Gymboree And UPS Worked Together To Make My Life Incredibly Awkward

Caitlin has a bit of advice: if you plan to order from Gymboree and have some items shipped to you and other items shipped to a friend as a gift, don’t order all of the items in the same transaction. Maybe not on the same day. She writes that the company messed up her order in every way short of losing it or sending the wrong items, and has put her in the awkward position of having to ask her friend to send what appeared to be a gift, but was actually Caitlin’s order, to Caitlin. Gymboree, for its part, blames UPS.

I am writing this to express my dissatisfaction with a recent transaction with Gymboree. While I have ordered gifts for many of my girlfriends over the last several years, my most recent order has left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I do not think I will be ordering again.

On September 1st, I placed an order of two packages to two separate addresses; one for a gift for my friend’s baby, and one for my own. The online system would not process my order, and asked that I call customer service to complete it.

I called the number and reviewed my order step-by step with the agent. A gift box and message to be sent with the package to my friend was ordered; I had asked that the Gymboree “rewards dollars” be mailed with my own package to my home address along with both receipts. The representative said that everything went through and not to check the order confirmation page because it would be very confusing.

Later that day, I opened my email and saw that the order was completely incorrect. The addresses were listed incorrectly and there was no mention of a gift box or message. I called Gymboree again, and was told that this situation would have to be escalated. I was called back 90 minutes later and the manager explained that the order had been corrected.

The shipping order status then said that both orders were shipped; one on 9/2, one on 9/3, to the correct addresses.

Today, when I checked the tracking numbers, it shows that both of the packages were delivered to my friend’s house.

I called customer service; the representative now stated that the shipment debacle is not Gymboree’s fault, since they had been appropriately addressed when they left the warehouse. She recommended that I should call UPS to try to have my friend bring back one of the packages to a UPS store. I asked to speak with a manager to get this resolved, but she said that no one could help me due to “phone issues”. Gymboree has essentially messed up every aspect of this order and has left me to try to pick up the pieces.

So now, I am left with both packages at the same address, the boxes are including the receipts (which I specifically asked not to be sent to the receiving party), and Gymboree’s best advice is for me to ask my friend to send the package back to me. This is an extremely frustrating (and embarrassing) situation!

Having the friend bring the box back might be the most expedient solution, but is still incredibly awkward. Also, something doesn’t add up. How can two different boxes ship on different days, but arrive at the same place if they were addressed correctly?

The question Caitlin needs to ask herself is: how would she rather the company handle the situation? Once she decides on the resolution she wants, it’s time to go through the steps in The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back and, well, fight back.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

    This definitely sounds like Gymboree’s fault rather than UPS like they’re claiming. The rep said not to check the confirmation email? That’s pretty fishy.

  2. allknowingtomato says:

    If the packages were appropriately addressed when they left the warehouse, they would not have both arrived at the same address. I doubt gymboree only sent those two packages via ups that day, so why would UPS by pure chance have misdelivered the OP’s package to the gift givee’s address? Also, presumably there would be physical evidence on the packaging as to how the items were originally addressed by gymboree, so they can be officially called out on their pass-the-buck BS.

    I don’t see how Gymboree can even begin to blame UPS for the inclusion of receipts. Did UPS print out some receipts, open the gymboree box, add them, and then mis-address the packages? Gymboree needs to make right if it wants to be seen as competent enough for my business.

  3. tomomi says:

    Definitely Gymboree’s fault, but if the friend is a good enough friend to be getting sent some of Gymboree’s super overpriced clothing I doubt the friend would be all that upset to hear the saga of the awful Gymboree customer service that led to this issue! She’d probably agree it was awful and join in the irritation.

  4. Gulliver says:

    This is a mistake, but is is an easy one to fix. Call your friend. If that is awkward in your life, you really need to grow up. Shit happens in life. It’s not like you were buying a vibrator and sent it to you friend. If you pick up the phone and say, “Friend, I sent you a gift and they accidentally included items I bought and my rewards information. Could you please send those back to me?” If your friend is offended or you feel that is awkward, you really need a new group of friends.

    • hotcocoa says:

      What kind of crappy ass advice is this? What if said friend is across the country? Why should the friend need to take time out of her day and money out of her wallet to rectify a mistake that was not hers? The OP already had to call Gymboree several times and got some run-around/blame shifting.
      Gymboree should work with UPS or their shipping dept. to send the friend a pre-paid label to slap on the OP’s box so the friend can drop it off in a mailbox (if small enough). If not, it’s still a pain in the ass to make it to a post office before it closes during the week. And if I bought a gift for someone, I wouldn’t want them having the billing info. right there in their box either.

      • redwing41 says:

        Are you serious? Because she’s a friend.

        A friend going out of their way for their friend (and getting something in return). WOW, That’s a new idea!

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Crap happens. If you’re a friend, you acknowledge that crap happens and sometimes it happens to you. You would be a terrible friend if you were aggravated that the friend who cared enough to send you a gift needed a small favor.

    • Ilovegnomes says:

      The whole idea of shopping online is so that you DON’T have to go to the post office with an infant. That goes for the purchaser or her friend the receiver. Some shipping companies will do home pick up. I’m surprised that Gymboree didn’t offer to contact UPS for a package pick up at the friend’s home and offer to make the order right.

  5. Winfield says:

    I agree that this is a very sticky situation – one that Gymboree needs to fix!

  6. B* says:

    Unless she bought thousands of dollars’ worth of clothes, Gymboree needs to just take the hit and send her a replacement. If it were a regular mix-up then yeah, they should only be held liable for a shipping label and maybe refunding her shipping. But mixing up a gift order, in my opinion, is 100 times worse.

  7. Kryndis says:

    This is obviously Gymboree’s fault and I don’t see why you should have to do their dirty work for them. Call them and explain your package was not received and appears to have been shipped to the wrong address. You want a replacement sent out immediately. Leave it to them and UPS if they want to try to contact the friend and get the misdirected package back to their warehouse.

    Shouldn’t matter if you know the party that received the package or not. It didn’t go where you paid for it to go, not your problem how to get it back.

  8. crb042 says:

    Why do so many places forward you to UPS? (or whatever shipper they use.)

    You paid the online store. THEY sub-contracted with the shipper. They also probably have a lot of pull with the shipper since they use them frequently. The store should handle this no matter what – if it turns out to be the shipper’s fault then the store will address that.

    • allknowingtomato says:

      Businesses sometimes direct you to a common carrier because under contract law, in certain situations the seller’s duty to provide the buyer with the product is considered ‘complete’ when the common carrier has possession of the goods and correct instructions to deliver them. It is not in all situations that this is the case (cannot remember the specific instances where it differs) and in any event i don’t think it’s a good business practice to balk at trying to help the customer (unless it’s a VERY expensive item that never arrived).

  9. evilpete says:

    She did not receive the items if you ordered.

    Handle it like a misdelivery or missing pack.

    I look at it this way, until you sign for it, it’s their problem.

  10. KennyS says:

    They’re charging you for something that you did not receive. Chargeback.

    Your friend received items that she did not order (your mishipped items) so she is not requied to do anything and can consider them a gift.

    • hosehead says:

      My first thought as well. Hopefully you used a useful card, like AMEX.

    • graylits says:

      That law is only true for USPS shipped items. UPS/Gymboree can go to her friend and ask for package back. They likely wouldn’t get it even going to court, but there is no explicit right to keep the package as with USPS shipped items.

      Gymboree does have a legal responsibility that Caitlin receives the package she ordered though. So they need to reship and Caitlin needs to remind them of that responsibility.

  11. ecwis says:

    If her friend hasn’t opened the package, she should just call UPS and tell them they delivered it to the wrong address. UPS will send the package back to Gymboree and they should refund the appropriate charges. That’s the easiest way at least.

  12. frugalmom says:

    How do you even select two different shipping addresses for the same order? It sounds like she wanted the orders together to reach a threshold at which she could use a coupon, and doing this way screwed everything up. As soon as there was a problem, personally I would have canceled my part of the order and redone it as a separate order.