I guess I purchase so much stuff online that I am bound to have more shipping problems than the average consumer whore. My debacle with modchipman.com being the worst example, I’ve also had bad RMA experiences with other online vendors. Ridegear.com took over a month to process my return after receiving it, for example. But that’s not the reason for today’s post.
I ordered a miniatures battle mat from RPGShop.com about a month ago. I paid via PayPal and somewhat forgot about my order until I received this email about two weeks later:
Your recent order at RPGShop.com has been CANCELED. If you are unaware as to the reasons for this, you may reply to this message and ask. The most likely reason for this is that we could not fill any part of your order because it was out of print or bad data in our database.
Sorry for the hassles. You will get a credit for your order very shortly
Thank you for your patience in this matter.
RPG Shop Customer Server.
Bummer, I thought. I checked PayPal — my money had already been credited back to me. I placed an order for a smaller mat through another online vendor. My order with the other vendor processed, and I received my mat later in the week.
I went on my motorcycle trip and returned home to find a USPS Priority Mail box addressed to me from RPGShop.com. I opened the box (having clearly not learned from the wonderful customer service at modchipman.com) to find the large battle mat I ordered. I checked PayPal again, just to make sure I had been credited for my cancelled order and that RPGShop.com hadn’t somehow reactivated my order. There was no activity on my account except for my credit.
Over the weekend, it occurred to me that the order fulfillment department at RPGShop.com may not know that my order was cancelled. I didn’t need another mat, and certainly didn’t want to keep the one sent to me without paying. I sent the customer service department an email this morning:
I returned from vacation this weekend to find a package from RPGShop
on my doorstep. It was my order placed on 9/5/2006.
You have already refunded my money via PayPal, and I bought a mat elsewhere.
Please let me know what you’d like me to do with the mat.
I received the following reply:
Such honesty should be rewarded. You can keep the mat with my compliments. Thank you for letting me know.
Holy crap! I expected instructions on how to return the mat on RPGShop’s dime, but not being told to keep the mat!
I’ll tell you this — handling a shipping problem professionally and without accusations of theft should be rewarded as well. For what it’s worth, I’m asking that my Gibberish readers make at least one purchase at RPGShop.com if you need some role playing kit. In light of how other online vendors act when you need to contact their customer service departments, it’s refreshing to see someone admit that an error was made and make an attempt to rectify it.
For one, I’ll be making (an albeit small) miniatures purchase from them in the near future. This is how a retailer, virtual or meatspace, buys a lot of goodwill with a simple gesture.