Online Shopping Gone Wrong: What Stores & Brands Need to Do to Keep Consumers Buying!

This is the first of a series of posts on customer service and online shopping gone wrong. The basic premise is that I have had a series of poor shopping experiences online, ultimately by phone and had to go to corporate offices to get someone to do something about poor website functioning; poor customer service both online and on the phone. I will acknowledge those who ultimately did something to correct the situation and the problems with the site and the phone order staff to fix the problem and also share with you those stores/brands that didn’t. Some of these posts will be about direct customer contact between me and huge brands who are supposedly noted for providing great customer service only to find that it’s all so much puffery.

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I am starting today with CharlotteRusse.com because I just got off the phone with them (Sunday) about an order that was placed a week ago. A certain family member requested a messenger bag shown in the September 2010 Glamour Magazine that indicated the bag was available by phone and online — not the stores. I went to the Charlotte Russe site and did not find it there. I didn’t find much in the way of handbags a week ago though one week later there is a plethora of bags– but not the bag in question.

I went through the site to find the bag — looking under the tab at the top that says “As Seen In”. Last week, the page that I have linked to was not online. This week it was– and while the bag featured specifically indicates shopping online or by phone, the sticker on the page indicates “find it in stores”. Huh??? What’s up with that?

That’s not where the problem starts, that’s just a side note. While hunting down said bag, there were a number of promotions from CharlotteRusse going on last weekend and some still going on when I ultimately placed an order that I had attempted to place 4 times and thought I placed it the fourth time! (last week). I wondered what happened to the order since I had gotten one email from CharlotteRusse.com which indicated I had registered and offered me a 10% discount– so I knew something had gone through their system.

Here’s the fast version of the situation:
1) between Saturday & Sunday last week, I filled that shopping cart 4 times– but it kept emptying because I hadn’t moved fast enough according to the cart. By the fourth time, I had the speed in which to get the items put into the basket, went through the check-out process and registered with my email address and other essential information so that I could streamline any future purchases– based on the speed and quality of this order of almost $200. (If you know me, I had a few things for me in there too).

2) Within minutes of checking out I got this “thanks for registering” extra incentive to shop again discount code. I figured the acknowledgement of the order would come and went on to take care of the usual business.

3) Today said family member asked me to check on when the items would be delivered and I went online to login and CharlotteRusse.com recognized my email address and I logged in. I went to the order status and it showed “no” orders were placed!! It was incomprehensible that it was so because 1) i had used a credit card and 2) they had sent me the email saying thanks for registering– which means I gave them all the required 411.

4) I called Customer Service (the call center is in Wisconsin) and spoke to Carissa about this issue. Initially she said, that I didn’t place the order. I indicated that I had placed the order because CharlotteRusse.com sent me the thanks for registering discount email.

Going through the process of ordering all this stuff again, I found things that were no longer in stock (sigh) or only in the colors I didn’t want (bigger sigh) and stuff no longer on special (frustrated sigh). The CS person was ” I am so sorry” about a dozen times but while sympathetic didn’t get the real sense of my frustration till we went through checkout. The process took inordinately long– almost an hour –because the site was dragging and navigating was cumbersome.

Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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