Original draft 2015. No changes.
We’ve been in the market for new everyday glassware. We like the glassware we have, but several glasses have broken and they are getting a little scratched up. We’ve owned these Duralex Picardie Glass Tumblers since the kids were small. The batch we have now may or may not be our second set. Anyway, we needed new glasses and I first looked at Williams-Sonoma’s online storefront because we’d bought them at Williams-Sonoma in the past. The price was not bad for a set of 24, but the shipping and handling was a little too high for me. I am used to free shipping from Amazon. Amazon also had the glasses but for much more than William’s-Sonoma.
The other day I saw an email from William’s-Sonoma offering 20% off and free shipping so I ordered the glasses that evening. My William’s-Sonoma box arrived today, but it contained a (very nice) pizza stone instead of tumblers. I checked the invoice which clearly said Picardie Glass Tumblers and then went online to see how to return them. Because it would seem I was returning glasses I didn’t order, I called customer service and before too long spoke to a young man who said he’d send the tumblers out immediately and we’d get them by Monday. I asked if there would be a sticker to return the pizza stone and the young man said to keep it — and asked me if I liked pizza. I said thank you, I like pizza and have two pizza stones already.
A number of years ago we received items from Amazon that we didn’t order (this was the year that sort of overwhelmed Amazon during the holiday rush). When I telephoned Amazon to see how I could return them the person on the phone asked if I got all my orders. I said I had gotten them but how should I return the items I received. She told me to keep them. The items were nothing I wanted — a country and western CD and a game for preschoolers, so I gave the game to our neighbor and the CD to charity.
Both Amazon and William’s-Sonoma did the right thing. They made a mistake and took the blame by telling me to keep the item(s). I had to do nothing as a result of their mistakes except to enjoy the items I didn’t order. Last Christmas this was not the same with another company I do business with.
Last December I ordered several Barnes and Noble gift cards for Christmas gifts and had them sent to my mother’s house. I also ordered a Nook GlowLight™ for myself. When I opened the packages and envelopes from Barnes and Noble I found an extra gift card for $50 and a Samsung Galaxy Tab® 4 NOOK® 7.0 that I had not ordered. Nor were they charged to me. The gift card was addressed to a Donna somewhere in Missouri or Tennessee (my mother opened all of the gift cards before I got there — we won’t talk about how they were almost recycled) but the Nook was addressed to me yet had another address on the invoice.
I am basically a good person, but I don’t necessarily want to go out of my way to be that good person. I called Barnes and Noble to see what I should do and if they could send someone to pick up the items. I said I was worried that the folks who ordered these were hoping to have them in time for the holidays. They assured me that replacements had already been sent. They also said it was not possible for the packages to be picked up and that I should either send them back via UPS or drop them off at a Barnes and Noble store. So right there Barnes and Noble was not taking the blame in their actions. Granted — the gift card was probably the USPS’s fault) but still, I don’t think I should have gone out of my way to return the items. My sister-in-law (well, ex- but who’s counting?) offered to take them to UPS where she works and drop them off, but the hours she works did not match the hours the store was open so that didn’t work.
I eventually brought the Barnes and Noble items back to Maryland and dropped them off at a Barnes and Noble nearby, but the encounter was less than pleasant. It took a while to explain the situation to two different managers. All I wanted to do was to make sure the folks who ordered the products got them. But everyone seemed confused. It took longer than I planned to simply drop off something I didn’t order.
Barnes and Noble should have told me to keep the items or sent a UPS person out to pick them up. They did neither. I already owned two Nooks, so I didn’t need or want one, but could have given it away to charity or a family member.
The whole Barnes and Noble issue came back to me the other day when I ordered a book on barnesandnoble.com. In order to download it on my Nook GlowLight I had to jump through the hoops of entering my username, password and credit card I used to buy it. Amazon is not like that. I can seamlessly switch from a Kindle Paperwhite to a Kindle Tablet to my computer to my Nexus tablet.
I shunned Amazon for years over Barnes and Noble, but not any more.