants and liposuction and a tattoo and a piercing and it’s on, BAYBEE!!! Just kidding. I’m not ever having a midlife crisis. Take it to the bank. -5. But my blog is. I’m wondering:  what am I going to [...]

 Posted by at 6:22 pm

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