Sunday, October 7, 2012

Visiondecor Furniture Offers Payoff to Alter Amazon Review

Bad customer service experiences are hardly rare these days; in fact, most of the time they're not even worth mentioning.  Last month, though, I had one bad enough that it seemed worth taking a few minutes to leave seller feedback at Amazon.com, and what happened next left me feeling worse about Visiondecor Furniture than I had when they'd simply been ignoring me and failing to fill my order.

Here's the backstory, condensed:

On September 11, I ordered a bed frame from Visiondecore through Amazon.com.  I ordered a few other items from other sellers at the same time, including a loft bed/futon combo.  On September 14, I received an email from Visiondecor saying that the item had been shipped and would arrive between September 19 and 21.  By September 17, all of my other items had been delivered.  No tracking information ever appeared on Amazon for the Visiondecor order, and when the item hadn't appeared by September 22, I sent a message to the company inquiring.

I received no response.  However, on Monday the 24th, I received a call from a logistics company wanting to schedule a delivery.  I returned their call on Tuesday morning but didn't get a call back until Wednesday.  When I got that call back on Wednesday, I was advised that they only delivered to my area on Wednesdays, and since they hadn't put the item on the truck that morning (because they hadn't returned my call the day before), I wouldn't be able to get the item until October 10.

When I protested that it had already been ten days since I'd received the "your item has been shipped" email from the seller, the shipper said, "We only received this item on the 22nd."  Prompted by my email, perhaps?

I told the shipper that wasn't acceptable and suggested that she get in touch with her customer and find out what they would like to do to get the item to me sooner, since I had been unable to contact them directly.  Then I went to Amazon and left 1 Star feedback with this comment:

"Worst online ordering experience ever. Seller misrepresented that item had been shipped, it still hasn't arrived 13 days after "has been shipped" email, no tracking information ever appeared. Delivery estimated 9/18-21; it is now 9/27 and no delivery or information. Email to seller has gone unanswered for 5 days."


Within hours I'd received a call back from the shipper saying that the item would be delivered the next day and one from Visiondecor apologizing and offering a discount.  I decided not to return the call to the company until I received the item.  Then, when I did call, it was early afternoon on a weekday and I received a message asking me to call back during regular business hours.  I decided it wasn't worth pursuing further; I had the item, didn't care much about receiving a discount and couldn't imagine what Visiondecor could do to change my impression of the company at that point.

I was wrong, though.  


About a week after the initial call, I received an email from Visiondecor.  The company lost points right away because the email was a reply to the one they'd never bothered to respond to back on the 22nd.  As I read further, I was totally dumbfounded: the purpose of the email was to let me know that IF I removed my negative review from Amazon within 24 hours, they could offer me a 50% discount to "change my customer experience".  My customer experience was NOT improved by being offered a bribe to remove my entirely accurate description of my experience with the company--especially since I had myself relied on customer feedback when deciding which seller to purchase the item from and now think it's likely that the feedback was positive only because the company has purchased that result.


The email I received from Visiondecor is below; the moral of the story is that apparently customer feedback isn't a reliable way to determine whether or not you want to deal with a seller.  When (after the fact) I checked sites like TrustLink, I found reports much more in line with my experience.


Nadine Alvarado, Oct 04 15:41 (PDT):
Hi there!
My name is Nadine. I’m the customer care manager here at Visiondecor. I’m writing to personally apologize for the inconveniences you suffered due to your negative experience shopping with us on Amazon. I would like to do something to help change your customer experience into, at least, a more satisfactory outlook. I see that you’ve been offered a discount for the inconvenience already. But, if you would be willing to reconsider the negative review you left within the next 24 hours I can get a refund of half your entire order approved.
Please respond as soon as possible and let me know if you would like this. I can get it for you right away if you do that.
If you have any questions, concerns or aren’t sure how to remove it please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you out.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing, I thought. Bribing a customer to withdraw a negative review?

I am having problems with Visiondecor too, on an order placed through Amazon Marketplace. I noticed that your post included a telephone contact number for "Nadine" at Visiondecor; and since I had no luck reaching Visiondecor via the telephone number posted at their Amazon Marketplace profile page (it did not have an extension number...without an extension number their phone system tells customers that they are busy and cannot take calls), I called and using the extension number, was able to reach "Nadine." She must have confused me with somebody else because she immediately said she had left me a phone message saying that even though she had offered a discount due to problems with the order, she could also offer a partial refund if I would withdraw my negative Amazon Marketplace review. When I told her that I had not filed any review at all, and that she must have me confused with someone else, she became flustered and said she needed to look up MY file. What this tells me is that the incident reported above, of Visiondecor offering a bribe to an Amazon Marketplace customer to withdraw a negative review, is NOT an isolated incident. It appears that it is ongoing and continuing. I have contacted Amazon to urge that they look into EVERY instance of a withdrawn negative review for Visiondecor Furniture. Without assurance that this abuse of Amazon Marketplace has been investigated and appropriate action taken, I would have to lend very little credence to Amazon Marketplace seller ratings.

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