questionsdoes anyone else want to say goodbye to…

vote-for10vote-against
vote-for15vote-against

I personally have no ill feelings towards Woot. Their company strategy is Business 101, but it really has strayed from it's original business plan of being awesome in general. I know there were problems then too, and they weren't always handled the best way possible -- that's true with every business. The problem now is the general sense of not caring when someone says they're out the door.

In a competitive market, the only things most consumers can do is take their business elsewhere. Sadly, once a company gets large enough, they don't care about that one customer. If other customers join in on that sense of problem, that's just giving the company the green light to treat people how they want.

It's not okay. Are these customers right? Probably not. Are these customers being handled properly? Not if public shaming is the avenue of choice.

vote-for13vote-against

@capguncowboy: Since I was a little vague before, I will elaborate.

I was over on one of the mother woot sites and someone was complaining that they bought an item and paid the shipping but didn't realize that it was $5 per cart, not per day. They went on a long rant about how they have a cart full of stuff that they will now not buy because they would be charged $5 shipping again. They claimed to be a long time user but the account was less than a year old and they had bought less than 25 things. They were threatening to never buy another thing from Woot again unless they were refunded the $5.

In my mind, it was on them to read the clear shipping policy, not on Woot. When Woot went from a $5 all day shipping to the cart and $5 shipping per cart load, it was a big deal and they made it clear all over the website. While it might be a big deal for Woot to refund the $5, it is the principle of the matter. Read things and don't complain when you do something else and it doesn't work out

vote-for14vote-against

Yes, I'd love to say goodbye to them as well because they are as annoying as hell. But it wouldn't do any good. Pretty soon another one will come along, and then another. Those kinds of people are out there, and every once in a while your paths are going to cross. You can't make obnoxious people nice or bright.

vote-for10vote-against

This sort of thing is hard to deal with from the business end. Woot basically has 2 choices when someone complains about this: refund in order to make the customer happy, or explain that it was he or she's fault and that Woot is not responsible for refunding the shipping fee. Most of the time (I would assume) it's actually in Woot's best interest to take the $5.00 hit, because it's not worth the stink of the the customer who will probably go around bad-mouthing Woot for having poor customer service. It's very unfortunate that some people can't bother to read a listing carefully or do any research before placing an order, but in business (especially retail) "the customer is always right." The best thing we can do over here in AtC is encourage people to actually READ descriptions before buying and utilize the resources Woot provides to help customers understand the buying process (i.e. FAQ).

vote-for14vote-against

Interesting question.

It's a tough one. Sometimes the complaints are legitimate - slow shipping, missing items, and the like. But sometimes, they're things we can't control - wrong shipping address and not knowing about the $5 cart order system.

It's a truth of the internet that people are more likely to post when they're upset than when they're happy. As our community has gotten smaller (people have lives!!!?!?!), that's become more apparent.

For example, on a sale for TVs, we might get 6 complains of damage so everyone assumes the entire sale was bad. Thing is that we probably sold 700-1000 TVs that sale. We hate damage but we can't control the HULK delivery guys. And all it takes is for one to fall flat and it can be damaged.

One trend that I'm noticing is that the daily threads will start out negative at midnight but then start evening out around 8-9am when more people wake up to post.

vote-for12vote-against

I don't want to see them leave because they make us work harder to do things better. I do want more community members to return and post reviews of their purchases.

I am seeing a few more people do that and I find that encouraging. The sale for the portable washing machine on Home is a great example of that. People returned to post their reviews, issues/solutions to installation problems. One wooter was helping another find the right adapter for a faucet. It was great after-sale activity.

vote-for10vote-against

@thunderthighs: Okay, here's a review you can point to. The number one thing that interests me, that the woot sites sell, is wine. Woot offs involving wine, in the fall, are a wonderment, and will cause me to behave like the innocent I first was, when I joined Woot, in the long ago times (also known as 2006). As a wine gets closer to selling out, I madly smash the poor F5 key, muttering curses under my breath, and sometimes a remarkable thing is revealed (such as Kent Rasmussen anything).

The last wine I bought was delivered so fast that I was astonished.

The best thing, though, is the thoughtfulness of the denizens of Wine dot Woot, who post links to past offerings, or offer their own insight, when something new pops up. Tonight, I'll lift a glass in Cesare's honor. Yours too.

vote-for9vote-against

@thunderthighs: Without being snarky, if you're receiving six complaints of damaged merchandise on 700 shipments, that would seem to me to merit some serious discussion with your delivery service.

I'm reminded of what a bunch of full-time professional eBay sellers told me seven or eight years ago (before the place became mostly professional dealers): "This isn't high school. A feedback rating of 97% isn't an A-. It's an F. A rating below 99.5% indicates a dealer you should avoid." I took that lesson to heart, almost never buy from anyone with a FB rating under 99.2%, and have had only two problems in just under 1000 purchases.

When one in a 100 (or a bit fewer, in our example above) customers receive damaged goods, your shipper has a problem, which means Woot has a problem. I've never had any damage to anything I've bought, but a 1 in 100 chance, or even a 7 in 1000 risk, would lead me to rethink Woot as a reliable source.

[continued]

vote-for9vote-against

[continued]

Woot is big enough to be doing good tracking on this, and I'm not suggesting there's really a problem. I'm just bouncing off the numbers you offered, which startled me.

I've done customer service of one sort or another for many years, and I don't have any problem at all telling folks the problem is theirs not ours, [1] but a consistently high number of problems around one facet of the business indicates something needs to be reviewed. (Not, of course, that that means it will get changed [wry grin] ).

[1] I confess to being a total softie when one of very elderly credit-union members, living on a $786/month social security check, called in a panic over a bounced-check fee. Didn't bat an eye, didn't make a fuss; just told them I'd be happy to take care of it and refunded it. Wasn't going to have someone going without food for two days over an arithmetic error.

vote-for0vote-against

@magic cave: Thank you. Very thoughtful answers. Makes sense.

So many people ignore bad customer service...shrug and say, "That's the way it is everywhere." Not so, but if you don't complain/say something, the company will never know there's a problem.

vote-for11vote-against

@magic cave: Never said the problems were consistent or that we weren't tracking them. We absolutely do and our buyers work with vendors on this as well.

What I said was that we can't predict what a delivery guy does with a TV. Go to YouTube and watch the videos on FedEx deliveries to see what I mean. All the packing in the world isn't going to help if a TV is falls flat. That impact won't damage the box but the screen could shatter. We can't prevent all accidents that might happen.

However, our customer service will work with the customer to make things right.

(Obviously I'm not saying that's the case every time.)

vote-for-3vote-against

@shrdlu: "The last wine I bought was delivered so fast that I was astonished."

Ah, you had a very good experience. I, on the other hand, was astonished to receive my wine order 1 month after it was placed. No, it did not have a late 'send' date stated. It was "delayed" because the order included a tee shirt. Really? It took that long to match the tee order w/the wine & ship it? Yes, I said something. Did that matter? Nope. Poor service.

Again, if customers do not state their dismay...the company will never know there is a problem. And even then, they may not care.

vote-for6vote-against

@gmwhit: Wine typically ships in 2-3 weeks. It has a longer lead time due to the need to time wine shipments so they're not stuck in hot trucks over weekends. Plus some other stuff that goes on in the background.

For that sale, there was the extra time to print the shirts - it was Print to Order so printing didn't start until orders were complete. Then they had to be sent to WD and matched with wine orders. Probably a bit more work than anticipated and something the shirt/wine team will have to discuss.

vote-for0vote-against

@thunderthighs: Thank you for your explanation. Don't know why I thought wine.woot shipped their orders in less time than 2-3 weeks. Will definitely keep that in mind now.

vote-for8vote-against

@thunderthighs: I'm sorry if my comments were insufficiently clear. I'll try again. When assessing a company's reliability, a major marker for me is consistency. A lot of complaints about slow shipping, but no other issues? Not a problem for me as a buyer; I just adjust my expectations. Similarly, a sudden shift out of the usual pattern would make me cautious and curious. If my company experienced an uptick in "damaged in transit" complaints, especially if they were clustered around a particular item or date(s), I'd want to do a little digging to see if there were an identifiable reason. Change in delivery subcontractors? Original vendor doing less than stellar packing job? Change in quality of packing materials at my location?

Making things right with customers is in not the same category of response as investigating a reason for increased complaints.

And yes, I'm familiar with all the bad-delivery youtube vidclips; most of the internet is.

vote-for3vote-against

Yes, but I don't think saying goodbye to complainers should pertain only to those new to Woot (looks at gmwhit).

vote-for0vote-against

Please allow me to clarify my problem w/the wine & tee shirt order. As TT said, "Sometimes the complaints are legitimate - slow shipping..." This was a perfect example of slow shipping. The response on the thread related to that deal & the response here were "explanations" of why it was slow. Understood. But really, woot? 1 month? Also,...an apology would have been nice.

Seems staff is reactive & mostly defensive to complaints. And only wants to relate the mechanics of why that happened. Irrelevant to a customer who's concerned about a very slow shipment. Though, I did suggest that if they ever offer a tee shirt/wine combo purchase, they might consider sending each out separately. Both would have arrived earlier than they did. Also said the tee was cute. IOW I was not a belligerent customer. Made a valiant attempt to be understanding & pleasant.

TL/DR A legitimate complaint is slow shipping. Doesn't help to complain. Old or new users are equal in this respect.

vote-for3vote-against

@wisenekt: Are you complaining about the complainers?