Ask The Consumerists: ZipZoomFly

While the cutthroat world of online retailers may be able to give you that Linksys 1 gig network storage device for $84 vs. CompUSA’s $104, that price drop comes at a premium. If you have a problem with your order, you may not ever be able to get a hold of anyone. Of course, considering CompUSA’s aluminum standard customer service level, you might be better off. Regardless, Peter writes in with a complaint about ZipZoomFly and his failure to get them to ship him the right part, even after repeated calls.

Do you have any advice about how he can bring some pressure to bear or otherwise get his issue resolved?

UPDATE: Belay that request. Peter did finally get in touch with ZipZoomFly. Turns out they sent his code for returning the product to the wrong email address. They’ve sill lost him as a customer, though.

Read the case history, after the jump…

Peter writes:

“The long-and-the-short of it is that they sent the wrong item, I tried valiantly to get an RMA, they failed utterly to get back in touch with me, and now I’m left holding the back with the wrong part and no way of getting in touch with them. Needless to say I’ll be doing all off my business with Newegg in the future instead.

Here’s the chronology:

6/3/06 – Placed order for RAM, heatsink, and harddrive; paid extra to upgrade shipping to Fedex 2-day
6/6/06 – Order ships from warehouse
6/8/06 – Order arrives, the RAM is not what I ordered (ZZF# 80093-21 shipped instead of #80098-21), this seems like a fairly innocuous warehouse mistake
6/9/06 – I call ZZF CSR, no answer, I leave a message, no reply; I call ZZF CSR, no answer, I leave a message, no replay; I call ZZF CSR, this time I finally get through. I go through my song and dance and the CSR offers an RMA [ed. Return Materials Authorization] , I’m not happy about being required to wait for my part to hit their warehouse before they’ll send the replacement (this seems like awful an practice, BTW) but I submit, the woman promises to email me an RMA.
6/12/06 – With no RMA email in my inbox I decide to circumvent the telephone mess and email CSR with an RMA request.
6/14/06 – Still no RMA in my inbox, this time I try phoning CSR again, no answer. I call again pretending that I have a rotary phone, still no answer”

We want to make sure that Peter hasn’t tried using this page yet: http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/RMAEmail.jsp

Even still, that doesn’t excuse their abysmal customer service or inability to fulfill their promises.

Peter’s second letter after we forwarded his issue to the ZZF president and service desk:

“I appreciate the support. I did try the RMA link on the ZZF’s website but got no response.

Yesterday I finally got in touch with customer service on my nth try. It turns out that they did email an RMA after I first spoke to a CSR last Friday (6/9), but they sent the RMA to the wrong email address. I confirmed the correct address and received the RMA, for the moment at least things seem to be resolved.

Zipzoomfly has definitely lost me as a customer though. I’ve done business in the past and been happy with them, their prices are low and their shipping is prompt. They made a simple mistake on this order which wasn’t a big deal, but two weeks for resolution is ridiculous and their customer service was abysmal. Each time I called I was put on hold briefly before being dumped into an answering machine, to which they never returned calls. When I did get in touch with a CSR they wanted to charge me return shipping and a 15% restocking fee. In the end they agreed to cover return shipping and restocking only if I agreed to re-place the order a second time through the website.

Again, thanks for the help,

Peter”