Friday, 14 February 2014

Advance Deployment

I used to like buying from Advance Deployment... But their recent attitude has been very confounding and somewhat consumer-unfriendly if you ask me. 

I bought something from Advance Deployment on the 30th November 2013, during their Black Friday sale. However, it was never delivered nor was the shipping status updated at all for a month. I emailed AD several times asking if there was any update on the order at all. Even a form reply of "We're working on it. Thanks," would have been good but I received no reply at all, which was just weird. But maybe they were too busy with all the orders they received during the BF sale. So I waited, all the while mindful of Paypals claim window.

Then finally their Facebook page updated with the first post since their announcement of the Black Friday sale. Keep in mind that it's been at least a month since their last post. Coincidentally, the day they state in the post "Wed" is the last day of my paypal claim window. I thought "OK, I'll just wait until then and file a claim if I haven't received any tracking number yet by then." Thanks to several incidents, I've become much more appreciative of using Paypals resolution service and a lot more mindful of their claim window. 

However, after 45 days, I still hadn't received anything at all. No replies to my emails. No tracking number. Heck, the order was still being processed in the AD store. So with that in mind, I ended opening a dispute in Paypal, stating I hadn't received my items yet. However, the good thing is the dispute window lasts for 20 days so there was still a chance for AD to send my stuff to me. 

Then 13 days later; which is 8 days later than their proposed ship date of 15th Jan, Wednesday, they post another status update saying they're swamped and still shipping stuff. Surely, I would receive a tracking number soon wouldn't I? Meanwhile people are asking why the store was back up and accepting new orders if they were still backlogged from the Black Friday Sale. Note, they had taken down the webstore for a while after Black Friday so as to concentrate on pushing out the BF sale orders. 
25th January update. Nope, still nothing for me. In fact I get NOTHING at all during my entire dispute window which lasts 20 days and I end up having to bump it up into a claim. It's only during the claim window that I actually receive anything at all. I don't even receive it directly from AD but from Paypal, which tells me the seller has sent them a tracking number. This was on 6th Feb 2014. Well, that's fine. I check the tracking number which just states electronic shipping info received. Which really just means USPS was told about the package but hasn't received anything yet. ie. The package hasn't been shipped yet. 

Well, I keep checking it over the next few days and the status is still "Electronic Shipping Info received". Even when I check it 5 days later. Dude, WTH??? Anyway, apparently Paypal feels the same way I do as it resolves the dispute in my favor on Feb 11th as well. 

So really, after 70+ days I ended up receiving nothing from AD but I managed to get my money back. However, I'm not the only one who hasn't received anything from AD at all. People in my local WMH meta still haven't and they've made orders amounting to 200USD for the BF sale. People are posting on their facebook they haven't received their orders or they're missing items from their orders and they're NOT getting any responses from AD at all. 

I can understand being swamped with orders, or being backlogged in terms of production. What I can't understand is how AD can just pretty much ignore ALL these people who are asking "Hey, where's my stuff? It's been a month-2months" or "Hey, my order was wrong". It doesn't take much to make most people happy. Just replying them will make them happy and feel like they're being listened to. Ignoring them however is just a recipe for disaster, unless you can afford to burn good will as well as potential customers. Because people WILL go onto their facebook page and WILL look to see if there are any issues with the company. 

Due to this recent debacle with AD, I am also more reluctant to buy from them in the future. Especially when there are other template producers such as Warsenal around. Although having more options is always good.