Going into the holiday season, Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching, I thought I might try to give some helpful advice for shopping online.
During big sales events, inventory moves faster than the speed of light. Regrettably, most sites are not able to keep up with warehouse inventory in real time. Until it ships out, there is no guarantee you'll get that item. If it cancels due to inventory, but it still shows up on the website, DO NOT TRY AGAIN. You'll end up with a second authorization hold, and a brand new "your order has been canceled" email.
At check out, take the time to review ALL of the information you have entered. Does the name in the billing address match the name on my card? Does the billing address match what the bank has on file? Is this the address I want my package delivered to? Are my sizes and colors correct? Once an order is placed, chances are it cannot be modified or canceled. Depending on the security of the payment processor, if the name or address don't match the card, you will have an authorization hold, and nothing to show for it.
If you need to call customer service, be prepared. Have your order number ready if you have one, be prepared to verify the billing address entered on the order. If you have questions about a product, have the name or the style number. If you want to place an order, have your style or item numbers, colors and sizes. Have your addresses ready. A gift for Aunt Martha? Get her address before you call. Billing question, have the card you used in front of you. Used PayPal....call PayPal.
Remember the bit about the billing information? Let's go over Authorization Holds. Your bank will swear up and down they don't exist, until you say the magic words "pre-authorization". When you place an order online, that first pending charge you see on your statement is a hold. The first information that is communicated when you hit the "submit order" is the amount of funds. The funds are placed on a hold, pending shipment. If the order doesn't process, or doesn't ship, the charge is not completed, and the hold releases, generally within 3-5 business days depending on your bank. Why? Because ecommerce retailers can not charge for your order until it ships out. The hold makes sure the funds are available at that time. If your order doesn't process, or information you entered in the billing address segment doesn't match, the hold is already in place, but it will release, and the funds will go back into your balance.
Be polite to the phone rep. Yes, we know you are frustrated, we understand that the Hello Kitty Barrett meant everything to you, but screaming and swearing is not going to change things, or incite us into a sudden spurt of bibbity-boppity-booism. The more you swear at me, the more likely I am to release your call, and you'll be back at square one. We are more than happy to help you, and we will bend over backwards, but only if you keep it professional.
Please be prepared to wait. Be patient. Call centers have temp workers over the holidays, just like any other service industry. Yes, you're not the only person calling, you may have to wait 5 to 10 minutes to get through to someone. Yes, you may be put on hold while we check with our support for more info. Yes, we have to ask you half a dozen questions. If you don't have the time to spend at least 45 minutes resolving the issue, then don't call.
Last, but not least, try to trouble shoot things on your end first. Most site "glitches" are fixed by simply clearing your cookies. Most product information, i.e. where else can I find it, what is the length, can be found on Google. You have no idea how many times I have gotten a random question, Googled it, and bam! There is the answer. Also, most service questions are on the website itself. Returns, exchanges, time frames, the works, all under that customer support link on the bottom of every website.
Last but not least, lets discuss TIME FRAMES. And how sexy G-Dragon is. Most online orders take at least 1-2 BUSINESS DAYS to process. This means your package isn't shipping out on Saturday. The shipping method selected goes into effect at SHIPMENT. Shocking isn't it? One Day shipping = 2-4 Business Days. That's 1-2 to process and 1-2 for shipping. Two Day = 3-5 Business Days, processing time and 2-3 Business days for delivery. most websites will have there standard ground times right at checkout. Most common is 3-5 in the lower 48. Processing time does vary. It will usually say how long on the product page, i.e. "ships in 1-2 days". And that is the conclusion. 1. Be prepared 2. Pay attention 3. Review your information 4. Use your manners Your telephone customer service representative thanks you.