Dear FedEx - I recognize your driver probably felt threatened by our dogs, but wouldn't it have been better for your driver to bring the package back to your warehouse so we could pick it up, rather than him tossing it in the driveway? Do you have a policy in place?
Dear Amazon.com - Thank you for standing by the customer and resolving delivery problems behind the scenes with out wasting the customer's time.
On Cyber Monday (12/1) I ordered a shirt from Gander Mountain. It was a Christmas gift for my husband. On 12/5 they notified me that it was shipped. It was packed in the flimsy plastic envelope pictured above. We found it today in the yard, half eaten by our dogs.
WE HAVE DOGS. They are large, and they bark furiously whenever anyone approaches our home. They are intimidating, but are contained in our yard behind an invisible fence. It's understandable that delivery people who don't know about the invisible fence are apprehensive about approaching the house. We have a front door with a porch that is under cover and the dogs cannot reach it. All of our usual delivery people from FEDEx, UPS and the Post Office know this and come right to the front door. In fact, we have officially notified both UPS and FedEx about the invisible fence so they can note that for all their drivers. Occasionally there is a new driver, who misses the flag in the system. But someone is almost always home and will run outside when the dogs bark.
It's likely that the FedEx driver who delivered this package didn't see the flag about the fence, and we didn't hear the dogs in time to intercept the delivery. So the driver tossed the shirt in its flimsy plastic envelope into our driveway and the dogs destroyed it. We found it a day later. The shirt inside is ruined.
Amazon.com Values Customers
For those who love to bash Amazon.com for their usurping all of the retail business, think about how they handle customer service. It could be why their market share in the retail sector never shrinks.
We had a similar situation with an Amazon.com package that got ruined last year. Only it was rain that destroyed the contents, not the dogs. This UPS drive left it on the steps instead of bringing it up on the covered porch, and the rain destroyed the package and contents.
I reported the issue to Amazon.com as soon as I discovered the damaged package, and within 20 minutes of reporting it, I was a happy customer.
After discovering the damaged package, I searched my email inbox and located the Amazon.com order for the damaged merch. Then I followed a link for customer support on their website and after clicking a few options noting the circumstances of my issue, I chose the option "Call me in 5 minutes." Two seconds later, my phone rang. I explained to the Amazon.com customer service representative what happened. I was emailed instructed for filing a simple claim that included pictures of the damaged merchandise. I was assured by the representative that they would replace the item, and I received the replacement item 4 days later. Amazon arranged for UPS to pick up the damaged merchandise the next day and they resolved the delivery issue / charges directly with UPS.
Amazon got a satisfied customer. I spent 20 minutes on resolving the problem. I continue to do more business with Amazon. I tell everyone how wonderful they are.
GANDER MOUNTAIN'S PROCESS
I called the customer support number for Gander Mountain that was noted on my order confirmation email. I was on hold for ten minutes. While waiting I visited the FedEx website and try to file a claim and spend 7minutes (while I'm on hold with Gander Mountain) trying to fill out a claim. This included creating an account and going through 4 screens inputting information, only to find out that FedEx will only deals directly with Gander Mountin - not me. Makes sense. After all Gander Mountain is their customer. What is FedEx going to do with me? Send me a new shirt?
Once Gander Mountain came on the phone, the rep tells me that I have to file a claim with FedEx. I explain what I just discovered on FedEx's website. I get nowhere. I ask to speak to a manager. I hold for 10 more minutes. When I am connected to a manager, he says that I can neither get a replacement shirt or get a refund. Nothing can be done until I file a claim with FedEx. And the manager - Durell at ext #116 - explains that once the package leaves Gander Mountain's warehouse, they relinquish all responsibility. And he added ..."It is not our fault that your dogs chewed up the package."
So I called FedEx. They reiterate what their website says; that they have to take it up with the sender. The half done claim that I abandoned mid cycle on their website actually went through and posted. They gave me a claim # which is impossible to track via the website (or at least it was difficult and confusing to figure out). FedEx explained that they will process the claim and then - if they deem it reasonable - will reimburse Gander Mountain for the expense. I asked to speak to a manager. I waited 10 minutes on hold and finally hung up.
One hour wasted and Yay! FedEx will reimburse Gander Mountain if they deem my claim reasonable. There is no mechanism for me to enter this communication process other then to submit a claim. The whole process will take weeks and it's incumbent upon me - the customer - to keep up with the process.
Bottom line: No Christmas present, and a lot of hassle. Neither FedEx nor Gander Mountain assumes responsibility for customer satisfaction of the recipient who shelled out the bucks for the merch.
I am so glad I only ordered a shirt for $27.99.
NO GUARNTEE GANDER MOUNTAIN WILL EVER REIMBURSE ME
So if Gander Mountain does get reimbursed there's no guarantee they'll reimburse me. And even if they do, I won't get it by Christmas, which was my intent for the shirt.
When I asked Durell, the Gander Mountain Customer Service Manager what he thought of that he said that I could always order another shirt now and get reimbursed later.
Yeah...Thanks for that, Durell, but forget it.
GANDER MOUNTAIN FAILS AT SERVICE WHILE AMAZON.COM WINS
Gander Mountain has lost my business for life. I checked Amazon.com site and they have the same Carhart mock tee in Port being offered by Rugged Outfitters for one dollar more than I paid on the Gander Mountain website.
So Amazon gets my business and so does Rugged Outfitters, and I'm happy to pay the dollar more because I have a history with Amazon. They recognize the value of meeting customer's needs.
And one more thing about Amazon.com. Every time I wish they could improve certain offerings, they usually know my needs before I can even express them. Between wish lists, the Amazon.com Wishlist applet for browsers, great prices, fast delivery, wide spread of merchandise through 3rd party partners, easy tracking, gift wrapping, value points credit card and shipping to multiple address ... I am a satisfied customer who actually enjoys shopping on this site.
And FedEx. ... If you care at all about the recipients of your packages, won't you consider establishing a policy for drivers who feel unsafe because of domestic animals? I totally sympathize with them and wouldn't expect anyone to put himself in harm's way. But I'd have been more than happy to drive to my FedEx pick up location and get this shirt undamaged if the driver would have simply taken it back there. And what's the point of my notifying you about the invisible fence if the driver doesn't get the notification?
BUYER BEWARE when ordering online from Gander Mountain. If your delivery is damaged in shipment, they will abandon you.