|Mon Jan 23 2017 23:33:01|
What Happens When Chair Sells for a Cent
By: Ina Steiner
A chainstore listed a patio chair with a retail price of over $350 for one penny on its website on Sunday. A deals site published a link to the listing, and many shoppers placed an order and received confirmation notifications.
However, the deal was indeed too good to be true, as many had suspected it would, and the retailer cancelled the orders. But the unusual wording of the email they received on Monday cancelling the order had some shoppers annoyed:
"This email is in reference to your recent order placed for a patio chair on Menards.com. This item was a figment of the computer's imagination. We are diligently looking the cause of this temporary and isolated technical error. In the meantime of that, your order is being promptly cancelled and refunded in full."
A seller who lists on eBay and Amazon wasn't impressed with that response, explaining that the glitch ran for over 9 hours before being detected, and stating that the customer service rep who blamed the computer in less-than-perfect English "was not cute."
"Don't you love the response from Menards," he wrote. "I'd lose eBay and Amazon with a response like that."
Blaming the glitch on a computer is reminiscent of when eBay blamed a glitch on a robot
. In a letter, eBay blamed the robots and wrote that they had "been reprimanded" - it even included a cartoon image of a robot in the email.
How do you explain errors or glitches to your customers, and do marketplaces expect you to eat the cost if a customer underpays, or do they let you cancel the orders?