Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Tale of Keurig.com, Coffee, and Customer Service - December 21, 2010

Well, I know someone from Green Mountain Roasters has seen this post thanks to my tracker...hi *waves* (You're probably back since I added this update and your Google alert will pick up the new content.) I still love my Keurig machine and the K cups I have for it. But my opinion of how I was treated stands.

Let me tell you a story. It's a story of my order with Keurig.com for some K Cups and accessories and how I am not exactly pleased with the way I was treated by customer service. More after the jump....

I only ordered from Keurig.com because when you purchase a Keurig brewer (no matter where you buy it), if you register it with Keurig you get a coupon for buy-two-boxes-get-two-free plus free shipping. That is the absolute best deal you can get on K Cups that I've found. (Without the coupon, though, the prices are on the high side - Bed Bath & Beyond + 20% or $5-off-$15 coupon beats them, and BB&B stocks a wide selection in the store.)

On Monday December 6, I ordered four boxes of coffee plus a plastic tumbler in which I could brew iced coffee/tea directly (I've mentioned before I really like the Southern Sweet Tea Iced Tea K-Cups). And then I waited. And waited. By the weekend, I hadn't gotten a shipping notice, so I emailed the company to check the status. I got a canned reply telling me to call customer service (and said canned reply APPEARED to be real, from a real person, but I figured it out later as you'll see...) but also a shipping notification. OK, yay, it shipped. It took about five business days to do so (vs. the far shorter timeframe given on the website's FAQ) but it shipped, so good. It's the holiday season, so I figured maybe they were a bit busy.

Except the email with the shipping information was strange. It said my order had shipped via Priority Mail, but the tracking number link led to FedEx. And the number came up as invalid on the FedEx site. I waited a day....still invalid. I waited two days. Still invalid. So on Wednesday December 15 I called. I really figured this would be no big deal - I wanted to know where my package was, and I figured they'd look in the computer and either give me the real tracking number or tell me it was on its way. I was not mad at this point, I was not even annoyed - I just wanted to know what was up.

The person I spoke with was pleasant. She took some information from me and then she confirmed that it was strange that I had the conflicting tracking information. She then attempted to transfer my call to...another department? A supervisor? Not sure. And so I was on hold again, it rang and rang, it rang back, and the person told me very nicely that I would need to have someone call me back. No big! Fine! I gave my phone number and went about my business.

I realized Wednesday evening that nobody had called me back. Odd, getting an answer to my question shouldn't really be a big deal. So I emailed again. And got the SAME canned reply, word for word. That annoyed me. And then I called again Thursday morning. This person asked me if I'd contacted FedEx. Which just seemed absurd to me. The tracking number was invalid, and I wasn't even sure if my item really had shipped via FedEx (vs. USPS) or if an error had been made. Again, I get the "I have to transfer you" speech. Again I get put on hold, wait a bit, and am sent back to the original person. Nobody thus far had actually given me any help or answers, and I started to get a bit annoyed. What exactly needs to happen here? Why not just offer to reship and/or put a trace on my package? But I said OK, fine, someone will call me back, that's fine.

Thursday ends. Friday comes and goes. Saturday comes and goes. No package magically arrives, nobody calls me. Now it's been two weeks since I ordered and one full week since I got the strange shipping information. And now I'm annoyed. 

So I call a third time on Monday. This time I'm told that there IS trouble in the warehouse. OK, finally, some sort of answer. My phone breaks up the call a bit but I think she says that the requests for a return call weren't put in properly. And then this person IS able to get me a supervisor (and I got her name just in case) who promises to keep me on hold until this magical other department can talk to me. About what, I still - and STILL NOW - have no idea. So I am on hold, someone picks up, and that person is pretty irritated that I've bothered her and basically tells me that my order should've gotten to me five to eight business days after I placed it (yup, and it has been eleven and my tracking number IS INVALID), notes that there's an "Open Ticket" for my call request (from Wednesday) and makes me feel icky. And then promises me that someone will call by the end of the business day. At this point I say that I am going to call the credit card company on Tuesday if I haven't heard back, although I don't want my money back I want what I ordered.

Guess what. Nobody calls me on Monday. But I'm too tired and have too much going on Tuesday morning to deal, so I decide to wait it out. And FINALLY on Tuesday morning I get a call - the person gets my name wrong, and the person (the same one I talked to Monday?) says my order will arrive today. I thank her, and she's kind of annoyed all over again with me, but that may be because I babble a lot and tried to engage her in conversation, which probably I shouldn't have done. She notes I'll have it before Christmas and I tell her thank you for that. It didn't ACTUALLY matter, and yet...it did.

And lo and behold, the package arrived at my house on Tuesday morning. Shipped the night before from Tennessee. Meaning that my original package never went anywhere. Meaning my original package is out in the ether somewhere. Meaning if I'd just ignored this, I'd never have gotten anything. 

And no, I didn't get much more than a canned apology from anyone - no "we'll give you 10% off your next order" or an explanation of just HOW this could happen. I also didn't get my "points" that I should've gotten for ordering through the main site. Also, the site now has a notice about how things are shipping without the site updating, but it seems that my box never was put on a truck or plane, so that's neither here nor there.

But I did get my coffee - Winter Carnival, Spicy Mayan Chocolate, Kahula (flavored), and Half Caff - and my plastic iced-coffee/tea tumbler. And it all looks wonderful and delicious.

But unless I get some amazing coupon, I will never order direct from Keurig again.

...a few days later, I still feel irritated at the whole thing. I recognize that I live in a I NEED IT NOW society and that two to three weeks without something I ordered isn't the end of the world. I want to clarify that my irritation with the situation stems from the promises of a return call that didn't pan out, the endless waiting on hold, the canned replies, and the amount of time it took for me to actually get a resolution to the problem, not with the time that elapsed between order and receipt. Thank you and good night.


  1. I totally agree with you. And now I am actually nervous to get that supposed "deal" they speak of. Someone on Amazon added a website where you can get 96 K-cups for like 45 or 47 dollars which I find to be quite a deal. Well best of luck with your Keurig machine. I just got mine and I am loving it.


  2. Well, I will be fair and say while the shipping had some drama, I did get the deal and it WAS a great price for K-cups with that deal. Plus I LOVE my iced coffee cup that I bought from them. I'm not in the market for 96 at a time, but definitely buying in bulk is the way to go. For just a few (16-18) at a time, I still feel that Bed, Bath and Beyond (with a coupon) is the best option.