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We won't order gargoyles for you, but we will charge you

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Remember how a couple weeks ago, I called Bloomster's (a San José florist) to find out what was up with the garden gargoyles I had ordered weeks earlier, and they told me that oh, they had decided not to place my order after all, they just hadn't bothered to tell me they'd canceled it?

Well, now they've sent me a bill. For the entire amount. With a delivery date and everything. It seems to be from a parallel universe in which they not only placed my order but actually delivered the items I had ordered.

I've left them a phone message, and I'm sure it was just an innocent mistake, and I imagine tomorrow they'll cancel the invoice. But this further cements my impression that they're really not very good at communicating with customers.

But I suppose this is still fairly minor compared to the antics my customer service demon used to get up to. I guess we'll see tomorrow—if the company tries to insist that they did deliver the gargoyles after all, then I'll know the demon is really back on the job.

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Update: Got voicemail and email from Bloomster's today. The voicemail said she was canceling the bill. The email included a PDF attachment, though my regular mailer couldn't open it; I eventually found a way to open it, and found that it was a revised invoice showing that I owed them negative amounts of money. Presumably this was just to get their accounting to line up properly, but it was kind of funny to see a negative amount due, with the line "Terms: Net 10 from the date of Invoice."

The body of the email was their standard form letter: "It was a pleasure to give this order our personal attention. We consider every order an obligation to give complete satisfaction. Whether you ordered these flowers yourself or received them from someone, please PHONE US AT ONCE if you are not completely satisfied in every way." And so on.

There was no apology, neither in the voicemail nor in the email; no indication that they had made any kind of mistake. (They were pretty cavalier about it when they told me they'd canceled the order, too.)

There was a link in the email to a Customer Satisfaction Survey. Its questions were all about the flowers that were delivered to me. I answered them all with the lowest possible rating on general principles, even though most of the questions didn't have anything to do with my situation.

It seems clear that their entire business is set up around ordering flowers, and they have no systems in place for handling anything that doesn't fit that model. They may well be great as a flower-delivery shop, but they're terrible at gargoyles.


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