In our effort to eat healthier, my partner and I bought a Vitamix blender online from a well-known retailer, right after seeing an impressive demonstration. After hitting checkout, we got a confirmation email, followed five seconds later with another unique confirmation email. We thought it was just a glitch until we noticed that the two confirmation numbers didn’t match.
We immediately called the retailer and explained this anomaly. The customer service rep said not to worry; since we caught it so quickly, it won’t even be charged to our credit card. We had bought the “first one” with a combination of credit card and gift certificate that my partner had won, while the “second one” was charged fully to my card. That’s when the negotiation began.
One day later, our credit card was charged double the price of the blender. We again called the company and were assured that the charge would be reversed within five business days and that the additional item would not be shipped. Satisfied, we forgot about it. Five days later, two Vitamix blenders showed up and the credit charge had not disappeared. When we called the retailer back, we were told to bring the extra unit back to the store for a credit, and it would be shipped back for no charge. We argued that the credit should’ve already been applied. But the store said that since the unit was shipped, we couldn’t receive credit until the unit was returned.
Getting a bit frustrated here!
We returned the unit to the store and handed our card to a person, who said he could accept the unit, but the online store had to issue the credit. The retailer could set it up in its system, and it would take another five days. I was a bit miffed, but since we purchase often from this store, I said okay. It’s unlike me to not ask for something!
A few days later, a credit appeared for two-thirds of the price of the Vitamix. Now really furious, I called and asked what happened. The rep said that the company had refunded that portion of the blender and had sent us a gift card for the rest. I said that was not acceptable. The rep said to wait until the gift card arrives and the company will refund the rest. Just call.
Set up for the final negotiation
Two days later, I got the card and called the rep. “Since we purchased many hundreds of dollars of items from you this year,” I said, “and since you’re about to lose a customer for life, I propose that you refund the balance of the Vitamix to my credit card and then allow us to keep the gift card as payment for our troubles. After being put on hold for five, the rep said that since we were so patient with our mistake, the retailer would like to us to keep the gift card as an apology.
Lesson learned. Even the most well-known trading partners may accept your proposal if you present them with the facts. Each time, I recorded the name and facts and read them back. We will continue shopping at this retailer, but will make sure to always check our receipts. Thanks for the gift card, WS.
Marty Finkle, CEO Scotwork NA