Show That You Care

I placed an order a few days ago for an item listed as next day delivery. A few minutes after completing the order on the site, I got an email that read as follows:

Thank you for ordering with Business X Delivery! Your order has been received and is being processed.

Your order is scheduled for delivery on the following dates between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, pending credit approval and inventory confirmation. A contact person must be available to accept the delivery by signing for and confirming the items you have ordered.

Below please find the items you have placed on this order and the corresponding delivery date(s). If there is a problem with your order, you will receive a follow-up contact.

Below listed the details of the order, including the fact that I had requested an alternate delivery address, since I did not intend to stay home all day, and could not recieve the package at work. I took this to be a confirmation that the delivery would be made.

A short while later, another email arrived:


Please be advised that we are unable to deliver your laptop to an alternate location other than the billing address. If this is not possible we can have it delivered to a store location so you can provide photo id and credit card. Please advise how you would like to proceed with the order. Your order will remain on hold for 48hrs. Please reference order 1234567890.

Thank you

I was somewhat confused, as I had ordered a desktop, not a laptop, and it was the only item in the order. That is, the store should have known when I placed the order that alternate delivery locations were not supported, and informed me then.

I resigned myself to sitting around all day, and replied to the email that it would be okay to deliver to the billing address. I waited for a confirmation that the package would be delivered, but nothing came. However, past experience told me that deliveries in my area are usually made around 7:30 AM, so I hoped I would be able to go into the office in any case.

When 11:00 came around, and still no package, I began to wonder. The store had not confirmed that my package was no longer on hold, so perhaps I was waiting in vain. However, a quick call to their service line reassured me that it was showing up on their system as “On Delivery”.

The package did arrive eventually, but it also convinced me not to order from this store online anymore. The experience was too broken for me:

  1. I should have been told about the issue with delivering computers to anywhere other than the billing address when I placed the order;
  2. The email confirming the delivery time should have indicated this as well;
  3. The email informing me that the delivery would have to be made to the billing address should have provided information about how to confirm the delivery (there was nothing else in the email, so I assumed I could reply and that would suffice);
  4. There should have been a follow-up to my confirmation that delivering to the billing address was okay to reconfirm the delivery date;
  5. There should be a service on their site to enter an order number and see the status;
  6. The delivery window should be a lot smaller than 9 to 5 – at a minimum, choose morning or afternoon.

Any one of these items on its own would not have been a big deal, but the experience worsened at each turn. Other sites have learned how to make the ordering process as customer friendly as possible, providing information whenever appropriate, and making it easy for people to look up status of their orders, and being clear in all communications.

This company has a lot to learn about caring for its customers.