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View Full Version : A shining example of poor customer service!


hotreds
12-01-2010, 07:34 PM
So I ordered three digits worth of pipe tobacco from Boswell's since I liked their aros I was gifted and wanted to try a whole bunch more. They have no on-line, so I sent a check on the 23rd. I included five bucks for shipping, to make the total an even $100.

Today comes the box with a note saying that shipping was $11, so they simply did not send one of the tobaccos I selected.

Pretty sad when a fairly big order is placed, and the vendor is so cheap. I am tempted to say something, and to NEVER order from them again! Perhaps I am being unfair, but I sure think this is a poor way to treat a potential good customer! (But maybe they get a lot of big orders and my $100 was a wee drop in the bucket for them!)

bscottskangum
12-01-2010, 07:37 PM
Did they keep the difference between what they shipped and what you paid??? Or did it end up even?

Also curious if they said upfront what the shipping costs would be and then it ended up being something different.

chippewastud79
12-01-2010, 07:42 PM
Why not simply call you and ask for the difference before shorting you on the order? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to decide which part of your order was the $6 difference. :td

Darrell
12-01-2010, 07:44 PM
What kind of company does that? :td

GreekGodX
12-01-2010, 07:46 PM
Did they keep the difference between what they shipped and what you paid???

Also curious if they said upfront what the shipping costs would be and then it ended up being something different.

:tpd:

That was the first thing I thought of.. Or didn't they give you a final price? Or why wouldn't they call you to tell you the order is more expensive?

hotreds
12-01-2010, 07:57 PM
Technically I guess they "gave" me $1. I ordered two ounces of stuff, coming up to $5 per flavor. So, they removed one flavor worth five bucks, and wrote off one buck in shipping.

Needless to say, many places give you free shipping on all or larger orders. There is nothing mentioned about how much shipping is charged- I reckon with your cc number they tell you a shipping charge will be added.

I also guess that they figured calling me would also reduce their profit margin.:sl

Anyway, displeased with their business practices!

alley00p
12-01-2010, 07:57 PM
I've never had an occasion to order from Boswell's, but it does sound like a poor way to do business.

On the other hand, I'd like to commend Jack at Sterling Tobacco for great customer service! I ordered some Klomplen Kloggen from them last week. I received the package today and Jack just included an invoice for the products and shipping. It's the old way to do business, but since Jack doesn't accept credit cards, he deals by check or money order. Sterling Tobacco (http://www.sterlingtobaccoco.com/index.html)

Charlie

bscottskangum
12-01-2010, 08:03 PM
I also guess that they figured calling me would also reduce their profit margin.:sl

Anyway, displeased with their business practices!

Communication is a key to quality customer service

GreekGodX
12-02-2010, 04:36 AM
Communication is a key to quality customer service

Exactly.

Plus with social networking being huge they could potentially lose a lot of business because of this or a future problem.

Martel
12-02-2010, 06:24 AM
Wow, I am surprised to hear this. I've dealt with the Boswells many times and never would have thought they would do business this way. I agree, this is a pretty crappy way to handle things. A phone call would have been nice...:confused:

Cheers,
G

ABNMP619
12-02-2010, 06:32 AM
Hugh, I think you should call them and express your dissatisfaction with them. Then I would be a snot about it and tell them that you have tons of friends in the smoking world and one thread on your favorite site would cause this business to lose a lot of money. See what kind of reaction you get out of them then. Maybe I am just too harsh though.

mosesbotbol
12-02-2010, 07:02 AM
A vendor should always call the customer if something different than what's ordered is shipped, cannot ship, not enough money or whatever.

For all they could've known, he may've doubled the order with other stuff... Every time you talk to a customer is an opportunity to sell.

kaisersozei
12-02-2010, 08:09 AM
Hugh, what tobacco did you order & what did they short?

hotreds
12-02-2010, 08:13 AM
I basically ordered 2 oz of most of their aros. They shorted me the raspberry cream, which I guess is as good as any to short. I am surprised as well, they seem to have been around for many years, and I doubt a note saying that I owe them six bucks on my next order would put them out of business. Right now I don't know IF the WILL get a new order!

hammondc
12-02-2010, 08:14 AM
Hugh, I think you should call them and express your dissatisfaction with them. Then I would be a snot about it and tell them that you have tons of friends in the smoking world and one thread on your favorite site would cause this business to lose a lot of money. See what kind of reaction you get out of them then. Maybe I am just too harsh though.

I agree. One of these days, these vendors will realize the power of message boards.

ABNMP619
12-03-2010, 07:32 AM
BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT! Sorry, just getting ahead of myself here. :c

RevSmoke
12-03-2010, 07:38 AM
Hugh, have you called to talk to them about your dissatisfaction?

I am all for informing others about poor service, poor customer relations, price gouging, etc..., all in the name of protecting friends. But if a company had a good reason, or if there was a miscommunication, or something else that happened, especially when a company normally has a stellar reputation, I am all about going the extra distance before dropping that hammer.

Matthew 18 seems to come to mind.

I'd especially like to hear what they have to say as to what happened. It might just be a new person packaging stuff who just didn't know policy or think things through.

Peace of the Lord be with you.

OLS
12-03-2010, 08:15 AM
I have always thought that just never returning to do business is the best revenge.
Oftentimes we over-use this "power of online forums" phenomenon to the point where
we make ourselves out to be titans of fairness and justice. They know they did some-
thing their way instead of the cutomers way. They don't realize that they lost a cus-
tomer yet, and it's likely they never will. There are so many other places to deal with
that too much fuss over this is a waste of time, IMO. Hugh and I know of something
that happened to me recently, totally unrelated, where I thought I was unfairly
treated. Instead of me just cutting the person off, I tried to find 'justice' and it left
a lot of bad tastes all around. They may never feel the pinch of being cut off by me,
but I WILL KNOW. And that's the best justice. From what it sounds like, there was no
measurable harm done, and you were not ripped off in the classic sense. Just move to
the next vendor on the list, lol.

BlackDog
12-03-2010, 12:02 PM
I'm sorry to rain on the hate parade here, but Boswell's spell out their shipping costs right on their website:

http://www.boswellpipes.com/shipping.html

Having said that, yes, they should have called you.

bscottskangum
12-03-2010, 01:07 PM
I'm sorry to rain on the hate parade here, but Boswell's spell out their shipping costs right on their website:

http://www.boswellpipes.com/shipping.html

Having said that, yes, they should have called you.

Just because there is a page that says "shipping" doesn't mean that the page actually says anything about the situation here...it doesn't even have a rate for shipping, the only thing it says is that you will be charged a 6% tax for shipping in PA. Nothing on there about how much to send for shipping or what they will do if they don't receive enough to cover the shipping.

Don't think that page pertains to anything that happened with Hugh :2

MarkinCA
12-08-2010, 11:44 PM
:hm...Hugh, I think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill myself, and simply jumping to conclusions that could of been avoided if you'd simply called Boswell's and placed an order.

Boswells has appeared to me to be a down home laid back type of B&M operation, with backwoods country personality. They're easy going folks. This is a type of business that requires a "telephone call" to place an order. It appears to me that you "mailed" your order with payment, and assumed everything would be taking care of for you. Did you call or mail your order to Boswells?

It further appears that you ordered approximately 19 aromatic type blends (this translates to 38oz of pipe tobacco at $2.50 per oz). The total amount for these blends comes out to $95.00. That doesn't leave too much room for shipping costs out of the $100 check you sent Boswells (they do ship UPS). Did you include a home and cell telephone number for Boswells to call in order to resolve any issues that may arise? Did you include a note to Boswells to please call you if your check will not fully cover your order and shipping?

To date, I've never had a problem with any order that I've placed over the telephone with Boswells during that last two and three quarter years. I know that they keep a "card catalog" with customers names, addresses, telephone numbers, and credit card numbers (I don't know if they've transferred this to computer yet).

I think I would let by gones be by gones and give them a big thumbs-up for having your order to you in a timely manner. And, you should place your next order with Boswells via a telephone call. Its always great to speak one on one with one of your fellow human beings. You learn quite a bit about life, and that's what I enjoy about smoking a pipe with others:tu

Have a good one my brother...

hscmit
12-09-2010, 12:46 PM
:hm...Hugh, I think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill myself, and simply jumping to conclusions that could of been avoided if you'd simply called Boswell's and placed an order.

Boswells has appeared to me to be a down home laid back type of B&M operation, with backwoods country personality. They're easy going folks. This is a type of business that requires a "telephone call" to place an order. It appears to me that you "mailed" your order with payment, and assumed everything would be taking care of for you. Did you call or mail your order to Boswells?

It further appears that you ordered approximately 19 aromatic type blends (this translates to 38oz of pipe tobacco at $2.50 per oz). The total amount for these blends comes out to $95.00. That doesn't leave too much room for shipping costs out of the $100 check you sent Boswells (they do ship UPS). Did you include a home and cell telephone number for Boswells to call in order to resolve any issues that may arise? Did you include a note to Boswells to please call you if your check will not fully cover your order and shipping?

To date, I've never had a problem with any order that I've placed over the telephone with Boswells during that last two and three quarter years. I know that they keep a "card catalog" with customers names, addresses, telephone numbers, and credit card numbers (I don't know if they've transferred this to computer yet).

I think I would let by gones be by gones and give them a big thumbs-up for having your order to you in a timely manner. And, you should place your next order with Boswells via a telephone call. Its always great to speak one on one with one of your fellow human beings. You learn quite a bit about life, and that's what I enjoy about smoking a pipe with others:tu

Have a good one my brother...

I dont see how reason and sensibility should factor into this at all

now where did I put that pitchfork?

Dukeuni
12-09-2010, 01:10 PM
I guess i see both sides to this story:

1. If this order was just made through the mail, based upon the website list, then I think the purchaser made a risk by just writing a check for $100.00 assuming that would cover the cost of shipping (I hope I read the posts right).

2. I think Boswell should have attempted a phone call (if a number was included in the order- was it?). Boswell should have verified the best course of action- maybe the purchaser would have sent some extra money to cover everything.

3. The Boswell site does not make any indication that they would accept mail orders, or even accept checks. They describe the tobacco blends, pipes, and how they ship, but give no cost for shipping. I think the risk was on the purchaser if he did not call in the order. Still, Boswell should have called (if they had a return number to call).

I ordered the CA Club Pipe last year from Boswell and had a great experience with them. They are not a online powerhouse, and do not do online orders. Like I said before, I can see both sides on this issue.

Lumpold
12-09-2010, 01:16 PM
Just because there is a page that says "shipping" doesn't mean that the page actually says anything about the situation here...it doesn't even have a rate for shipping, the only thing it says is that you will be charged a 6% tax for shipping in PA. Nothing on there about how much to send for shipping or what they will do if they don't receive enough to cover the shipping.

Don't think that page pertains to anything that happened with Hugh :2

Not gonna weigh in on the customer service issue, but I will say this... While they don't quote you a specific price for shipping on that page, they do tell you your parcel will be shipped UPS ground... it's just taken me about 2 minutes to determine that a parcel from Boswell's to Hugh's, shipped UPS ground, weighing 2lbs, and shipped in a UPS box, pre-paid, dropped off to a UPS location, would cost just over $14 to ship. I don't know exactly how many 2oz blends Hugh ordered, but 2lbs gives him 16 different blends.

I'm not saying that the way they've handled this is right, but it should be fairly easy to work out the shipping cost from the information they've put on that page :2

hotreds
12-09-2010, 08:07 PM
I did mail in the order. I did include my business card with my telephone number. I ordered nine 2 oz packets, totaling $45. I sent in a check for $50. I apologize, I incorrectly stated the total as $100 in my op. I double-checked my register and it showed a fifty dollar check to them.

So, you can fault me for not calling them.(God forbid one should use the US Mail while placing a mail order!) You can fault me for being so brazen as to not include ten bucks for shipping when I know that a USPS FCM box would run about five bucks. You can fault me for not paying attention to the fact that they only ship UPS, which is more expensive for small parcels. You can fault me for being miffed that they decided to short me a flavor to make up for missing postage. You can fault me for deciding not to purchase from them again. You can fault me for posting my displeasure on this forum.

You can fault me for all of the above. Yet, I stand by my feelings of displeasure at poor customer service and lack of communication by Boswells.

Dukeuni
12-10-2010, 10:39 AM
And, in the end, all that really should matter to Boswells is that they provided poor service to one of there customers. Since you provided a telephone number, I believe they should have called you to ask what you wanted done.

OLS
12-12-2010, 09:36 AM
AHA! I knew it, lol. Hugh is so used to Flat rate boxes (thanks btw) that he thinks this price is standard. Well, actually it is
high on a Med box, considering standard business shipping seems to hover in the 8 dollar area. So were I estimating this
deal, I would have added 8 instead of five bucks for shipping. But water under the bridge for the most part. What happens
from here on out is your choice.

guitar4001
12-21-2010, 02:13 PM
tough break.

alley00p
12-21-2010, 03:10 PM
I have to agree with Hugh; Boswell's has been in business for a long time and I would think they should be able to contact a dissatisfied customer.

But, having learned the hard way, when I order something online I make sure of the final cost. And even then, I've been burned - I ordered some merchandise from "Europe", not realizing that I would be charged a fee for the exchange rate between dollars and euros :( That wouldn't have too bad, but because of a delay in shipping and 2 charges against my credit card, I got hit with a couple of overdraft fees from my bank.

I won't order pipe tobacco from JR's, because of their screwy shipping charges - so much per tin plus shipping costs.

What surprises me is that Boswell's doesn't have anything regarding shipping charges. I can understand that some places don't want the expense of building in a shipping rate calculator, but there is no excuse for them to not have something besides "whatever it costs" on their webpage. Even a small place like Sterling Tobacco has a flat fee, based on the dollar amount of the order: Under $25=x / $25-$150=x / Over $150=free.

Sorry, Hugh, it doesn't look as if you are going to get any satisfaction from them. I guess you'll have to take this one as a lesson learned. :td

Charlie

alfredo_buscatti
03-04-2011, 10:52 AM
I've never cared for the Boswells. IMHO their pipes are cheap, and I don't smoke aro's. I called once to ask the size of their draft hole, and the son answered, and he acted like he was doing me a favor to ask his dad. I also find Boswell Sr. extremely opinionated, and on the topic we discussed, wrong.

Mister Moo
03-05-2011, 08:08 AM
Hugh, have you called to talk to them about your dissatisfaction?

Matthew 18...Concur. You really should speak to them first. Usually better to fix a bad plank than dynamite the whole bridge.

md4958
03-05-2011, 08:26 AM
Ive never ordered from them, hell, I dont even smoke a pipe but Hugh is my friend. This is from their site:
http://www.boswellpipes.com/customer.html


What Is A Customer?

A customer is the most important person in any business.

A customer is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.

A customer is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it.

A customer does us a favor when he comes in. We aren’t doing him a favor by waiting on him.

A customer is part of our business- not an outsider. A customer is not just money in the cash register. He is a human being with feelings and deserves to be treated with respect.

A customer is a person who comes to us with his needs and his wants. It is our job to fill them.

A customer deserves the most courteous attention we can give him. He is the lifeblood of this and every business.



Now, is this all:bs ,perhaps. But I would still make a call Hugh and tell them about your dissatisfaction.

Mister Moo
03-05-2011, 11:23 AM
... I won't order pipe tobacco from JR's, because of their screwy shipping charges - so much per tin plus shipping costs....

CharlieYesterdays news, Chas.

JR now has good tobacco prices plus

UPS ground or USPS • $8.95 flat rate per order

kelmac07
03-05-2011, 12:59 PM
I would still call them Hugh. :2

OLS
05-06-2011, 10:26 AM
Yesterdays news, Chas.

JR now has good tobacco prices plus

UPS ground or USPS • $8.95 flat rate per order
This month they have also cut that rate in half, which for them must be viewed as really sumpthin.
They do not have a WHOLE lot in stock usually, but they always have something that makes your
eyebrows go up that A.) they have it and B.) the price is not too bad.