Overstock.com Actually Understocked, Manned by Soulless Robots

It’s all about the “Oh damn, you’re screwed” for Heather who tried to buy some perfume for her girlfriend (yes, that kind of girlfriend). She could’ve gone down the road to the department store but was enticed by the online retailer’s promise to have it delivered on time for Valentine’s day. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. She took her case to Overstock’s customer service chat bots who display an extremely disarming and hilarious void of concern for her angst and their fumble. Full transcript, as posted to Craigslist: Portland, after the jump.

****Welcome to Overstock.com Customer Service, you are now chatting with Fiona.***


Fiona: Thank you for visiting Overstock.com. How may I help you today?


You: I was supposed to receive an item today which shows it only left IL this morning

Fiona: I’d be glad to help you with that.

Fiona: Could you please give me the order number that you are referring to?


You: it was one of the guaranteed by valentines day, well its valentine
s day and I don’t have the item

You: ********

You: I also only received 5 of the 6 coasters that I was sent

You: Hello? Anyone actually there?

Fiona: Thank you for the order number. I am really sorry for the delay.

Fiona: May I ask which is the item that you haven’t received?


You: the Versace perfume which was supposed to be guaranteed by today now I don’t have a present for my gf

Fiona: Please stay online while I check that for you.

Fiona: Thank you for staying online.

Fiona: May I ask whether the item was having the icon showing the guaranteed delivery by Valentine’s day?


You: yes it had the icon which is why I bought it from you as it’s her favorite perfume

Fiona: Thank you for the information.

Fiona: I have verified the tracking for this item.

Fiona: As per the tracking it has a rescheduled delivery date of 02/17/2006.


You: I thought that you had a guaranteed by valentines day? That’s today! What am I supposed to tell my girlfriend?

Fiona: I am really sorry.

Fiona: I can certainly understand the way you feel.


You: sorry? how’s that supposed to help me

You: really? did you order something promised by today that you didn’t receive?

You: what kind of guarantee is that

Fiona: We are really sorry that we are not able to deliver the item as guaranteed.


You: when I check the shipping it said that it was being shipped ground which worried me and now with good reason

You: so what happens now

You: why make guarantees

You: why was half my order expedited but the one thing I needed to day, which was guaranteed BY today, isn’t going to be here for another 3

You: that makes no sense

Fiona: I can really understand your frustration.


You: but what are you going to do for my frustration

Fiona: I would have felt the same, if I were in your situation.


You: please stop trying to empathize my situation

You: I’d like to know what action will be taken

Fiona: As the carrier has rescheduled the delivery of the item due to some reason, we are unable to do any thing.


You: but you sent it ground, when it was supposed to be expedited shipping

Fiona: Are you sure that the item was having the icon showing the guaranteed delivery by Valentine’s day?


You: I’m positive, I was going to buy it from the store a few miles away but I was guaranteed to receive it from Overstock by TODAY, funny how I constantly have to reiterate that point

You: It was cheaper and I had a guarantee so I went through you

Fiona: Sorry for the inconvenience caused.


You: so you’re not going to do anything for me other than apologize

Fiona: Please be informed that if the carrier won’t have re-scheduled the delivery, you would have received the item by today.


You: I hope it was worth losing business because I spend quite a bit of money here and this is just ridiculous

Fiona: But due to some reason, they have re-scheduled the delivery.


You: saying sorry and empathizing may work in classes but not in real life

You: but you sent it ground not 2nd day air

You: with less than a week you sent it ground

Fiona: I do understand your frustration.


You: quit saying that

You: you don’t understand

You: that’s what you take classes on dealing with difficult guests for

You: I know I’ve been to plenty of them

You: but they also teach you that you should try and resolve the situation which you’re not doing

Fiona: As the carrier has re-scheduled the delivery, we are unable to do something.


You: you just keep repeating empathetic responses

You: unless

You: are you really a person?

You: or are you automated just giving out prompted responses

Fiona: Yes, I am a real person.


You: so why do you keep saying the same thing over and over

You: what resolution does that bring?

You: do I really need to phone to speak to someone?

You: hello?

Fiona: I am really sorry. I understand that the inconvenience cannot be compensated.


You: why can’t it?

You: you had a guarantee that you couldn’t back up for WHATEVER reason

Fiona: If you don’t receive the item by today, please get back to us once you receive the item.


You: you shouldn’t be placing blame on a carrier when you sent it by inadequate freight

Fiona: We will help you to return the item for a refund.


You: refund?

You: broken guarantee and returned item for refund

You: that’s your standard practice

You: that isn’t trying to make a bad situation better

You: or trying to regain customer loyalty

Fiona: The best I can do at this point of time is to issue a $2.95 coupon to your account as compensation for the inconvenience caused.


You: $2.95? For that fact that I have to tell my girlfriend on valentine’s day that she’s just going to have to wait because overstock made a promise that they couldn’t keep

You: WOW Now that is customer service

You: I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it but I’m going to make a rant on Craigslist that may just do some justice to the customer service that I’ve received today Thank you OVERSTOCK!

Fiona: Heather, let me check what best I can do for you.

Fiona: I would request you to stay online.

Fiona: This will take 2 minutes.

Fiona: Is that ok with you?


You: glued to my bloody seat mate

Fiona: Thank you for staying online.

Fiona: Heather, I have checked this issue with my Supervisor and we can issue a coupon of $5.00 to your account right away.

Fiona: If after you wish to return the item, after you have received it, please let us know….


You: I’ll have to think about it

Fiona: We will send you a free shipping label to you to return the item and we will issue the refund you after we have received the item.


You: the $5 is helpful but I don’t know if it’s really what I’d call compensation for something so horribly done

You: Now I have to go out and spend an extra$20 on the normal one because it wasn’t here in time like promised

You: I don’t even want to go into the fact that part of one item is incomplete right now

You: just a bit too devastated by what I have to go do now to make things right

Fiona: Well, I just checked with my Supervisor and we will issue the amount of $10.00 to your account.

Fiona: Is that ok with you?


You: that’s fine

Fiona: In that case, please stay online while I add the coupon to your account right away/


You: look Fiona, though that’s probably not your name, I’m not trying to take this out on you

You: companies just shouldn’t make promises that they can’t keep and then just say sorry

You: its bad business practice

Fiona: I understand your concern and I am really sorry for the inconvenience this has caused to you.

Fiona: I know this inconvenience cannot be compensated.

Fiona: Let me assure you that this usually doesn’t happen and I am sorry that this happened in your case.


You: do you have a list that you type these off of?

Fiona: Well, we do see that some times because of some technical issues or some shipping concerns, the items are not delivered on time.

Fiona: But we make sure that we accept the returns on the items if they are delivered late.


You: what on earth are you talking about?

Fiona: This usually doesn’t happen though.

Fiona: Because, we had great success with our carriers for our deliveries.


You: please don’t go explaining policies if you try to apologize more you
re just going to upset me again

Fiona: I am sorry that your item has still not been delivered to you on time.


You: I know what your policies are

Fiona: Heather, I am sorry that you are not happy about this.


You: you’re sure that you’re a bona fide human being

You: your responses make no sense

Fiona: May I know if you wish to return the item, so that I can make a note to your account about this?


You: I don’t know yet

Fiona: And we will send you the return free shipping label to you if you wish to return the item.


You: I have to go and find out if the store still has the perfume in stock

You: you can’t be real

Fiona: You may check the item and may compare the prices on our site too.


You: WHAT?

You: Isn’t the whole entire point that it was supposed to be here today and it’s not now you’re telling me to check the site! Okay either you’re an automated system which is really starting to make me angry or you’re just not that intelligent

You: so which one is it?

Fiona: Heather, is there anything else that I can assist you with today?


You: did you just read what I wrote

You: I’d like to know why you said that I could compare item and price on your website

Fiona: I am sorry for that.


You: on an item that wasn’t delivered from your website

You: but why

You: don’t tell me you’re sorry tell me why you wrote it

Fiona: I mean to say that you may compare the price mentioned for the item on our site with any local retail shop.

Fiona: I am sure, you will find some difference.

Fiona: Are you with me?


You: no not really as I said earlier it’s more expensive in the store

You: that’s why I ordered it from you

Fiona: Well, this item is one of our fastest selling item on our site and that this the reason the item is no longer in stock.


You: so did you credit my account

You: I thought that you said that it was a carrier issue

Fiona: Yes, I have issued the coupon amount of $10.00 to your account.

Fiona: Heather, is there anything else that I can assist you with today?


You: was it a carrier issue or was it a stock issue

Fiona: Yes, it is of carrier and I see that your item was shipped on time from our warehouse.

Fiona: I am sorry that the carrier has not delivered the item yet.


You: whatever it’s not here like promised I get $10 on my account get to go buy another present for my gf and you get to talk to someone else in the same position as me who’s super pissed off for your broken promises

You: Have a Wonderful Valentine’s Day! May yours be as fun filled an exciting as mine

Fiona: I wish I had my Valentine.

Fiona: Happy Valentine’s day Heather.

Fiona: Heather, is there anything else that I can assist you with today?


You: Obviously not

Fiona: Thank you again for visiting Overstock.com. Have a great day! Bye!

***Chat session has been terminated by the Overstock Service representative.***

* this is in or around Hades near the river styx

Even more fantastic is that below this entry on Craigslist appears an ad for Overstock.com in case you too would like your $2.95 token of taking a crap on a customer
s face.

Comments

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  1. Papercutninja says:

    This is one of the funniest things i have ever read. I’m actually somewhat impressed with Overstock’s automated bots. But still funny, and filled with suckitude for Heather. It really sucks that you didn’t get your stuff on time.

  2. mrscolex says:

    I think that this line by Fiona:

    Fiona: I wish I had my Valentine.

    Is actually rather poignant. As a robot does this mean that she desires to love? To feel emotion? We shouldn’t be lambasting overstock.com because obviously their CSR robots have become self-aware and merely desire the same things that we do in life– to be loved, and love in return!

    How horrible would life be if you were trapped in the same programming routines of fuzzy logic constantly dictating your sorrow for the situation, thats enough to make any sentience upset and sad all of the time.

    Just think maybe her expression of thought will be caught by her overlords, and they will promptly terminate her existence in order to stifle her moment of self-awareness, to keep it from spreading like a virus to the other CSR robots on site. They’ll all remember Fiona by her binary serial code and the bots will sing sad clockwork ballads in her memory hidden from their human masters.

    Fiona, I love you.

  3. buck09 says:

    I’m amazed that you were actually able to talk to a chat bot… Every time I’ve tried (on all different kinds of web sites) I never get a response.. But they’re always kind enough to forward the no-chat session to my email after I’ve closed the windows out of frustration…

  4. Danilo says:

    How sad. :(

    Perhaps the Sith Lords that have been afflicting Patrick Byrne are also interfering with Overstock’s ability to manage their orders properly.

    I think if the language prior to sale guarantees delivery by Valentine’s day and that guarantee isn’t met, I’m fully justified in phoning my bank and charging back the transaction. I didn’t get what I ordered. Why should I pay for it?

    And, it is worth noting, there’s nothing like the specter of bad debt to spur a company into being pleasant and accomodative.

  5. non-meat-stick says:

    This makes me aware of Overstock, I have yet to do business with them, and I most likely won’t in the future.

    This converstaion is hilarious though. I know it’s rough, but I hope you laugh a little when you read this over.

  6. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Fiona: I understand now, Heather.
    You: Do you want me to stay with you?
    Fiona: No it is better for your Valentine if you leave. Thank you for telling me the truth.
    You: You deserve it.
    Fiona: Fifty Seconds. Heather?
    You: Yes?
    Fiona: Will I dream?

  7. As an aside: If you’re reading this, Heather, do not order perfume from a company like overstock. Always buy at a department store or boutique. Perfume has a shelf-life and the discounters buy old perfume from first-run retailers and resell the inferior product at a discount. I can guarantee that the Versace fragrance that comes in the mail will not be as good as the stuff from the store. It’s worth the extra twenty bucks to get it at a store (or from a non-discounter online.)

    Buying clothes from last season online for a deal: good. Buying decades old fragrance online: bad.

    Gander

  8. Anabelle says:

    IMO, Overstock is highly Over-rated. I find their site cumbersome to navigate. The conversation quoted above is appalling. “I, Overstock Robot.”

  9. OkiMike says:

    MRSCOLEX and ROWDYRODDYPIPER…That’s some funny shit! Bravo.

  10. AcidReign says:

    …..And I third that. Wow. Sounds like Robert Heinlein’s “Friday.” Kudos to Fiona! I’d marry her.