Friday, August 5, 2016

An Unmagical Experience

Well, guys... I guess it was bound to happen at some point, but I'm really angry.  This time, Disney failed me.  And they failed me big time.  There's nothing quite like placing the order you've waited all summer for, only to find out that it apparently doesn't exist in the computer system.  (Even though it's still showing in your account's order history.)

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Tuesday was the big day: Tsum Tsum Tuesday and the release of the online exclusive Elliot the dragon tsums from Pete's Dragon.  I haven't shared this before, but my husband, Eliot, was partially named after Elliot the dragon.  Thus, Elliot the dragon is very special to us.  There isn't much merchandise you can get for him to begin with, so when we find something, we get it.  Since the new live action version of the movie is coming out in a few days, now is the time to look for Elliot items.

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Tuesday morning, at 8:00 am Eastern Time, I placed my order for the Beauty and the Beast collection, and some Elliot tsums.  By some, I mean 5 minis and 3 mediums- enough for myself, Eliot, his sister Elissa, and a few extras so Eliot could have one on his desk at work.  (The maximum of any tsum tsum item per order is 5 of each item.)

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I got the confirmation page saying my order was complete, but I didn't get an email right away.  I thought this was strange, but I'd heard online that people were having problems with the website so I figured it was just backlogged and I'd get the email later in the day.  In hindsight, this should have been my first clue that something was wrong.

I went about my day, and I even checked in occasionally to see if the medium and mini Elliot's were still in stock.  He didn't sell out until sometime mid-afternoon.

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When I came home from work, I still hadn't gotten an email.  I decided that I better investigate.  I went to Eliot's PayPal account, and according to that, the order had been cancelled.  According to our bank, it was still pending.  That's when I went online.  I still had the order in my account history on the Disney Store's website, but the transaction date was December 31, 1969.

I immediately called the Disney Store Customer Service phone number.  I didn't get very far with the first girl.  My order wasn't in their system.  She told me to re-order the merchandise, and wasn't really getting the fact that they were sold out for good.  ("We restock our website every night at midnight.")  She also gave me a website and told me to send them the screen shots I'd taken after I got the original order confirmation screen.  (You'll note that I ordered them at 8:12 in the morning.)

When I sent the email, it was the incorrect email address, so I called Disney Store customer service phone number again.  The second girl told me the other girl missed a dash in the email.  So I sent it again.  (Almost 72 full hours later, and I still haven't heard anything back from them.)

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After that, I was literally shaking I was so angry.  I called again because I wasn't exactly content to sit and wait, and I had a hunch that I'd never hear back from them.  I tried to calmly explain the situation to the third girl, and I finally lost my cool when she kept repeating that the merchadise was refreshed and restocked at midnight.  I needed to "wait to see if the merchandise comes back available."  I basically went into a long winded explaination about how that wasn't the case with limited edition merchandise and how this wasn't fair to me when I did everything I should have to do on my end.

And I'm pretty sure she muted me.  When I was done my tirade, it took her 15 full seconds to answer me.  After the line was silent, I said hello a few times, and then more time passed before she even answered me.  That was the last straw.

I won't beat around the bush, I'm livid with the Disney Store.  The way this was handled was completely inappropriate.  And apparently I'm not the only customer this situation happened to.  According to their Facebook page, a bunch of people had the same thing happen.  And the cookie cutter answer all of the customer representatives say is to wait and see if it gets re-stocked.  The merchandise isn't going to become back available.  I'm still waiting to see if the online exclusive Boo and Celia are going to magically show up during a re-stocking.  Not likely.

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It's not fair to me that I placed an order, and it never went through on their side.  I got the confirmation number.  How was I supposed to know that the order didn't actually exist?  How will I ever know if my order went through or not?  I guess the confirmation email is key.  If you don't get one of those, you better call the Disney Store right away.

The story doesn't have a completely awful ending.  My brother is awesome.  I called Jeremy to tell him what happened and he literally dropped what he was doing to go to his local store.  I called him at 8:30 and by 8:50 pm he was at the shopping plaza and running to get there before they closed.  He called me back a few minutes later.  They didn't have any further information about Elliot, but he did get me the Beauty and the Beast tsum set in person so I didn't have to deal with the website anymore that night.

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As for the Elliot tsums, I got screwed over there.  I paid three times as much for a medium Elliot tsum off eBay.  Then, I shelled out more than 4 times what a normal mini tsum would cost.  Basically, I could have gotten all of the original Elliot tsum tsums I ordered for the price it cost me to get one of each off eBay.

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This entire experience stinks and it's put a bad taste in my mouth.  I'm not sure I'll ever trust their website again.  I have a little piece of advice for the Disney Store:

You need to get your act together.  If you're having as many problems with your website as it appears, you need to shut it down long enough to fix those problems.  I expect a website that actually works.  I expect notification if my order doesn't actually go through correctly.  And I expect to receive the merchandise that I buy.  How do I know if any of my orders are being placed?  Do I really need to sit and stare at my email, anxiously waiting to see if my order "really" went through or not?  Lame.

I also expect better from Disney.  I expect top of the line customer service, not girls on the phone who aren't even listening to what I'm saying.  I don't expect to be put on mute.  That's incredibly rude and not what Disney stands for.  I think this is what has upset me the most.  I was not treated the way I should be as a customer.  And, I'm a loyal customer.  Often, I'm waiting for one order to arrive and I'm already placing another one.  We don't have any local stores and I rely on your website to purchase merchandise that I can't get anywhere else. 

Yes, I will continue to purchase items through the Disney Store online.  (I don't really have much of a choice when my closest store is about 2 hours from here.)  But Disney Store, you really disappointed me this time.  °o°

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