I try not to get upset about material things if I can help it. I’m such an anti-stuff person it’s rare I get invested in anything that takes up space in the real world. My recent customer service fiasco with Torrid reminded me why: disappointment sucks.
I have had my eye on the TARDIS coat from Hot Topic/Torrid ever since they first announced their line of Doctor Who clothing. And by “had my eye on” I mean “coveted the hell out of”. But I’ve been trying not to spend too much, so I’ve resisted.
A while back, Steven declared he’d buy the coat for me as a gift if it ever came back in stock. (It had gone out of stock almost immediately, which surprised no one who pays attention to Doctor Who fandom.) I was DELIGHTED. We did scour several Hot Topic stores to see if there was a rogue one left in a corner somewhere. No luck. (We did find a Small when we were in Phoenix, but I couldn’t even get my arms into that thing.) Unfortunately, when it came back in stock, we missed it. It disappeared almost instantly again.
Then a few weeks back my podcast pal Aleen pointed out Torrid still had some DW goodies available online. Lo and behold, The Coat was still in stock! And in a size that’s likely to fit me! I ordered it so fast my keyboard was smoking when I finished. Success! Victory! Dancing! Confetti!
Crash cut to the next day, when Torrid’s “Customer Service” Department sent me an email.
Seriously? They just up and cancelled my order with no explanation, then put the onus on me to contact them to find out what happened? Not cool. I was SO disappointed. And I still am. I thought my long quest was over. Well, I guess it is, but not successfully.
I emailed them immediately, but two weeks later I haven’t gotten a response. I also tweeted at them. Nothing.
In fact, the only communication I’ve received was an automated email saying they hope I’m enjoying my purchase and would I please write a review? Oh I wrote a review alright. I notice it hasn’t appeared on the Torrid website yet. Perhaps someone at Torrid will finally respond and let me know what happened. At this point I don’t have a lot of hope though. ETA: Moments after publishing this I got an email saying my one-star review didn’t meet all their website guidelines, so it won’t appear on the site.
I suspect the website was wrong, and the size I ordered is no longer in stock. That, I would understand completely. I have no beef with a popular item selling out. (Though it’s worth noting the website still shows size 0 as in stock.) Or perhaps there was an issue with the coupon code I used. I’d be cool with that if they’d tell me so I can address it. I want to give them my money. I have no problem with a hiccup in the ordering process.
What I do have a problem with:
- A cold-to-the-point-of-rude automated cancellation message that doesn’t even apologize for the inconvenience.
- A complete lack of response when contacting customer service as directed.
- A lack of response to tweets.
- A follow-up email that adds insult to injury.
So yeah. I’m just plain bummed. And it’s about a thing, which makes me feel vaguely guilty for feeling bummed, which makes it even worse.
Hot Topic (and by extension, Torrid) get a lot of flack for being a haven for teenyboppers and hipsters and people who try too hard to be cool, and that’s all a load of hogwash. I’ve been a defender of these stores since day one. They’re filled with nifty stuff for people who are passionate about their fandoms. This is something I fully support, so I’ve always enjoyed shopping with them. Sadly, my unwavering support is now wavering mightily. That’s what a shitty customer service experience will do.
At least the weather is getting nice so I won’t be needing a coat much anyway. I bet those golden tickets make the chocolate taste terrible.