Woot Treats Its Customers Nicely

We’re already fond of Woot for consistently having the most entertaining ad copy around, but a reader has reported that when they recently screwed up a large number of Zune orders—and not even in a terrible way—they shipped free $100 accessory kits to everyone who was affected, then sent out a frank email that explained the situation and guaranteed a full refund to anyone who still wasn’t satisfied. They handled the situation quickly and in a way that will likely prevent many customers from complaining or feeling cheated. And best of all, they were up front about the snafu and treated their customers with respect.

According to the email, Woot miscounted their brown Zunes and realized this only as they were preparing their shipments. They substituted black models for brown:

…While many did not care about color, and some may perceive the black color to be a higher value (correct at least from Woot’s financial perspective), the dilemma was of course it wasn’t what you ordered. Unfortunately, we also had little time to act as we were at the fringe of shipment expectations already. The story does get better, however; we were able to persuade our marketing minds that this was a good opportunity for their budget to expand:

We have included a bonus: A Microsoft Zune Travel Pack has been shipped with your order

The Zune Travel Pack has 5 products including the Zune Premium Earphones, Dual Connect Remote, AC Charger, Sync cable, and a decent bag. These are new retail boxed and carry a Microsoft MSRP of $99.99. Information from Microsoft and links to street pricing are here: http://www.zune.net/en-us/accessories/zune/zunetravelpack.htm#

While your orders left our building only recently, they are on their way. I hope that those of you who are fans of the brown zune find our emergency solution to be acceptable-it was a rather expensive action. Due to logistics delay, there was no time available to make this an opt-in program (or everyone’s zunes would not ship until next week.) As things stand now, if this solution does not meet with your acceptance, we’re down to a last resort of issuing a call-tag to pick it back up (once it arrives) and issue you a full refund.

Nicely done, Woot! You seem both smarter and nicer than, say, the execs at EB Games. Please buy them.

(thanks to Phillip!)
(Photo: Salim Virji)

Comments

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  1. Illusio26 says:

    I love woot. I wish more companies would take a lesson from them.

  2. JKinNYC says:

    This is par for the course with them. I ordered some wine. It was just not good. No questions asked, my money back, and got a coupon for my next order, which was good. (Plus the wine was ok enough to make Sangria out of, which the woot guy even suggested).

    Two other times I bought stuff and it showed up DOA. Two no-questions-asked refunds. I think that, because of their business model, they are probably getting some percentage of units free from the Manufacturer and just expect this to be like this.

    Woot is awesome.

  3. iaintgoingthere says:

    Could someone please explain to me what “woot” means?

  4. Hawkins says:

    I had a problem with a Woot order once. I e-mailed them, expecting a fight, since it was partly my fault… and they did everything I wanted them to, obediently and meekly.

    Submissively, even.

    I have since bought more stuff from them. And find myself writing positive things about them.

    Funny how that works.

  5. mmcnary says:

    I wish I had waited a couple of hours to order my Zune. I would have gotten this deal, just like the guy how sits across from me.

  6. medic78 says:

    @iaintgoingthere: It is kinda like a garbled version of a cheer. Similar to “woohoo”.

    Seriously though, Woot is awesome. You can really get good deals at the site, and the folks that run it are fantastic. Other companies have started to take notice, and are copying their style, but unfortunately, they aren’t copying the amazing customer service.

    This is the only site that sells stuff that I visit EVERY single day.

  7. buffalo888 says:

    Woot has been pretty good, but I had some serious issues with Wine.woot the last time I used them. They had stated that they would be shipping to my state, but the winery was refusing to do so at that point in time, as they “had to gather more information about my state’s state law.” Well after a month and 5-8 emails to Wine.woot moderators and my threatening of a chargeback, they finally gave me a refund. I haven’t used the Wine.woot service since, and doubt I will again.

  8. dh86sj says:

    Woot sucks – I can never get my Bags of Crap!!!

  9. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @dh86sj: I’ve been a Wooter for years and I always get my BOC when I happen to be around for one.

    Get an ISP with better latency. Sign in ten minutes before midnight and make sure your address and credit card info is updated. Memorize the three-digit security code on the back of your credit card. Consider downloading a Woot-Off Checker that automatically opens a Woot window when it senses a BOC (WootAmator does, but it sometimes hangs during a Woot-Off).

  10. sporesdeezeez says:

    Well, I’m glad you guys finally came around on Woot. Remember when Consumerist “wished ‘we’ had never Wooted?” Something about a broken DVD player or some such.

    Yep, it’s true. Woot works pretty well, all things considered, and they are still at that stage in the corporate lifecycle where they have not become short-sightedly, crack-fiend-like obsessed with saving pennies. Their mission has not crept off of selling overstock items to the snarky, cut-above consumer, and doing it with style.

  11. allgoodshirts says:

    It seems that although Woot itself is par-excellent in the customer satisfaction arena, their subsidiaries aren’t necessarily up to snuff. Several people have already commented about wine.woot issues and their shirt.woot message boards at [shirt.woot.com] point to some customer services (and quality) issues there as well.

  12. The HZA. says:

    Woot sucks! I stopped buying stuff from there after having some electronic items stop working within a month of purchase. And then when I emailed them to ask what to do. They don’t even care. I had to pay to return it to them and then get a refund with in a few weeks.

    Nope. You can suck it Woot.

    They are pretty much some corporate puppet since being bought by Yahoo.

  13. Hreshfull says:

    @heathermylove: Yahoo didn’t buy Woot!. They’re just partners for sellout.woot, the irony of which always makes me giggle.

    [www.woot.com] was the actual announcement.

    I’m a bit biased, since the woot HQ is all of 15 miles from my house, but they’re a pretty good organization.

  14. chemman says:

    @medic78:

    I always thought woot stood for “We Own the Other Team”, not a garbled version of woohoo.

  15. everclear75 says:

    I was one of the lucky ones who received this e-mail.
    As much as I was bashing the zunes to others, I just couldn’t pass this deal up. Props to Woot, for taking care of business when needed. I have bought several things from them, and NEVER had a problem with them..
    The only drawback is that I only bought one of those zunes. Had I known about this, I would’ve bought 3 of them.. :(
    Besides, the brown ones are known as Ipoods!

  16. chrispiss says:

    According to Wikipedia:

    w00t, w00T or WOOT – First two express exuberance, and the last is a backronym for the term “We Own the Other Team”.[1] or “Wow, lOOT”. See L33t.

  17. alice_bunnie says:

    @heathermylove:

    I had a Roomba die on me right at 30 days, I emailed them. I did have to pay the shipping back, but within 7 days I got my refund and they even refunded the original shipping which a lot of places don’t do. I was very happy with that.

    I’m very happy with Woot.

  18. FightOnTrojans says:

    DANG! Why didn’t they do this with the VIP Zune buyers? I’d gladly trade the $5 credit they gave me for the travel pack.

    Woot is great. They gave certain buyers of the Zune from their VIP site a $5 credit because they didn’t ship out the Zunes according to the way they were ordered. Apparently, it made more sense (logistically) to fill and ship all the single orders first, then the double orders, then the triple orders. So, if you were one of the 1st buyers, and you bought three, then your order wouldn’t ship until all the single and double orders went out first. Some people’s orders were seriously delayed, but fortunately mine wasn’t. Heck, I got my order within the timeframe I expected, and I would not have known there was any delay had they not sent me an email telling me and giving me a $5 credit for a future purchase.

    As mentioned previously, the only website I check everyday religiously at 10pm. I’m still looking for my 1st Bandolier of Carrots.

  19. mbrutsch says:

    I love Woot. Their customer service has always been exceptional, and they are never afraid to spend a couple of bucks to keep their customers happy. They *do* sell crap sometimes (Vector, anyone?), and I go off p*ssing and moaning in their forums, but they always make it right. Or even better than right.

  20. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I placed my first two orders with Woot after seeing an announcement of a “Woot-off” here a couple of weeks ago.
    First, my stuff came really quickly & in great shape.
    Second, it came on the date it was estimated to come.
    Third, all of the emails about the orders came quickly and contained the information I needed to plan for delivery.
    and Forth, they only charged $5.00 for shipping the entire order, which was a really good deal.
    Exceptional service.

  21. AimeeGee says:

    I had a problem with an order from Woot a couple of weeks ago (not their fault, the FedEx delivery person left my package outside of my OFFICE BUILDING at 7:45pm on a Friday night… needless to say, the package wasn’t there when I came in Monday morning).

    I sent them an e-mail about the problem, they said, “Thanks, we’ll take care of it with FedEx, do you want us to ship you a new package or do you want a refund?”

    Very good customer service, Wooties.

  22. sporks says:

    I love Woot. I have yet to have any problems wooting with them, and I’ve been doing it a while. Sure, it might be lots of refurbs, but the service is worth it. And I’d like to meet the guy(s) who writes the product descriptions and give that person a high five. Seriously.

  23. glass says:

    I’ve had three experiences with woot, all very different from each other. In my first, I ordered a TV. FedEx was kind enough to leave it at the front door of an apartment complex in North Hollywood. Seems reasonable. Needless to say, I bought someone else a TV that day. I emailed woot to let them know what happened, and I had a full refund within a few days.

    My second experience was buying a TV (to replace the one I never got) during a woot-off. Weeks went by and I hadn’t received notification that it had shipped. I emailed woot, and they quickly responded that it would be shipping by next Tuesday. On Wednesday I emailed them again, since it had not shipped. From that point on, I emailed them every other day or so for three weeks. They never responded to any of them. This was happening to everyone who had purchased that TV. I posted this to their bulliten board, and the TVs were all shipped immediately after.

    My third experience was completely, thankfully, uneventful. I ordered by product, and received it about a week later.

  24. Apeweek says:

    Woot made good on a $100 rebate for me when the manufacturer wimped. They’re good people.

  25. zaq2g says:

    More of the same here. I once ordered two of one of thier two fer tuesday items (4 total items), but was shorted I item. I emailed them about it, and a few days later, I recieved the extra item, no questions asked. They resolved the problem quickly, and apologized for the error. Thanks woot!

  26. s01110011 says:

    Shirt.Woot has serious customer service issues.

    as evidenced here:[shirt.woot.com]
    In a nutshell:
    > There are customers (self included) that ordered shirts on the 14th of September that haven’t received them yet.
    > On the other hand, some people that ordered the same shirt much later have received them, and some people who requested replacement shirts (quality issues) have already received their replacement shirts
    > Cust. Service didn’t send out emails or post anything on their boards about the quality issues or inventory status
    > Emails have either been . not responded to . empty promises . not useful

    I’ve been a loyal Woot customer for years, and have ordered many items without issue – So I’ve never needed to talk to customer service.

    But this “Cool Breeze” debacle is casting serious doubts. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but thus far Woot customer service has been irresponsible and unresponsive.

  27. ne0shell says:

    I ordered some headphones from woot, searched out the fact they were the “un even” type and emailed them asking to cancel my order. It was done with no further work on my part and my card immediately credited. I love woot – I just wish more companies were that smart. :)

  28. EndangeredGoose says:

    As long as you keep in mind that Woot isn’t your standard store, you’ll be very happy. They are basically a clearance seller. If you like rummaging through the discount rack at your favorite electronics store, you’ll like Woot a lot!

  29. tcabeen says:

    To all the woot naysayers, let me say this:
    Woot is an insanely progressive company, and they take a lot of huge risks. Sometimes they set a trend, and sometimes they completely screw up.

    It’s better than the same ol’ crap we’re used to from other retailers and e-tailers. Besides, when they blow it, they make it right.

    These are closeout deals, people. It’s basically an online Big Lots. And every time I’ve caught them seling cheap junk, the sales copy CLEARLY STATES that it’s cheap junk.

    I <3 Woot

  30. MTBer says:

    I am one of those who ordered the brown Zune and got the email cited above. As it happens, it was my first woot order.

    I sent woot a reply email telling them that they did exactly the right thing, and it will ultimately pay dividends. When a retailer actually gets it right, I like to give them some positive feedback to encourage more of that behavior. I make a point of checking woot every day now, due in no small part to fact that they handled their error in such a transparent manner, clearly giving consideration to the long view.

    Regards,
    Eric

  31. MTBer says:

    As for the meaning of ‘woot’, I thought it stood for ‘Want one of those!’

    Regards,
    Eric

  32. Her Grace says:

    I love woot. So much. Even if I never do win the shirt.woot derbies.