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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Let us talk for a moment, boys and girls, about customer service.

So, when I first moved to the city, I met Freshdirect. We were introduced by a friend. For only $4.95, I was told, Freshdirect will package up your reasonably-priced groceries and deliver them to your door. Cheap, fast, easy. I was seduced. The love affair began. My first order was delivered by a polite, strapping young man who handled my boxes as gently as you would a baby, and came with a free soda. Wow, I thought, wow. My second order was equally gently delivered, and came with a whole free pizza and a free soda, though they did mix up the seasoning I requested with one of my fish orders. Still, I thought, wow. They gave me a credit for the messed-up fish, too. That was nice. Still in the early stage of love, the one where you will overlook anything to keep this floaty, fuzzy, happy feeling. My third order marked the beginning of the end. My groceries were delivered by a shifty youth who tossed my boxes on the floor and high-tailed it out of my apartment as fast as his baggy pants would allow. I soon discovered why: somehow, in transit, one of my boxes had been dropped--the box containing eggs. Eggs which leaked all over my bags of fresh-ground coffee and what have you. Rather than, say, telling me what had happened or going back to get replacement items, the delivery geniuses opened the box, removed the whole package of ruined eggs, leaving another dozen cracked eggs and sodden coffee behind, and I guess just hoped I wouldn't notice. I did. Already, my lover is taking me for granted, I thought, neglecting my needs, while I continue to feed his (via a direct link to my bank account). I was bitter, but I figured, okay, everybody makes mistakes. I complained, they said they would credit my next order, and I figured everything would be okay. Then I got today's shipment. The order was, once again, perfect. Yay, I thought, yay. We are in love again. Everybody goes through tough times, and we have come through ours together. I put my groceries away, and made plans for the rest of the afternoon--buying produce (which I get from Fairway, because I just don't think that is the kind of thing that should be slapped together on an assembly line and boxed, and because I want them to stay locked in brutal competition for as long as possible, which is great for me, the consumer), buying cleaning products, buying a going-away gift for internet superstar friend, who shall soon be jetting back home to Paris, renting a hotel room for Worldcon. All of these things, you'll note, require money. So I checked my bank balance. And discovered that Freshdirect had billed me twice for my order. Now, I only order once every 3-4 weeks to keep delivery costs down, so you can imagine how much my order cost the first time I was billed. By the way, since some of the prices are dependent on final weight, they actually withhold an extra 25% of the estimated cost until the order has been finalized--delivered and recorded as such in their system. So I am actually having more than what the order costs withheld by my bank until the final charge comes through, which can tak a few days. Now double that amount. Yup, over $300 has just been snatched from my reach. Mind you, this is my bank account, not some piddling, easy-to-remedy credit card mix-up. I am very unhappy. So I called Freshdirect, right-a-fucking-way, because, oh, hell no. You do not fuck with a black woman's money. And I get this nice woman (they are always nice, I'll give them that), who at first thinks I am just concerned over the extra 25%, but then she gets a good look at the records and goes, "Oh, hold on, I'll go get someone from the accounts/credit department." Because I think she was a black woman, and she knew full well you don't fuck with a black woman's money. And when she came back, she said she had talked to the people in the credit department, and they could have my money released by tomorrow. Usually, she said, they wouldn't even be able to do it that fast, but they were trying to expedite the process. That's nice. Now, let me tell you why that is a problem, and not at all nice, really. Tomorrow is not my day off. Today is my day off, my day for cleaning and shopping and taking care of all the shit I won't be able to take care of again until next week, and I am working even more then, so who knows when I'll get another chance to do these things. And why is it Freshdirect can take my money, twice, quick as lightning, or at least fiber-optic light, but need two damn days to put it back? That don't make no damn sense. And don't even get me started on how I would have been treated had the shit happened in reverse, and I owed them some money. I would have been charged penalty fees by Freshdirect and my bank. Why don't they pay me penalties? I should get an "oops, we fucked up your account" refund. And lord, thank god this happened now, and not next week when my student loans get debited from my account. If Freshdirect caused that to bounce, do you think they would have done the right thing and covered all the check-bouncing fees from my bank and lender, and straightened everything out with the bounced-check-trackers, who can make life very nasty, indeed? No, no they would not have. They would have said, "Oops, our bad, we'll get your money back as soon as it is convenient for us, but you are on your own with the rest of it." I almost want to have one of those on-the-floor-in-the-dark-listening-to-Lisa Lisa-breakup-cries, except my floor is too dirty because I can't afford to go out and get the cleaning supplies I need. I feel so let down, so used. I was such a good customer, Freshdirect, I always tipped and referred other people and everything. You totally don't deserve me. That's it. The affair is over. I want my shit back, Freshdirect, you thieving punk! Don't call me ever again!

6 Comments:

At 9/01/2004 06:00:00 PM, Blogger Sid said...

Yes, mother, you told me so. Never give anybody access to your checking account. I have learned my lesson, okay? Geez.

 
At 9/01/2004 07:23:00 PM, Blogger Berry said...

FreshDirect won't even deliver up this far (despite threats of lawsuits since Harlem is still in Manhattan last time I checked) so I wrote them off and just make the trek to Fairway. Their deliver is the same price and their African delivery men are very nice. If only you could order online from Fairway. Sigh!

 
At 9/01/2004 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Sid said...

Hold the hell on, Fairway delivers, too? Why didn't I know that? I'm a nunce! Maybe it's time to switch up! I'm so used to living in places like Boston, where nobody delivers...And Freshdirect won't deliver to Harlem, either? That's stank. I'm done.

 
At 9/01/2004 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Berry said...

Just about all of the grocery stores deliver. I found out when I broke my foot last year - that was the only reason I wanted FreshDirect to deliver. A-holes. There is an article online about how they won't deliver uptown. I think it was in the Amsterdam News.

 
At 9/02/2004 02:34:00 AM, Blogger deborah said...

Ouch! If I get screwed by a shope or organisation. I never go back! End of story

 
At 9/02/2004 12:29:00 PM, Blogger callalillies said...

Sid, darling! First off - calm down. I know you're pissed and you have every right to be. Second, do what I do when I'm dissatisfied with shitty customer service - go online and complain to the Better Business Bureau. They are my best friends when it comes to shoddy service. I love them, truly. Every problem I've had over the past 3 years (since I started filing complaints with them) have been resolved to my satisfaction. Third, LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER! You would probably not have had to go thru all that crap. Mothers know best! And last, I'm sure there are other places in NYC to shop and have groceries delivered, right?

 

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