UNITED STATES—I have never been more frustrated with retailers than I have this past week. You know the hustle and bustle of Christmas can stress anyone out, but that notion of hoping to find the perfect gift just adds onto the stress level. Something that became popular and changed the notion of shopping during the pandemic was the launch of the buy online, pickup in store option. It just saves you so much time people. This past week I had purchased items at two big time retailers.

At first I had thought about not releasing the name of these retailers, but then something hit me, “Why not?” I purchased items at Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. They were gifts, gifts that I really wanted for family members and the customer service just left me bewildered to say the least. At one retailer, I purchased the item online for store pickup, I had to jump thru hoops and I mean hoops to reach someone at the department store. What department store never answers the phone when you call them during business hours? The one where I placed an online order at?

With that said, I finally got the opportunity to speak with someone and made arrangements were I was able to extend my pickup. This retailer ONLY allowed 3 days; most companies give you 7 to 14 days. I get to the store, and guess what they can’t find my order. I wait nearly 45 minutes, and then discover they cancelled the order. I’m livid, I get no notice, no alert and I made adjustments to my schedule to pick-up my item in store.

They allowed me to purchase the item in store, but not for the same price that I paid for it online. With that said, I purchased the item, but I think I’m going to return the item. I was so frustrated with the service, even though the one store associate was great trying to help accommodate me, it felt like everyone else could care less and to me that is just bad customer service and left a sour taste in my mouth. It has totally left me questioning rather I will continue to spend money at this retailer because it seems they don’t care about taking care of the customer like they should.

Now the other retailer, this one really ticked me off. I placed the order on November 24; the order wasn’t ready for pickup until almost 3 weeks later. I get the email my order is ready for pickup and I go to the store and guess what: my order was apparently picked up already; the problem was I DID NOT PICK UP THE ORDER! They were looking frantically to find my order and it was nowhere to be found. What ticked me off the most is the fact that the retailer did NOT EVEN ask me for my ID or email to verify I had an order to pick-up. They just asked for my first and last name.

Do you know how stupid that is? As long as you know someone’s name you can go to the store and pickup an order and be on your way with no questions asked at all. That is crazy right?! The store apologized, they refunded me, but that was the extent of their compensation. It just left a sour taste in my mouth, where I just might focus my attention back on simply purchasing items in the store, not shopping online, not shopping online for store pickup to only to discover the item has been cancelled, someone stole it or the retailer has given my order to someone else.

I reached out to customer service and explained what transpired, they were shocked to hear what transpired to say the least, noting their policy is for all stores to ask for ID and the email confirming and order pickup before releasing any items to patrons. I was also told I would receive a call from someone to discuss the matter. I am still waiting for that call people.

I guess the more things evolve; it reminds us going back to the simple days might be the key. Just go in the store and shop like they did in the old days. It prevents you from having to deal with such issues that leave you more stressed than when you started. Buying online and picking up in store might be convenient, but it’s not error proof people.