potatoes

Shop & Ship – my first experience

I first heard about this site a year ago, from Nikster who heavily recommended it. Post which B50 also used the services and found it good. Having worked in the courier and logistics business, was keen to understand how it worked before actually using the services.

Recently, in October Nikster offered a coupon code for a discount to become a member and since I wanted to order some gifts, I registered and paid up around mid October. And the saga began. After registration, not having received account details, Nikster again to the rescue with the number of their Manager, Anuradha who kindly gave me the details, that I updated my Amazon account.

Work & lethargy kept me busy till mid November, when I ordered some initial stuff – gift from Amazon on 15th with the calculation that it would be delivered by 25th November latest. Amazon delivered to the SnS New York address on the 16th November and I tried to check via the SnS site. To my shock, it said account yet to be activated. Panic happened. Sent a mail to customer service, which said a Template answer. Called up Anuradha, no response, finally bullied Aramax (who refuse to even answer anything remotely SnS, shocking given the relationship, but the parent & child syndrome) into getting Hassan number – where the conversation went something like this – Sir, Anuradha is on leave; Ok, Why is my account not activated? Will check and revert back to you. Ok, What happens to the parcel? Sir, don’t worry it is safe. Ok, Please activated and call me back, this is urgent.

No calls, but Hassan sends me a mail ‘asking for identification’ to activate the account after 2-3 days. No amount of cajoling, threats were working and my account was still inactive (40 days & two customer support complaints + Hassan saga). On the 22nd November, I made half dozen calls to Anuradha & called up old contacts to dig out Percy Avaria – MD India contact details.

Finally at around 5 pm Anuradha called up, apologetically accepting the fault, assuring me of sorting it out etc. I told her categorically that you have managed to make me miss the occasion & that I was travelling over the weekend. All this whilst their website showed Account inactive – in the meantime, I had fulfilled all demands from Hassan about documentation. Her assurance, Don’t worry we will deliver and collect later. This was later confirmed one email by Percy Avaria their MD.

A lovely anniversary marred by not being able to fulfill my commitments was definitely had and is blogged elsewhere. Reaching Mumbai rejuvenated on Monday 26th November and the nightmare commenced. Shipped out on 24th November from NYC and no trace. After 2 nerve wrecking days, I receive a text on 28th morning – Keep xxxx ready, out for delivery. Waited in vain the whole day. Around 11 pm on an impulse checked their website – which said 10.30 am tried to deliver, customer did not have money, hence taken back. 4 pm Package now on hold.

In the meantime Anuradha sent an email twice saying that Package is out for delivery & then to my response, saying she’ll personally look into it.

29th November Morning 9 am. Same text asking me to be ready to receive the courier (by now my mother & wife were laughing that I was not this desperate to receive my car also). I went ballistic. Sent an email to Percy – as usual no reply. Called up his cell phone half dozen times – No response. Also sent a text to Hassan – no response. In disgust & desperation called up Hassan who said, Hello Sir, Anuradha said your parcel has been delivered yesterday. My answer to this was – If you do not get that damn Percy or Anuradha to call me back in 5 minutes, you watch what I will do to you.

Threat worked, Anuradha called (Percy was still underground) with some dozen lame excuses, why there was delay? why it takes 4 days from NYC to Bombay yada yada…..till I had to interrupt her and tell her 1) The flight routings 2) The parcel receipt in their HUB as updated by their operations 3) Out for delivery and the lies that Operations had updated 4) Why operations will not listen to her & she would not be able to do anything 5) Finally, the reason why I know all this. Her constant apologetic answer was I will ensure delivery immediately, please give us a chance. This was around 12.45 in the afternoon.

Yes, the delivery finally happened. Not immediately. When Operations wanted it/found it convenient. At 6.15-6.30 pm.

Was I wrong in my expectations? Demands? Requests? Followups?

1) 5 weeks to activate an account, which according to them is automated.

2) Anuradha being on leave, nobody to pitch in for here, Hassan asking templated questions like a trainee.

3) Their customer support account not even bothering to answer for 8 weeks.

4) Their MD avoiding & aggravating the customer, instead of just picking up the phone & saying “Anaggh, this is a major screw up, I don’t know how to apologise, but just let it go”or something to that effect.

5) Their so called social media presence who for the past 8 days responded with useless tweets, after providing them with the tracking number on 22/23 November can’t even search – pathetic.

And, Yes before the moderate, supporters climb the band wagon:

1) I have worked in the same industry for a pretty long time.

2) I have worked in similar service industry for a very long time.

3) I have handled irate clients, who have turned into friends.

4) Finally, Yes I have handled Social Media for brands & myself.

Whilst, disgusted, as shared with Anuradha, given the recommendation I had stacked my orders with them till January. But, this has taught me a lesson – don’t expect an experience with them, just hope for delivery.

 

1 Comment

  • Sumit December 1, 2012 at 9:10 am

    ordered some sample Frm P&G, they shipped through Aramex, bhendi website showed its been delivered but i didnt received, thankfully website showed it took 10 days frm Bhiwandi to Mumbai…mailed everyone including Percy Avari, no reply. Finally tweeted and Aramex Dubai interfered…got one of my sample at home, next sample shipped after 10days showed Incorrect Address on Website….again gt to ask Aramex Help on Twitter

    Reply
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