Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My battle with DiscountMugs.com

I figured the most ridiculous customer service situation I've ever been in was a good reason to resuscitate this blog. It's a long one, but so insane that it's worth the read.

On August 31, I placed an order with DiscountMugs.com for 45 stemless wine glasses with the name and date printed on them for a baby shower I was helping to plan.

["Wine glasses for a baby shower?" you ask. Whatever. She can use it when the kid drops.]

I do quite a few events and have never used this company before, but my usual company didn't have a baby elephant design, which was the theme of the shower. The event was on September 12, but the arrival date the site gave me was September 9, so I figured, no problem.

[No problem. Hahahahahahahahaha.]

I got a confirmation email right away, with the following note at the top of the email in bright red so you can't miss it.

You will receive a proof of your order/artwork via e-mail within approximately 24-48 hours. Orders will not be processed until you submit your approval. This notice does not pertain to blank, sample, or monogram orders, as no proof will be sent.

On the morning of September 2, I still had not received a proof to approve, so I called the company to ask about the delay since there was a short turnaround time. I was told by a customer service agent that because of the turnaround time, they had decided to put my glasses into production without sending me a proof. This sent up some red flags with me, so I asked him to send me a proof immediately.

When I got the proof, it was clear that the design was going to be too small on the 9 oz glass. I called back and asked to speak with a supervisor, who told me because the glasses had already gone into production, it was too late to change them. I made it clear that sending them into production before sending me a proof was their poor decision and that the item needed to be changed. Without time to go back and forth with proofs, I asked for the largest stemless wine glass they had, which was 21 oz. Yes, a bit big for wine for most people, but not for my friends. The supervisor assured me that he would make the change for me since it was their mistake to begin with, but that I would have to approve the new proof before he could make the change. I approved the proof immediately.

I got a notice that day that the order had been shipped. The glasses were delivered on September 4.

Upon opening the glasses, I realized that had sent me the 9 oz glasses, despite the lengthy conversation with the supervisor. Unfortunately it was now Friday night of a holiday weekend, so the issue would have to wait until Tuesday.

This is where it gets fun.

[And by fun I mean stab me in the eye kind of fun.]

On Tuesday, September 8, I called customer service and spoke with Deandre and told him about the situation. He informed me that they could replace the glasses in time for my event, but I would need to send the claims department a photo to prove that the wrong glasses had been sent. He sent me an email to reply to with the photo. I sent him this.


It's pretty clear that the glass sitting next to the box labeled 9 oz is, in fact the same size as the box. In addition, the C8832A corresponds with DiscountMugs.com's item number on their site for the 9 oz glass, and the print on the glass is the same print I ordered for my event. Surely this was enough proof.

I emailed Deandre that afternoon for an update. No response.

I emailed Deandre the next day, September 9. No response.

I called customer service first thing in the morning on September 10 to find out what was going. At this point, two days before the event, it was going to be too late to replace them, so I was going to have to use them. My plan was to ask for a 50 percent refund. After sitting on hold for almost 30 minutes, I finally got Alexandra on the phone, who told me that Deandre had been out of the office.

[We'll save the bullet points on why this is such a shitty process for a different post.]

Alexandra informed me that their claims department was now asking for a video of myself pouring 9 oz of water into the glass to prove that it was, in fact, a 9 oz glass.

A video. Of me pouring water into the glass.

I told her in no uncertain terms that this was by far the dumbest thing a customer service department has ever asked me to do. But I did it anyway. Here is what I sent them.



I also let her know that since the company had taken so long to address the issue, there was no longer time to replace the item. I would have no choice but to use them so that the gift bags weren't empty. Because of that, I was asking for a partial refund of $116. That afternoon, I asked Alexandra for an update. No response.

I didn't hear from anyone at DiscountMugs.com until Monday, September 14th when I got this response via email.

We do apologize for the inconvenience. Discount Mugs value your support, however we were able to come up with a great resolution for you. We can offer you an ISC of $72 for your next order, you can use it whenever you would like. The greatest news is this ISC In Store Credit never expires! Please let us know.

This email is almost as dumb as asking me to provide a video of me pouring water into a glass.

I paid $232 for the glasses. They were offering me less than half of that in store credit, with the assumption that I'd ever be using their company again. I made it clear that no, DiscountMugs.com would not be on my vendor list moving forward and no, a store credit for $72 was not a "great resolution." I also asked for the address the company uses to receive legal correspondence, because I am not above filing a small claims suit out of principle.

[Clearly being 7 months pregnant with a toddler and a full time job isn't fulfilling enough.]

I got this response.

We have received your request. A refund will not be a problem, however we will have to issue a call back. Which we will have to receive back the order that you received and in order to receive a full refund all 45 of the C8304 will have to be in the package. You will receive via email the ticket for FedEx all instructions will also be provided.  Again we do apologize and thank you.

Man, this girl is just not listening. Also worth noting, not a single person from DiscountMugs.com bothered to call me at any point during this process.

Since email is clearly their preferred method of awful contact, I emailed back, reminding her that I had informed her days before that I would need to use the glasses, which is why I was only asking for a partial refund.

On September 15th, I got this response.

Sarah we apologize for the inconvenience. We are doing all that we can to assist you. Unfortunately a full refund we cannot give. That refund was contingent on receiving all 45pc back, since we did not, the refund is no longer an optionWe can however offer you an (ISC) In Store Credit for the inconvenience.  An In Store Credit of $116.00, If you have any other questions please give us a call back.

Clearly someone forgot to put on her listening pants. At no point did I ask for a full refund. I already made it clear that I would not be using them again, so a store credit was also not acceptable.

At this point I think that DiscountMugs.com makes the process so difficult in the hopes that people will just give up. Unfortunately for them, I'm not that person.

[Also, I may be a little crazy, but that's another post entirely.]

I'll be filing a small claim for the money, plus the filing fee plus a little extra for the trouble and time. This will cost me only the filing fee, but as a corporation, they will have to be represented by an attorney. So instead of giving me the $116, it will now cost them thousands.

Is all of this worth the $116? Perhaps not. But at this point, after a week of dealing with a company with such little regard for their customers, it's no longer about the money.

[It's about principles, dammit. And maybe the money.]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had almost verbatim the same problem with them. They are probably the worst company I have ever had to deal with.

Steven Kraft said...

There are worse. Companies live and die on the quality of their customer service and returns policy.

Unknown said...

I hate to go against you but my order with Discount Mug was processed accurately and delivered in a timely manner

Sarah said...

Sure, unknown. But a company's customer service isn't just defined by the good experiences. It's also defined by how they handle it when things go wrong. I don't think you'll find many people who will look at this situation and say they handled this well. And since I posted this, many people have come forward with similar experiences with this company.

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