Sometimes these “unnecessary complications” entries write themselves. Seriously. For example, I think you’ll enjoy reading this ridiculous situation that I experienced with the online arm of my friends at F.Y.E. I stress that this experience took place with the FYE.com website because I really enjoyed my interactions with the folks employed at the physical F.Y.E. store.A brief background before I share the e-mail exchange with FYE.com’s customer service… As you might already know, last year I purchased a set of season tickets to Monmouth University’s men’s basketball team. I’ve always liked basketball, but after I began attending high school I really didn’t have time to follow the sport as a fan because of playing football and wrestling. I think I went to one New Jersey Nets game with my uncle, cousins, and brothers when I was in high school (although that could have easily been when I was in grade school – I just can’t remember too clearly). Anyway, I began going to the basketball games at Monmouth and really enjoyed the whole experience. Sure, part of my enjoyment was due to the fact that I purchased great seats where I could really watch the game uninterrupted. And yes, part of my enjoyment came from the fact that, as a donor, I have access to a nice pre-game and post-game lounge area. But the truth is that I really enjoyed going to the games because I enjoyed watching the games themselves. In fact, I liked it so much that I wanted to begin watching NBA games again.
Now remember, I hadn’t regularly watched NBA games since I was in grade school and at the time I was a huge Chicago Bulls fan. Of course, I was probably a Bulls fan because when I was in grade school, Michael Jordan was destroying his competition. These days, I didn’t really feel a connection to that team so I turned to the Nets. The first thing I learned about the Nets was that they’re probably leaving New Jersey. Great. I’m not rooting for a team that is leaving the state. And what does that leave me with? Either the New York Knicks or the Philadelphia 76’ers. No thanks. I thought to myself that maybe I could find a team to root for if I had more time around the NBA and started looking into which basketball video games were popular. Not that I have time to play video games, but I thought it was a decent idea.
I did a little bit of research and it turns out that this NBA 2k11 game is supposed to be the best thing to ever grace a video game console since anything ever in the world. Or something like that… anyway, I pre-ordered the game for Nintendo Wii way back on August 31, 2010. Seems like a long time ago, right? Well, that’s the background that you need to know for my story. Oh, and you should know that the game was released for the Wii at some point last week and thus I should have had it in my hot little hands at this point.
As you might imagine, I didn’t get the game delivered to me. So, I sent the following message to FYE.com:
I’m sending this message to inquire about my order #XXXXXX. The online system shows it still listed as a pre-order and “in process.” Could you let me know when I should expect this game to be delivered to my home?
FYE.com sent me the following response which, I have to admit, reads like it was written by a robot. Take a look at this:
We appreciate your recent order.
Unfortunately, the item ordered is currently out of stock. We have placed this item on back order and expect it to become available for shipment within 30 days.
We will ship the item when it becomes available.
If you wish to cancel your order, please see the cancelation instructions below.
We sincerely apologize for the delay in processing this request.
And yes, they did provide extensive cancellation instructions below this note. Well, I thought that this didn’t sound right. How could a video game that I ordered months ago not be in stock when I was a pre-order? In my mind I started thinking, “Ugh. This is going to be one of those customer service experiences that you read about on Consumerist.com and, frankly, I’m really not in the mood for this type of crap. I’m going to cancel this thing and move on with my life.” With that in mind, I wrote the following message to the folks at FYE.com:
Thank you for the update. I just have an additional question. Since I pre-ordered this item back in August, how could it possibly be out of stock for a pre-order? Isn’t that the purpose of a pre-order – to have the item in stock so that the person that placed the pre-order doesn’t have to wait for an additional 30 days?
I’m going to cancel my order, but this is pretty ridiculous in terms of serving a pre-ordering customer. Unreal.
Look, I have no reason to bow down or cow-tow to a company that clearly doesn’t give a shit about me as a customer (just wait until you read the tirade I’m getting ready to unleash on Honda in the next few days). I normally wouldn’t write that last sentence and the “Unreal” comment, but FYE.com really had it coming to them with their robotic response and completely unacceptable additional 30 day delay. To their credit, I guess, they responded within 24 hours with this message:
Thank you for contacting the fye.com Customer Assistance Center
Please log into your account online or contact us at 800-818-1941, option 7, to submit a cancellation request.
That was it. Nothing else. No direct answer to any of my questions or an explanation of what was going on. By the time I received this absolute joke of a customer service response, I had already canceled my order. But this was pretty damn insulting and it led me to share my experiences with you fine folks. The lesson that I learned here is three-fold. First, FYE.com’s customer service absolutely sucks. They either have you talking to robots or people who act like robots. Listen up, FYE.com: when a customer asks a question – no matter how rude you think that question may be – you respond to that question. Second, FYE.com clearly doesn’t care about my business and thus, I’m not giving it to them. I happen to have a small credit over at GameStop and I’ll be going to their website to spend my money now. And third, FYE.com sucks when compared to the folks in their brick and mortar store.
What a shame. I wanted to like shopping at FYE.com but, instead, found it to be an annoying, aggravating experience. For shame, FYE.com. For shame.