Warning: This is a rant. And may be dramatic.
Online shopping. Many of us do it, many of us fear it. I frequently shop online and have had minimal bad experiences when it comes to items and shipping. All good things must come to an end, and I unfortunately had to add a recent purchase to my list of 'baddies'. Let me explain.
A few weeks ago I had a Halloween Party coming up (To which I dressed up as a Demon), and I decided to order a dress from ASOS. I have ordered from ASOS many times before. One time wasn't so good. I ordered an expensive pair of boots and they came thrown in a dirty box with no tags, no labels, and looked worn on the bottom. I had to argue for an hour to get anywhere. I decided to look past that and continue ordering, with general success, rainbows and happiness. This time, I knew I needed the order fairly soon so I selected Express Shipping. When I went to the check out page, it had estimated for the package to arrive before the weekend. Awesome. I bought the dress (see below. I'm kind of bitter about it now even though I shouldn't feel angry about the dress).
What followed next?
1. The order did not ship for a few days, which made me start to wonder how on earth it was going to make it here on time when it was coming from the UK, even though I had ordered it from the US site.
2. It finally shipped and I received an email from SkyNet. I had never heard of this company or this process before, but basically it demanded money or else it was essentially going to keep my package hostage in customs. I don't mind paying for customs, I expect it and it isn't the company's fault. But who the heck works with a shipping brokerage company that demands money through email, online (other companies will ask for custom payments at your door upon delivery) and then threaten to add $1 for each day you do not pay. Not only that, but the email came off as fraudulent.
3. I wasn't sure if this email was legit, as it was asking for me to pay via credit card. There's no good way to get in touch with ASOS so I turned to their help Twitter. They replied within about an hour and things seemed like they were going good. They were personable, and I told them what was up. They told me they would call SkyNet to see if the email was real and didn't indicate they had ever heard of such a thing before.
4. A couple hours pass and they come back to me with a super generic response copy pasted from the website about how they aren't responsible for customs. I KNOW but you also are responsible for who you choose to work with in terms of shipping brokerage!? They also completely disregarded telling me whether the email was fake or not, even after I asked again.
5. I called SkyNet Miami, which seemed to be this company's main office. They told me the email was fake. WTF.
6. I told this to ASOS, again no response or help. At this point I was raging mad and just wanted to send the package back, but wasn't sure which charges I would still incur.
7. I did some more research and found someone on reddit who had received the same email, paid, and got their package 2 days later. After calling the number supplied in the email and the customs office at the airport, I was convinced it was real. They didn't know why Miami SkyNet said it was fake. I paid and hoped for the best.
The package arrived about 3 days later, of course way late for the party. The one silver lining: ASOS did refund me the Express Shipping. My main problem with this is the customer service. I'm not sure why they ignored my requests to know if they were indeed working with this company. I'm not sure why they would tell people paying Express Shipping that a package would be here on a certain day, when the brokerage they are working with has a policy about holding packages (what if I just didn't check my email?). I'm not sure why ASOS has no phone options where I could maybe have a chance at not receiving a copy/pasted response after hours of back and forth.
I will likely still shop at ASOS, but beware before you pay for express shipping and count on an item to arrive. I also think they need to disclose what their shipping brokerage's policy is on the shipping page. What has been your worst online shopping experience?
PS. The dress fits.