Thursday, October 9, 2014

Future Shop – Deep, systemic incompetence …

I used to like Future Shop. They have a good price matching policy and the selection, while bland and leaning to the cheaper crap, is adequate for when I want to look at items before buying. And I do buy at Future shop now and again because it is convenient to my location.

So I needed to replace my slightly damaged and very slow performing card reader and found a nice and known to be very fast reader on their site. I checked a few other sites and Future Shop won because their shipping was lower.

Only there is one problem … they defaulted my shipping address to a city 1200 miles from my home because I once sent a single package there. They display the ship to address in small text in a larger page and do not call it out in a way that it is noticeable. I surely would have changed the ship to address had it been visible to me, since 1200 miles away does me very little good.

So when they sent me the shipping confirmation, where they finally do display the address prominently, I thought I’d swallowed a bug! I was and still am livid that their horrible (I’ve documented issues before) web site had effectively screwed me.

Of course I sent a message through their internal contact page to ask for a reroute. But their incredibly unhelpful response was that I could not file a lost package claim (I was not trying to) and to attempt to visit the location to retrieve the package. Now, is it just me, or does the addition of a $600 to $700 flight to retrieve the package tilt the balance to other vendors just a bit? After all, we are now comparing $5 against $600+ instead of the initial $2 they charged to send it 1200 miles away.

To add the kick in the jewels, they mentioned that I should change my default address (which I did not set in the first place) so I went in afterwards and tried that. It threw errors and failed. So as far as I know, it was not changed. Bumbling fools, they are.

I ended up responding to the email from them (not all that kindly, I must say) and then filed another request for a reroute through their contact page, outlining to them these facts:

  • I would never make a location 1200 miles away my default shipping address. That is their bug.
  • Their checkout process never shows the address in a way that it does not just blend in. That is their bug.
  • They have no analytics to ask “are you sure about that address?” That is just plain lazy.

So I pin this cockup squarely in the camp of their incompetent web designers. Adding their seemingly incompetent support into the mix and we have a perfect storm of raining fecal matter.

Needless to say, Future Shop will be the last company I order from for the foreseeable future.