Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Costume Fiasco

Every year my mother orders the girls Halloween costumes - it is something that she likes to do for them every year and they look forward to picking out their costumes.

We usually try to select our costumes fairly early because the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to find exactly what you are looking for.  I had difficulty finding a store that had both costumes my daughters selected - Miss N. selected a cookie monster costume and Miss E. selected a sock monkey costume. To avoid paying shipping at two retailers, I tried to find one that carried both costumes.  I decided to shop at Costume Super Center because they sold both costumes and both appeared to be available.  

When my mother placed the order, she was instructed that the cookie monster costume would ship immediately but that the sock monkey was back ordered and would be shipped out on the 17th.  This was more than three weeks ago.  Well, that never happened....  My mother called me today and said that she had not been notified that the other costume shipped out so I contacted the store.

At first I was told the order did ship out and it was delivered in early October.  I reminded them that the order contained two items and we were still waiting on the 2nd.  After a long wait, I was informed verbatim:
Chat rep  "Unfortunately, this item is out of stock and has been cancelled on your order."

Wow.  Thanks for the notice. 

Do I have a problem with the item being out of stock?  No.  I realize that it is close to Halloween and these things happen.  It also is just a costume.  Not receiving it is unfortunate, but looking at the larger scope of things, it is not going to negatively impact my life in a huge way.. 

What I do care about is that this was something that my daughter was so excited about so this was a huge disappointment.  I am completely irritated and upset that the company never notified us.  Had they done so I may have been able to pick out the same costume somewhere else.  The lack of follow through and lack of caring showed how non-existent the customer service was. 

This is an unfortunate trend that American consumers deal with every day - in countless industries and situations.  When I worked in retail the mantra was "the customer is always right".  yes, there were a few people that abused this - like the woman who brought back a bra she wore for a year and a pair of panty hose with a run in it.  I was flabbergasted but even these were promptly refunded.  Most customers were honorable, and overall the practice worked.  These days that practice is not existant.  it went from "The Customer is Always Right" to "The Customer Simply Does Not Matter".   It is very disheartening.

Back to Miss E. and the missing costume....  At the end of the day I went online where I typically shop - Party City.  I asked Miss E. to pick out another item.  She picked out a frilly Bat Girl costume - pink, sparkly and totally her :)   Athough I still prefer the Sock Monkey, she is happy and that is all that matters!

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