Update 04/02/11: This post was originally published with the title “Orbino – Great Leather Items, Zero Customer Service.” You can read why this title has been updated by clicking here.
When I go to a fine restaurant I expect good food and excellent service. After all you expect better service at a five star Manhattan eatery than you do at Red Lobster. The same goes for a luxury retail store. If you go to Neiman Marcus you expect better service than, say, Sears. The same goes for on-line vendors although you would not know it from my recent dealing with the high-end leather goods designer Orbino. Fact is, dealing with them has been a nightmare.
Orbino makes one of the most gorgeous leather iPad cases I have seen. Starting at $209 it is anything but cheap. But it is gorgeous. On a whim I ordered one. (Hey I thought it would be great to review such a case for the site!)
I was immediately charged but got no further confirmation from them. I emailed numerous times and heard… nothing.
Finally I asked Paypal to step in. It was only then that I got a response.
Finally. So I emailed back…
Everything seemed fine until I then got this email…
So now they had charged me, finally got back to me, told me it was coming next week but then emailed to say they didn’t even have the material to make the case. I had had it.
I sent an email and explained what my issues were. I deal with a lot of companies that do business over the internet. Most do exceptionally well. Some are mediocre but rarely had I encountered a company that was this bad.
They responded with a nice apology, an attempt at an explanation and a promise that in five to seven business days I would get my refund. Of, and they still signed the email with a general company signature and not a human being’s name. Meh!
That was on May 9th. 10 (ten!) (TEN!!!!) days ago. I have since sent three emails asking for my refund and not a single one has been answered. Today I sent this…
And as soon as I finish this post I’ll be calling PayPal.
I contacted PayPal and escalated my complaint. Within a few hours I received an email from the company’s owner. He apologized and was quite open about the issues they have run into with regard to orders and questions that were far beyond their capacity to handle. He was open, direct and didn’t make any excuses for the horrific lack of customer service. Truth is there is no excuse for their handling of things (or lack there-of) but I respect his apology and forthrightness tremendously.