As many of you know, I was one of the many people trying to take part in the NYX 12 Year Anniversary Sale. I have always loved the creative range of colors & finishes available in their products. As well as being available to me locally & at a decent price. While I was greatly frustrated with attempting to use their website I was not really angry. Later, after I had given up, I became furious. The complete & utter rudeness & lack of concern from their customers coming from their social media team as well as their customer service representatives was appalling. I have never seen the worst, most inexperienced companies act like this & believe that it is ok. Below I have attached my very lengthy e-mail to NYX regarding the way that they have treated their customers.
Subject: please understand our the problem with what happened during the sale, it's not that we didn't get our stuff!
I had spent 16+ hours trying to take advantage of your sale. I would finally get a products page to load then things would fail when I tried to get the item in my cart. When I finally did get something into my cart, it would add 2 & (due to the fact that you don’t have a quantity adjustment feature) I would have to delete it & start over. Then, when I am finally ready to check out, I find some things have been deleted from my cart & I need to spend a few hours trying to get them back in. Then I have to spend 4 hours trying to get my cart to load so I can hit check out. Then checkout would fail or bring me back to another page. When I finally got checkout to load there would be no place to enter credit information or the shipping wouldn’t load or it would give me an error & tell me to call you (long distance). When I would be able to get the checkout page to work, I would hit review & it would crash again. Eventually I did give up.
I understand having technical difficulties but, there are still a great many issues I would like to explain to you. A great many of your customers are furious because of the things that have been being posted by your social media representatives, not the fact that there were technical issues that were never resolved during the sale.
First of all, when you got an unestimated amount of traffic due to the large & faithful following of your products, your representatives should have stated that you were not prepared for this amount of a reaction. You do not post things implying that it is your customers fault for overloading the server on your social sites. This only makes your customers feel like you are insulting them for wanting to take part in your sale.
When you do need to take down the server to try to fix the problem, your representatives should just say that. There is no need to tell us to be patient or that you are working on it without giving further information. Just let us know that you will be taking the server down for a specific amount of time to increase your bandwidth & fix the problem. I am sure that we will understand. It does still make it a little bit difficult to understand since you had clearly stated that had already done this before the sale was scheduled to happen though.
What makes this portion of the problem more difficult to deal with is that your representatives continued to switch between telling us that it was because of too much traffic to the site & that you were having technical issues the night before, when you had stated that you were trying to get everything ready for the sale. I still am unsure of which it is but, this makes me feel like your company is trying to get away from the blame being placed on you by anxious customers. Unfortunately, this only makes your customers feel like you are trying to deceive them.
In the future you may want to follow this very simple form for responding to issues:
Acknowledge your customers
State the problem
Clearly explain how it is being resolved
Thank your customers”
It should read something like this:
“We are sorry that our website is currently unavailable. We understand that you are all very excite to take part in our event & help us celebrate our 12 year anniversary. The server has been overloaded due to the amount of traffic beyond our expectations. Our tech team will be pulling the website down until 5pm pst to fix this problem for you. The sale will commence at this time. Thank you for understanding. We appreciate your business.”
If the site was still not ready an hour before the given time, then your company should have stated so. Instead you let a dysfunctional site remain up that caused your loyal customers a lot of hassle & difficulty, with the majority being unable to get it to work. Most people would have been more then happy to wait until the site was ready, as long as they were clearly updated on the current situation.
Then telling your customers that you will be extending the sale due to the massive response, while at the same time understanding that your website is still experiencing difficulties is not a standard business practice. If your company had wanted your loyal customer to be able to take part in the sale you should have completely pulled everything down & given a date & time when the server would be available for everyone to take part in the sale. If you were extending it because you knew that it was reacting very slowly, then your representatives should have stated just that. Please do not act like you are doing your customers a favor when you are still unable to hold up to your original claims, it only makes them feel like are being belittled.
Defending the companies stand point, issues, or generosity instead of reflecting on the customers issues is never a good idea. As a retail service orientated company, your representatives concern should lye with the customer & their issues or needs. While your social representatives stated that this was their concern, they didn’t seem to listen to what were your customers needs & wants. Your customers very clearly stated what their needs were & they were never discussed or given a response with a reason.
Also, your representatives responding to customers with issues that other customers are able to reach the website when others cannot doesn’t solve anything. Eluding to the fact that one person is able to what others are not will only hurt your customers & make them feel like they are being swindled in some way or another.
When you state that you are going to reward someone for their patience & loyalty, it is typically understood to be something worth equal or greater then what was originally offered. Telling thousands of customers that clearly were still very eager to shop with you, even after they had been trying to work with a dysfunctional site with no customer service for several hours, that they will be getting a reward worth far less then they were originally promised is incomprehensible. How am I being rewarded for my patience, persistence, & loyalty by getting less of a discount? The company that I have been loyal to will be taking more while I get less? Choosing your words more carefully would have bypassed all of these problems. Once again, just have your representatives be honest with us. Tell us that you are unable to continue with the sale & apologize to anyone that was unable to get the site to work properly but, if we are still interested you will be more them happy to give them the stated discount. Do not tell us that you are rewarding us with a less valuable offer when we have done all that was asked of us & your company was unable to handle the workload for one reason or another. If your company had decided to let people know that they could choose to shop at another time & get a discount, that would have been fine. However, you should have honored your original discount to those customers that tried to take part in your sale, since you choose not to postpone it. Why should your devoted customers not get what they came for when there is no valuable reason that they were unable to receive them?