questionspoor woot customer service and charging for…


Today, when I track the package, it still has not been picked up by FedEx (giving someone a tracking number doesn't mean you have actually shipped their box, it just means you processed a label).

Woot charged my credit card on Nov. 4, when I placed the order. It's good business practice, and my understanding of the law (or at least the requirement of the majority of credit card processors), that you don't charge for an item until it is shipped -- that is also Amazon's policy. They have had my money for 11 days now for an item they have not provided. An item that they have had for sale AGAIN at least once since I placed my order.

I don't like to see the moaning and groaning about how bad Woot sucks now any more than the rest of you -- but I was a loyal, daily Wooter for years and I am ready to just give up. Customer service used to be great. Shipping time was always slow, but it was SmartPost, not Woot. I am sad to see the old Woot go.

End of rant.


@erinaine: Being in the banking industry myself, I have a question for you.

1. How do you know you were charged for the order before it was shipped?

2. Is it possible you are seeing an authorization instead of a posted charge? An authorization is given to a company to guarantee funds when it comes time to post the charge. Part of your credit limit will be set aside for this authorization. They usually stay on your account for 10 days or so and many people confuse those for an actual posting.

3. Did you really use a credit card or was it a debit card? I believe these both work differently but I'm not certain. If it is a debit card, there might not be an authorization given and they might have no choice but to take the funds out.


Woot has had the same item several times. In all the instances, in the comments, you will see that there were quite a few of the cases shipped separate from the devices. Everyone ended up with their full order. A little patience and all will be well.


It is my experience that my card is charged immediately upon placing the order. The wine I bought last week was definitely a posted charge well before it was shipped (or the shipping label being created). Woot and Amazon operate independently and have different policies. I'm not aware of any law stating vendors have to wait until an item is shipped before charging a card but, I'm not a lawyer...


Regarding #3 above, scratch that. I remember now that woot does not accept debit cards.

You can pay for your orders using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or Paypal accounts that are tied to a credit card. (Our fast-paced, annoying business model doesn't leave time to wait for your bank to confirm your account balance.) We do not accept checks, money orders, uncut gemstones, or broken promises.

Also, this is in their FAQ about multiple shipments:
It seems like items are missing from my shipment. What do you have to say for yourselves?
First, check the Stuff You Bought page to see if your order was split into multiple shipments. If so, no big whoop, the rest of your stuff is on the way. If not, it means we probably made a mistake. Sorry. Let us know at our Support page.


@erinaine: I have always and really mean always sung the praises of Woot until a few weeks ago when one of my orders was cancelled. The e-mail I received said they oversold the product but I feel it was because I had sent them an email before hand asking questions about my order (i.e. wanted to change address) and they did not want to deal with it. As with your email response, no real apology for the issue, just a refund. I will still continue to purchase from Woot but I will not have another purchase month like I did in October (over $700) with things the way they are. I do want to say that there are many many wonderful people that work at Woot and sometimes these issues just happen, but it really does affect the buying behavior of the customer when they feel they were not taken care of.


@cengland0: I use the Visa tied to my checking account exclusively at woot!. Some might call this a checkcard. As a matter of fact I have never used a credit card to make a woot! purchase. So I'm a little confused by your comment" woot does not accept debit cards." Do banks still offer cards that only work via a pin and possibly not bear a Visa or Mastercard logo?


@cengland0: It's pretty simple, really -- most of us have online access to our credit card charges, now. My Visa card (not a debit card) shows the charge initiated at the date and time of my order. It shows the charge cleared the following day.

I worked in mail order for many years, and our credit card processors over that time always required that we not charge the card until the day the item shipped. It was in our contract. I'm not sure if it's the law, but wouldn't you say that is good business practice -- to not hold on to your customer's money until you have fulfilled your part of the bargain?

I know they did not ship anything until the day after the charge cleared -- two days after the charge was initiated -- because I have detailed tracking information for the shipment. And what they actually shipped was a $10 part of a $180 order. The remaining $170 they STILL have not shipped (which, again, I know from tracking information from FedEx). That seems like bad faith to me.


@morriea: So the onus was on me to check customer comments on all the previous times they had sold the same item (at what point is Woot no longer a "one item a day" company, anyway?) and determine that they would probably wait at least 9 days before shipping the meat of my order? And to use that information to disregard what their OWN FAQ says, that they will indicate so if my order is split into multiple shipments?


I'm pretty sure you are going to end up with your complete order. As @morriea said, this is one of those two part orders (of course no one bothers to tell us that). You've received the first part, the second part is on its way (and they don't bother to send us an extra tracking number for it).

I know it's hard, but give it a few days--your order should appear. And maybe by then you will have received an answer from Woot customer service.

No, it's not the old Woot that we all loved. But I guess there is not much we can do about it.

EDIT: Hey, cool your jets! @morriea was just trying to help you.


@erinaine: I was just trying to help. A little helpful information is usually appreciated. I certainly NEVER said the onus was on you.


Tee hee, the word onus looks dirty.


Am I the only one that really just doesn't care about the apology part? Lets be honest; even if they do apologize, its a disingenuous macro with an apology on it.

I care more about results (i.e. did the situation get resolved). If it is resolved, then I could care less whether they included an apology or not.


I know this is going to sound canned and there's not much I can do about that part but please know your feedback and concerns have been passed on to the relevant parties. (I cannot address them directly, however I can put them in front of eyeballs that could.)


@morriea: I agree. Believe me I know how fun it is to get a new "toy". When you're teased with the case sitting there looking at you it is ever harder. But patience is a virtue!


@the18thtee84: I am in customer service, have been my whole life, and when I apologize, I don't always mean it, but it almost always helps. And it doesn't cost me or my company anything.

@morriea: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to attack. I never doubted I would get the 2nd part of the order, but I am frustrated. (See? Didn't cost me a thing.)

@inkycatz: Thank you.

I take all this more personally than I would with another site because I have loved Wooting for so long. I expected more from Woot.


Uh.... it's woot. What do you expect? I see nothing that woot did wrong at any of the various steps of the ordering process/charging/shipping/replying/I think you're over-reacting. Wait a minute... that last one shouldn't be part of that list.


most if not all merchants charge for an item before they ship it... what kind of idiot would ship an item that had not been paid for?


@kamikazeken: Sorry if I was unclear -- I would expect to be charged on the day the item is shipped. Perhaps one day before. Not 11+ days before it is shipped. It's not difficult to accomplish -- every online cart system I have worked with allows for charging when the order is processed.


Woot has always made things right with me, so I won't complain. I do see your point however....woot will never be what it was a few years ago. Off-topic, but if you want to see some attitude toward woot check out this thread or hang out at shirt.woot for a while. These shirt people are serious!


It is possible for fedex to miss a few scans. It may or may not apply here but I have gotten items before they show in the fedex system.


@cengland0: "[Pending authorizations] usually stay on your account for 10 days or so and many people confuse those for an actual posting."

Just a point of clarity: the length of time a pending authorization can stay on an account varies greatly. At my credit union, it's three days for a debit/check card and five days for a credit card.


@erinaine: Ive worked for many years in member services for a very large credit union, and I regularly deal with issues regarding authorization dates vs. posting dates, "expired" authorizations that become completed charges only when the item is shipped, and charges posted long before items are actually shipped. While my personal preference (like yours, apparently) is that a charge not be completed and posted prior to shipping, my own work experience is that merchants quite frequently send charges through before merchandise is shipped.


@magic cave, @cengland0: further, I have received a credit card bill which contains this charge. it definitely posted on 11/5. (magic cave, thank you for your comments.)

FedEx tracking shows still no package. I have emailed "customer service" to make sure it's the right tracking number.


@erinaine: So in a real scenario like this, how do you expect woot to handle the situation?

Do you want them to charge a partial amount for the piece they shipped? What if there was no value associated with it because it's sold as a package deal?

Do not ship anything until your whole order is available? What if the more expensive part was available first, wouldn't you like to receive that right away so you can play with it even if it doesn't have the case yet?

Put yourself in the shoes of the merchant. You set aside the merchandise for a customer and then when you go to charge their account, the money is not available. So you're stuck with the merchandise.

What would you do?


@cengland0: I have put myself in the shoes of the merchant. I did what they did, arguably a more difficult job than they have, because my website sold many one-of-a-kind items. I didn't do the volume that Woot does, but I dealt with much more complex orders, with a very low error rate, and very satisfied customers.

I think I stated clearly what my expectation was. Since they have a published policy for shipping items in different shipments, as referenced above, I would expect them to follow that policy. And I would expect them to at least acknowledge that they did not when confusion arose.

In terms of when to charge, I would not want to accuse Woot of shipping the much-less-expensive portion of the item first in order to justify having charged me. Indeed, as many others have stated, they don't seem to feel they need justification. If you ever browse Google shopping listings, you'll find lots of companies that apparently never produce items -- they exist on the money



@cengland0: (CONTINUED)

they get for "selling" an item they don't have, until they have to refund it.

At any rate, to me it's simple -- if you sell an item as a single item, you ship it as a single item. If you have more than one item in an order, you only charge for the items you have been able to ship.

Oh, and I would expect them to have an item on hand, being the type of business that they purport to be (one item a day, though we all know it's not what they are any more). There's really no excuse for not having the item when it has been up for sale AGAIN since I placed my order.

I got an update from Woot Member Services -- just saying that's the right tracking number (period). At this point, I am concerned that my item will never ship, because I have been agitating.


@morriea: I am NOT trying to pick a fight, but I just looked at the comments for 3 past listings and didn't find the comments you mentioned. Can you direct me to where you saw that? Because I'm wondering if it will give me any insight into how long I will have to wait for this thing.


@erinaine: I just came across this thread as I've become completely fed up with Woot's shipping time, and I thought I should share one of my recent experiences. I bought an item in late September. After a week it finally shipped. Finally get the product and it's not what I ordered. Contact CS, they're great and say "keep it, we'll send you the right one". I wait another week, and what do you know? I get the same WRONG product. I contact CS again and they say "we're sorry but we're out of that product, so we'll just refund you". I got my money back but it was supposed to be a gift, soo.... Then, there was a Woot-off the next day and guess what they sold? Just what I originally ordered. So much for being "out of stock".


@kd1357: I feel for ya. My problem did EVENTUALLY get resolved but I haven't been around here because I'm pretty much done. It's a shame -- I am a daily customer and I used to love woot -- who woulda thought that the combination would have ended up being so bad on the woot end?