Saturday, October 22, 2011

bad business? what do you think?

So here's the sweetened condensed version. I recently made an online purchase from a shop that states on its site that it carries a large amount of stock (50 of each) on the items I purchased. As a customer, I believed that this meant that the shop actually does carry the amount of stock it says it does. After the shopowner had my payment in her hand, she emailed me to tell me that she had to make my items and they'd ship in a week. I didn't say anything because I really need the items I ordered and I just wanted to let her get them shipped. After they did ship, I questioned her on this. I told her that I was confused by the transaction and pointed out that her site tells customers that she carries stock even though she doesn't and that she is misrepresenting herself. She told me that nobody in her business carries that much stock, and that all purchases are made to order.

Would you agree or disagree with me in my opinion that this shopowner is misrepresenting herself?

I told her that I'd like to pass on good reviews when I pass on her site to my friends and she replied that she will do the same with mine. This woman doesn't know me as a business person, just as a customer who had a complaint. She has no idea how I handle my business. But you'd better believe that I take better care of my customers than this! I have no idea what she's planning on saying about me, and to whom. I know she's visited my blog since I contacted her about this issue. I don't expect her to make any purchases from me. And even though I do love her product, she has asked me to no longer shop with her, because I am "so unhappy". I really think it's wrong to tell someone to "no longer shop here" just because they pointed out something that could very easily be fixed... and apologized for. It's not my fault that whoever keeps her website updated can't adjust numbers when necessary to keep the "in stock" tally current.

I'll keep an eye on her site. It'll be interesting to see if she makes a note that her product is made to order, or keeps things the way they are... misleading.


Pen Pen said...

I agree with you; the site is misleading. You may would have decided to order elsewhere if you knew you would have to wait for the product to be made. I don't understand why the owner would tell you not to shop with her again, you would think she would want to make it right and just be honest about it. Yes, I think it's bad business, too. :-(

Neabear said...

I agree with you. I would have expected it to ship right away if there is stock on hand. Definitely misleading when they say an "x" amount is in stock when actually it is not.


notes of sincerity said...

Oh my. I believe you handled matters respectfully and kindly. I personally have only one item in my shop that is made to order and when listing, there is the option to state that, so I do. :0) I want my customers to have the nicest of experiences shopping from me. Just as if they were walking into my own little shop, in person. :0) I would never want someone to feel unwelcome and would never tell someone not to come back.
I hope this isn't too wordy. I personally like how you handled the situation.
Sincerely. Trish

PatC - All is Bright said...

Hi! Love your blog even though I hardly comment on it. But this time I needed to. I wholeheartly agree with you. A good business can not misrepresent themselves. If you advertise a certain amount in stock then you should have it or if by chance you run out then please be nice to your customers and explain to them the situation. She seems to be a little defensive and needs to be a little more understanding for the customer. Someone needs to tell her there is no business without a customer!

Wonky Girl said...

Total agreement with you. Very misleading.
If "no one carries that much stock" (and she doesn't), then why say she does?

Impera_Magna said...

If "all purchases are made to order"... then this should be stated on the website. Plain and simple.

Questionable business practices => I don't think I'd want to shop with that business again.

Sheila said...

It certainly sounds like you handled this situation in a respectful manner Kimberly. I, along with the others totally agree with that it sounded misleading. Simply making a change in the amount and or adding the comment "all items made to order" would give the purchaser the info they need when shopping on all sites, not just hers. Asking you to not shop with any more seems a bit drastic. Hopefully you will be able to find another site to purchase from.

Andrea Hildebrandt said...

In this day and age of online shopping there is no room for misinterpretation. A seller needs to be very honest and particular in how they describe their product. I could say a lot about this, but I'll sum it up this way: 'In stock' can only be interpreted one way. Way to take a stand as a consumer, Kim. Her business 'ethics' will bite her in the butt eventually, if they haven't already.

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

Hey are so right!!!! and I definitely wouldn't do business with her again..bad business.;)

Canadian Kristin said...

Agreed. "Custom order" or "Made to order" are a long way from "in stock". I would say that her kicking you out of her e-store is her knowing she was doing wrong.

The fact that you haven't publicly slagged her on your own blog further shows that you are not a difficult customer but an honest one looking for clarity.

Carmen at Old House Kitchen said...

Totally agree! I would feel misled as well.

Tami said...

I, too, agree that you handled the situation with integrity. I kept waiting for you to mention her site as a warning to others but you didn't. I respect that. I hope she reads your blog and everyone's comments to see that she, at the very least, misrepresented herself and was wrong to exclude you as a future customer. There are many places we can spend our money so it's surprising that she would so quickly invite you to shop elsewhere.

I believe that what goes around comes around. Too bad so many people think they can get away with dishonesty just to make a dollar.

Way to take the high road. :)

Anonymous said...

If she had 50 in stock, then I would assume she had them on hand. first time on your blog, very nice.
You were very diplomatic in your correspondence with her. You be blessed today. And if you want some snow, we have 8", and melting in Denver area.