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Old 11-28-2015, 07:21 AM   #1
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Default Joann's-learn from my misery

Warning: Long story. You can skip to the moral below.

I just had a *very* difficult experience with Joann's and learned something I want to share so others dont go through it. I left them for last as I was trying to sweep up odd bits that mfgs were sold out of, as well as some supplies. Sadly that cost me 2 stamps that had sold out.

What happened: I was placing a large order and the shopping cart froze and I couldnt open the screen/edit or even check out, though I could keep adding to it. (though I dont think you can do that indefinitely either)

If I tried to get into my cart I got a small side window with 2-3 things I could see and scroll down, but that was it, and a total. I could not open it fully to edit, and when I hit checkout it bombed out to an error page.

After spending the whole day on the computer surfing here and there and comparing notes, and then going back to order stuff, at 11pm, I was not a happy camper. I shut off the computer, I did stuff. Nada. Ugh. Of course their CS had already gone home, probably twitching, to get some rest before returning today.

Also the system was very slow and bunging out and I had to keep going back into my wishlist from the bar instead of just backpaging, but that was tech problems on their side. They have been working on it all week-the system as a whole has been crashing. Bottom line, I was in their site 4 hours last night and dead in the water. This AM it was the same so I called in for help.

FYI-Joann's CS cant just bring up your account, they have to completely write the order like they never heard of you before. (sigh)

From a tech POV, not just Joann's, but many sites apparently have a "line item limit". A dollar item takes up the same space as a $400 pc of equipment in bytes. Now I am tech cavewoman, but I think I understand that. They have to leave space to take your info too-name, address, CC, etc. It all counts.

What I dont understand is why a national chain doesnt have a stronger system, but that's a different conversation. I guess they dont count on people coming in and ordering 20 different stickles/re-inkers/stickers/whatever at a time.

So the totally lovely Juanita in CS just had to walk me through the order verbally. We took coffee sipping breaks. TG she is a crafter. (though not a stamper but she is intrigued now by the orders coming in. Of course I told her to come here if she decides to try it) They also hit the same wall, so we had to break up the order into 2 orders. (My saving grace was she told me someone else did the same thing with an order WAY bigger so I didnt feel as embarrassed. Man I would love to know what that woman got b/c I am nosy. She said her DH just bought a new gun so she was ordering for herself. LOL. They were on the phone for 3 hours literally.)

So here's the life lesson: For Joann's, when you get to 30 items, regardless of value, you need to check out and start another order. Once it freezes you are screwed b/c you cant even get in to take stuff out and get it working again.

Worse-they cant touch it from their side. They cant even see it. So you have to read it off to them, item by item.

This isnt going to change. So keep it in mind. All companies have their limits but of course it varies with the company.

Qty PER item does not seem to be the issue. If you are buying 1 or 5 of the same item, that's ok. It's when we get 10 different colors of an ink, so it lists 10 times, and then do that repeatedly with stickers or whatever, that causes the problem.

If you want to trigger the free ship totals pay attention to the value per order before you enter them. Divide your bigger $ items between so both orders will qualify. If it wont...then I would call in and have them enter it b/c they can fix it so you dont pay shipping on either order regardless of value.

If you do have my experience and CS walks you out of it....FYI-the system will dump the order you had entered automatically in 48 hours. So all that stuff I cant touch now will disappear on it's own. TG. I would not love having to go in and manually delete it all.
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:32 AM   #2
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UGHHHHHHHH. Ridiculous! They are lucky they have such loyal customers because this should lose them a lot of business, and quite rightly. And I have had that cart empty on me after 15 minutes of inactivity! I have literally gone to eat lunch and come back and the cart has zeroed out. As I said on the weekly sale thread, if their prices and shipping offers weren't so good, I would never use them.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:12 AM   #3
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What a terrible experience! Sorry you had to go through that.
Any company that sells so many different little things such as different colors of paint, ink, etc. should have their cart set to accept many different items. I wonder how much business they've lost from others who wanted to place a large order.

JoAnn.com does have some of the best sale prices on items I need (ink pads, ink refills, adhesive, etc.) but I'm not fond of the shopping experience. It seems to take FOREVER for them to process and ship an order. And the one time I had to send back a defective item (my Cutterpilllar trimmer) was a nightmare of a wait to get a refund, partly because I used a gift card. The entire process took about seven weeks.
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:29 PM   #4
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Melissa, thanks for the information. I fought with a Joanne's order last month and things kept disappearing from my cart!! The lesson I learned is to save things on the wishlist before putting it into my cart. I had some really cool stamps and couldn't find them again so I feel your pain!!
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Covington Crafter View Post
Melissa, thanks for the information. I fought with a Joanne's order last month and things kept disappearing from my cart!! The lesson I learned is to save things on the wishlist before putting it into my cart. I had some really cool stamps and couldn't find them again so I feel your pain!!
I have had things disappear from my cart too. I thought I was going bonkers.

What a miserable experience to have the cart freeze but i know what you are saying as I have had it freeze on me. I have called and spoken to CS rep and ordered by phone - luckily the person on the other end was trying to be helpful and apologetic. Their site is so slow and glitchy, even on good days but that is just the way it is. What is even more frustrating is to order and have items canceled. How hard can it be to keep track of items in stock in a secured warehouse. In a b&m store, items get moved to diffeerent locations, items get stolen or damaged out but in a controlled environment like a warehouse, one expects the number sto be accurate. I never get an order that is complete.
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:12 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience. I had a similar problem with Joann's online several years ago. It wasn't a quantity thing but the system wouldn't accept my discount codes. But I know your pain - shopping, comparing prices, deciding what to order... and then having it all freeze up. I, too, called and went through the telephone ordering process. Ridiculous. I think I've only ordered one single item from them since. Thanks for sharing your experience, so others can be spared the aggravation!
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:39 AM   #7
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I rarely buy anything from Joannes anymore. I have with lengthy orders; copy and paste my order before done to save to another open document page on computer in case it disappears. You would not be able to start another order unless you have enough to pay to qualify for free shipping for both orders. I am retired; and we don't use credit cards so seldom do I get free shipping; and have such lengthy orders; though this weekend has been tempting with sales.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:24 AM   #8
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I have had that happen too-dropping the line after 15 minutes but I think that is also a function of my IP...as it happens elsewhere too. VERY annoying when chattering with friends in a long email since I am not the fastest typist.

Items just poofing out of the cart? That's new for me and wow. Not good.

I am not saying dont shop them...they really do have good pricing on sales (but nothing you need tomorrow)..it's just they are going to make us really "work" for it.

It can happen that the mfg is doing a better sale so I do check.

I just looked-that order is still sitting in my cart. If it is still there tomorrow I guess I have to call them again to clear it. sigh.

I may start cramping at their corp office. This really isnt right and if they dont hear it from us the consumer they are not going to do anything about it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wavejumper View Post
Items just poofing out of the cart? That's new for me and wow. Not good...I may start cramping at their corp office. This really isnt right and if they dont hear it from us the consumer they are not going to do anything about it.
Oh, I'm big on "feedback" and completing surveys! I get a pop-up window nearly every time I'm on their site, asking me to complete a survey, and I think I've done five so far I've even shared my feedback with a few of their customer service reps over the phone. So I'll need to vote with my feet and my wallet I suppose, but it's hard to pass up 40% off sales with a $1.99 shipping.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:28 AM   #10
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Complaining to customer service reps does nothing. Those people are paid to take care of problems and listening to complaints, not send the complaints up the chain of command.

With smaller companies, not purchasing and a little note as to why is the best way to get the message across. I usually find small businesses either bend over backwards to make things right or their attitude is that they make enough and don't need my business.

With larger companies, it's almost useless to complain. It's just business as usual from the bottom right up to the top. But when I get really upset--and I have a couple times, I take my complaints as high as I can reach. I send a letter addressed the CEO and/or President and send copies to all the members of the board. Many of the board members are major stockholders who are looking out for the company's bottom line and want us to continue doing business with them and they are the ones who can put on the pressure to make changes within the company.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:51 AM   #11
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I don't order online from Joanns but Instore experiences drive me crazy. Sale signs are often not by items so I think I can use my coupon only to get to the check out to find them on sale. I've talked to the manager and emailed Joann Corp and nothing has improved. They must feel their business is so good that customer goodwill is not important???
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:36 AM   #12
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As nice as Joann's is to order online I will never do it again. I had an issue a few weeks ago where I was billed four times for one order. I had to fight with customer service for awhile just to get my money back. it wasn't until I threatened to contact the BBB that they refunded me. The CS people were quite rude and started asking for bank info they had no business having. It made me distrust them. I'm sure this doesn't happen all the time but it ruined it for me.
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:30 PM   #13
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Complaining to customer service reps does nothing. Those people are paid to take care of problems and listening to complaints, not send the complaints up the chain of command.

With smaller companies, not purchasing and a little note as to why is the best way to get the message across. I usually find small businesses either bend over backwards to make things right or their attitude is that they make enough and don't need my business.

With larger companies, it's almost useless to complain. It's just business as usual from the bottom right up to the top. But when I get really upset--and I have a couple times, I take my complaints as high as I can reach. I send a letter addressed the CEO and/or President and send copies to all the members of the board. Many of the board members are major stockholders who are looking out for the company's bottom line and want us to continue doing business with them and they are the ones who can put on the pressure to make changes within the company.
As a customer service rep for a catalog company, I can tell you that we can only do what the company dictates we do in a given situation. I'm going to assume that like the company I work for, most companies will have a notation system, and complaints that are noted will be reviewed by the corporate headquarters. This does not mean they're going to act on the information, or get back to the customer, but with hundreds of thousands of orders it's not possible to "get back" to every complaint.
I can tell you from experience that once I've done what company policy allows, asking to speak to someone else higher up the chain of command isn't probably going to get you much else.
While we're on the subject, if you want a rep to help you, it's a pretty good idea not to cuss them, be rude, get screaming mad, be snotty, etc. We handle maybe a hundred calls a day, and it isn't going to get you anywhere to be nasty. If you are pleasant to me, I'll do what I can for you. (Often, I get frustrated that I can't do more in some cases, but let's remember that I'm an employee, not the owner. I don't make policy, I just have to follow it)
I have plenty of pet peeves, among them- don't launch into a long winded explanation taking minutes until asked to do so- when we ask "How can I help you?" try a quick simple basic statement- I got a wrong item, I got a damaged item, I was mischarged- then let the rep run the call. We'll ask for the information we need to pull up your order or account, and we'll ask specific questions. And, by the way, if you are claiming you were charged multiple times, you'll need to provide proof of that- we're NOT trying to pry into your accounts, but in the case of a claim of multiple charges, we are going to be asking for copies of statements SHOWING those charges. Again, it's whatever the company we work for requires, the rep you're speaking to isn't trying to get information for his or her self. And don't automatically assume you're being lied to. I get so tired of people accusing me of lying to them. I do not lie to customers. There are some things I cannot tell you, but if you are calm, and polite, I do my best to resolve your issues. I could go on & on, but just take it from one of the people who answers that phone call when you're upset- if you behave like a human being, I will too. There's something about being on the phone that makes some people forget they are speaking to a person who is doing a job, and who has to do as the company they work for dictates.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:46 AM   #14
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Contrapat-
Thank you for sharing the CS phone experience. I worked in retail for 25 years and in other jobs where CS was a part of the deal though not in the same way. I know I have been shocked -and I am pretty jaded-about what people had the nerve to actually say to my face, in pubic, where others can hear them too. Behind a phone or computer screen...good golly. Yeeesh.

Being the face of the company to the public (or what we used to call The Trenches) isnt easy. I know they are not yelling at me but at my company-still not fun. You might notice I said we took coffee breaks...she had her mug and I had my tea mug and I would say every 10 mins Sip time! and we did. And I made jokes. We were a "team" taking on the problem. We got through a difficult situation that is SO not her fault. It isnt even IT's fault-they are doing what they were told to set up.

I am sorry though to hear more issues with Joann's. I have bought from them for years and it isnt always easy but the pricing sometimes cant be beat. It is normal (hopefully) to get slammed for black friday so maybe they think it's ok but this is not that..this is an IT thing that exists all the time.

I dont have a store close to me so I have to work with the online. Sorry to hear that isnt so great either.

I have been known to write to Presidents to complain-I agree they need to hear from the consumer. But also to praise. I dont think that happens nearly enough. I never hear back. I just hope the latter gets into their file.

Sometimes I aim lower-like a district manager on the phone if it is about a store...DMs are often people that moved up so they get it. Presidents of big nationals may have NEVER worked in the stores of the company-or any for that matter.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:53 AM   #15
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I am sorry though to hear more issues with Joann's. I have bought from them for years and it isnt always easy but the pricing sometimes cant be beat.
I agree about JoAnn's sale prices. I don't buy often but when I do I know I'm getting a good deal and I'm prepared for the long delivery wait and an even longer wait to get a refund. In defense of JoAnn's CS, when I called to inquire about the missing refund, I was treated with courtesy and respect. That goes a long way with me.

Sadly, customer service has become a thing of the past. One of my very first jobs out of high school was working in, what was back then, a large retail chain hardware store. Customers were priority #1. If someone even just looked like they needed help, we dropped what we were doing and to help them. If we didn't have the information, we found someone who did.

Fast forward 35 years ... I worked a few months in a large retail store where I had a vastly different experience. Getting merchandise onto the floor was top priority. Keeping the aisles and shelves neat and clean was #2. It was more or less assumed that the customer would take care of themselves. Worse, there was a lot of behind the scenes comments about customers from employees and low-level supervisors. If the store was out of something on sale, it was the customer's fault for not calling ahead to make sure it was in stock. If people called and had to wait a long time for someone to help them, it was their own fault for being too lazy to come into the store and look for the item themselves.

Quote:
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I have been known to write to Presidents to complain-I agree they need to hear from the consumer. But also to praise. I dont think that happens nearly enough.
Yes! When service in a restaurant or retail store is especially good, I make it a point to let them know that I appreciate it and, as often as possible, I ask for a manager to let them know how pleased I am with their employee. I like to think of it as doing my part to get society to put the focus back on customer service--no matter how fruitless the task may be.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:24 AM   #16
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As a customer service rep for a catalog company, I can tell you that we can only do what the company dictates we do in a given situation. I'm going to assume that like the company I work for, most companies will have a notation system, and complaints that are noted will be reviewed by the corporate headquarters. This does not mean they're going to act on the information, or get back to the customer, but with hundreds of thousands of orders it's not possible to "get back" to every complaint.
I can tell you from experience that once I've done what company policy allows, asking to speak to someone else higher up the chain of command isn't probably going to get you much else.
And this is what's wrong with customer service today (not blaming you, workers are often limited by a company's culture).

Seth Godin it's a marketing guru who has so many good things to say about shifting priorities for long-term gain while focusing on service to the client or customer. It can be a win-win, but so many companies have taken the shortcut to so they think profits while practically ignoring the customer, the sole reason they are in business in the first place.

If a company is too busy with "more important" work to pass on my feedback, or solve my problem or make me happy, then I can't be bothered to shop with them. Period.
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:00 PM   #17
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Thank you for saying to store it in the save..........I would have never thought that. I order from them as their prices on sale are good............I am so sorry you went through hell to get this all done......not right....
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:23 AM   #18
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Sigh. So true. Somewhere around here I have a book called CS for Dummies...I havent looked at it yet. I imagine it will be "when the phone rings-pick it up and say hello". (I actually once had a manager who would pick it up and hang up immediately if she felt the phones were ringing "too much" while she sat in an office looking at wedding mags).
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:31 PM   #19
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(I actually once had a manager who would pick it up and hang up immediately if she felt the phones were ringing "too much" while she sat in an office looking at wedding mags).
That was me calling. I think your manager now works at the local county hospital on the outpatient appointment line. Always fun to hear that recorded message, over and over, say "Thank you for waiting. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received." Then, just when you hear it connecting to an operator, the person at the other end hangs up.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:53 AM   #20
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Oh no Melissa! It's never right but in some things, like medicine..that is really wrong.

I have this long message on my answering machine b/c my number is 1 digit off a doctor's office. For 30 years we have been getting wrong numbers. (the son took over the practice) If it was a florist I wouldnt care so much, but I dont want anyone thinking they left a message for a doctors office that is never getting answered.
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:18 AM   #21
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That was me calling. I think your manager now works at the local county hospital on the outpatient appointment line. Always fun to hear that recorded message, over and over, say "Thank you for waiting. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received." Then, just when you hear it connecting to an operator, the person at the other end hangs up.
Grrrrrr. That's terrible.

When calling my specialist's office, it would ring and ring and ring and ring and nobody would pick up and it never even went to voicemail. After a few months (yes months) I figured out through the grapevine that they were short staffed but it was also a deliberate plan to push us to their email messaging system. They would ask me every time "Are you on My Health at...?" instead of just saying outright: we are moving to this system almost exclusively so please use that instead of calling. Which of course, they probably couldn't legitimately say. So I reluctantly started emailing when a call would've probably been much more efficient, considering the amount of detail a chronic medical condition requires. I'm sure there are still patients hanging on, thinking someone's going to answer their call.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:32 AM   #22
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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavejumper View Post
Oh no Melissa! It's never right but in some things, like medicine..that is really wrong.

I have this long message on my answering machine b/c my number is 1 digit off a doctor's office. For 30 years we have been getting wrong numbers. (the son took over the practice) If it was a florist I wouldnt care so much, but I dont want anyone thinking they left a message for a doctors office that is never getting answered.
When we first moved, our new land line number was 1 digit off for a bail bond company. Ask me about some of the calls we got from the county jail! The poor people only had one call to try to get bond and get out of jail, and they got us! My sweet hubby felt so sorry for one guy that he took an elaborate message and called the fellow's mom to relay the message.

These days, our number is 1 digit off a doctor's, like yours. I check my messages and get an elderly, frail voice calling about a prescription, or checking for an appointment time. I don't want them waiting by the phone for a call back that never comes. I usually call them back and tell them they've gotten the wrong number. So many times, they call me right back and have dialed the wrong number again!
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:16 PM   #23
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Bugga-I love your quote, and what a kind thing to call back a frail person who got the number wrong. I love to hear things like that.

Yeah sometimes Joann's can be a pain but their deals are so good and sometimes the shipping price can't be beat. Their website is pretty rickety. I buy all my ink refills there and some stamps and dies. Years ago I worked briefly in a call center. The abuse those phone operators take is just unbelievable. Many of them are young single moms who make so little money. No excuse for bad service but it's a tough world for CS reps.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #24
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That is why I have that long message that states very clearly "This is NOT a doctor's office but a private home. If you want the doctor, hang up and dial again" blah blah blah. The messages stopped. Of course now that I said that, I'll get one today. Sometimes when I am home I'll get one. Then they do it again and I'm like "nope...still wrong".

The bail bond seems scary. Yikes!

So the Joann update is...months later that stuff was still in my cart so I could not place an order online. (After I had called again and they said someone who wasnt there would fix it the next day)

So I call again...and I get this guy who insists all we can do is dump my account and open a new one. Do what??? Why would you even suggest that?? Why would I want to lose all my buying history for years?? Um no.

So I nicely asked to speak to a supervisor. After I got put on hold, the line got "dropped". Uh huh. Called again, got a woman who was super nice and she fixed it right then after apologizing for it all. Took awhile b/c she cant just hit "empty cart"-she had to go in and manually delete each item. Another IT issue to fix. I suggested she needed to find that guy and teach him to do it (although it might have just been he didnt want to be bothered).

Generally I have really good experiences with their CS. It's just that what I have to call about 9/10 times is stuff that should never have happened in the first place. That is the kind of company I would not want to work for...unless I was in the warehouse. That could be fun to see all the stuff! The tell me it is massive. And I am a good packer! I wonder if they get a good employee discount...LOL.

Last edited by wavejumper; 01-25-2016 at 09:30 AM..
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