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Pissed off with E-tailers in General

Old 01-27-01, 03:31 AM
  #1  
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Is is just me or E-tailers in general a bunch of pricks after a quick dollar. What is happening to customer service? Why do we put up with crap service from Chapters.com, DVDEmpire, DVDboxoffice, Amazon.com, CDoutlet, the list is becoming endless. Collectively, we are a very powerful voice so let's use this immense cyber-community to demand what we want. (stepping down from soap-box and handing over the microphone)
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Old 01-27-01, 04:02 PM
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We put up with it because they offer products and services we want. Customer Services is hit or miss anywhere. I'm sure people have horror stories of bad CS at Best Buy or Target or Sears or any of a thousand other B&M stores.

We are a powerful voice... vote with your dollars. If you don't like a retailer, simply don't use them. Making demands without putting your money where your mouth is isn't going to help much I'm afraid.
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Old 01-28-01, 08:52 AM
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I have whittled down the e-tailers I use to a 2 (when it comes to DVD's)..I based it on a combination of price and customer service..ALthough everyone has had problems with at one time or another with even the top ones its consistency that counts to me..I use Buy or DVD Express..they may not always be the cheapest but I would rather pay a couple bucks more and get my goods in a reasonable time..I even have started to use Best Buy (B & M..the website is terrible) when they price new releases in the 15 buck range.
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Old 01-28-01, 10:36 AM
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kodak27,

I'd like to know your specific complaints. As I watch this forum I believe that alot of people want the best of the B&M and online worlds.

In general Customer Service is an easy thing for companies to underemphasize. Companies (at least here in the US) spend alot of money on consultants to streamline their 'processes'. After doing this they probably hope to have very few customer satisfaction issues.

I'd also have to disagree with the comment 'we are a very powerful voice...' - I doubt that the members of this forum make up 0.0000001% of DVD sales.

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Old 01-28-01, 06:51 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by msharkm:
kodak27,
In general Customer Service is an easy thing for companies to underemphasize. Companies (at least here in the US) spend alot of money on consultants to streamline their 'processes'. After doing this they probably hope to have very few customer satisfaction issues.



Customer service is the easiest thing to either screw up or make very nice without a lot of analysis. However, it can also be very expensive and sink a company without a lot of analysis as well. Where companies really need to focus on is fixing their processes (i.e. order fullfilment, what constitutes "in stock", etc.) and have things that are consistent and easy to use without a lot of *need* for customer service, which will in turn reduce that cost. That's what will win more business onto the web from B&M. The companies that are left over are cutting customer service in many cases (so that they can show a better profit to investors short term) but are often not fixing some of the other underlying problems which still is driving more customers away from the web in general. All it takes is a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch!

That's why I wish the bad apples would be the ones to go, but it appears that's not always the case. I hope that the VC people funding the dot.com's are looking for more than just profits, but also business models, useability policies, etc. that are growing loyal users and customers through other intangibles than just cutting costs.

quote:
I'd also have to disagree with the comment 'we are a very powerful voice...' - I doubt that the members of this forum make up 0.0000001% of DVD sales.



You are right that we represent a very small segment of the portions of DVD sales, which is part of the problem that the online ecommerce sites are trying to "correct". We are a "powerful voice" in that we represent that very small fraction that these ecommerce sites want to grow. Now for those that also have a B&M side of their business, this is less so, they may be just "defending their turf", but those pure play on-line outfits, like buy.com and express.com, need to make this business model work and have to pay attention to us to survive in the long run.

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- DVDealer


[This message has been edited by DVDealer (edited January 28, 2001).]
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Old 01-28-01, 09:31 PM
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kodak27 - I can't agree with your description "...E-tailers in general a bunch of pricks after a quick dollar..."

This is because I've generally had a good run with them (Reel.com, DVDExpress.com, Amazon.com, Totalactionuniverse.com, Checkout.com, and a few others.) Maybe I've been lucky, but my dealings with these guys have been excellent (a little delayed in shipping at times, but overall excellent). When I've had returns or missing orders with Reel (RIP), Express, or Amazon, the CS have always been polite (sometimes automated ), and my problems have always been sorted out. Although Express was a little slow with my Leon replacemnet, and claim that the never received my returned faulty Leon.

And the prices of DVDs from onlines have been generally much better than B&Ms, which fuelled my DVD addiction (now with the poor AUD$ and lack of coupons, its getting harder ).

I've had more problems with our local (Aussie) e-tailers:
* dstore - cancelled my last two orders due to waiting 3/4 weeks for ONE DVD each time!), no email response, minimum 10-20 min wait on telephone for customer service.
* wishlist - increased shipping costs without noting on website.
* kmart - no email confirmation of order, slow email response.
etc.

But I can still get DVDs cheaper on-line with specific sales, than I can in B&M stores and generally I don't have to deal with ignorant sales staff in shops, like my local Target, who take the DVDs out of their cases, and stick them into Plastic Slips behind the counter - with up to 10 DVDs in one slip!!! When I chanced buying a disk (on special), it was WAY scratched! And the manager didn't seem to care when I warned him about ppl not being able to play scratched discs. Six months later and they are still doing this!
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Old 01-29-01, 06:56 PM
  #7  
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While a frightening number of etailers are total jerks, I wouldn't go so far as saying they all are.

There are about 1 in every 230 that are ok.

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