Some people would rather have a root canal before contacting customer service, which is why it's so refreshing when you actually have a positive experience.
Kelly Blue Kinkel ordered a new winter coat from the discount online retailer Zulily several weeks ago, only to discover that the material wouldn't be suitable for wearing around her two dogs. Apparently, their coarse hair would get stuck to the fabric.
Unfortunately, Zulily has a no return policy, but Kinkel decided to contact customer service to see what she could do about her item, which was still unopened.
"I spoke with a sweet young man named Patrick, and he let me know he would refund my money," Kinkel wrote in a post on Facebook. Kinkel found out she could, in fact, receive a refund. However, she was more surprised by what the customer service representative suggested when she asked how to return the coat.
"Please don't send it back. If you know someone who needs a winter coat or if you would like to donate it to a charity, that would make us very happy," Kinkel was told.
She posted a picture of her Zulily package and is donating the coat with other clothes.
A Canadian kid is in deep poutine after charging more than $7,600 onto his father’s credit card while playing a FIFA video game on his Xbox, theCBC reports. Lance Perkins says he was “floored” when he got the bill Dec. 23. Perkins’ 17-year-old son told him he thought he was using the credit card—given to him for emergencies—for a one-time, in-game payment.
“He’s just as sick as I am, [because] he never believed he was being charged for every transaction, or every time he went onto the game,” Perkins says. But Nick Schwartz at USA Today isn’t buying it. “That sounds like something a 17-year-old would tell a father who doesn’t understand how microtransactions work,” he writes. “You can’t spend $7,600 in FIFA by mistake.”
Regardless, an expert tells the CBC that it’s increasingly common for children to make in-app or in-game purchases, and it’s often unclear when users are paying actual money within a game. It’s a problem affecting even our biggest rap stars. “[Expletive] any game company that puts in-app purchases on kids games!!!” Kanye West tweeted in October after North apparently racked up some charges.
While Xbox is looking into the charges, Perkins was told by his credit card company he would have to pay the bill unless he wanted to charge his son with fraud. Perkins doesn’t say he plans to do that, but Ubergizmoreports one UK father did take that option in 2013 to avoid paying $5,600 in Apple in-app purchases made by his 13-year-old son. (A 5-year-old boyexposed an Xbox Live security bug.)
Everlane, the online fashion emporium for solid-colored basics fit for Angelina Jolie, has always made "radical transparency" the most important part of its brand. So for the week after Christmas, for its first-ever sale, it did something truly radical: let shoppers pick their own prices.
Here's the setup: For every item on sale, Everlane has slashed the original price and is offering three alternatives. Hover over the lowest price, and you're informed it "only covers our cost of production and shipping."
This middle price sends a little extra cash to Everlane — for the Woven Street Shoe, an extra $18 — which covers "production, shipping and overheard for our 70-person team." The highest price sends the most extra money back to Everlane, helping them cover "production, shipping, our team and allows us to invest in growth. Thanks!"
The "Choose Your Price" promotion, which a representative from Everlane told Mic is its first sale, launched on Saturday after Christmas and continues through Thursday. And it's gotten its fair share of organic promotion, by countless news sites intrigued by the novelty of it.
"We started Choose Your Price as a way to move overstock while still being transparent with our customers about our inventory process and how we markup our products," the rep explained toMic. "We felt that by showing exactly where the money is going for each price choice, we would give our customers a sense of value on each item all while helping us clear inventory."
That is certainly true. But how are shoppers deciding what to pay?
There are people are ponying up. One item, The Italian Ankle-Wrap Sandal, is sold out. The other most popular items, an Everlane rep informed Mic, are the Street Shoes, Women's Slim Trousers and Women's Wool Trench.
A rep told Mic that they haven't pulled specific sales numbers yet, since the initiative is so new. But Everlane's CEO Michael Preysman told BuzzFeed that when the company did a test run of the sale to a small group of Everlane customers about two weeks ago, about 10% of shoppers chose the middle or highest prices.
"If I had to guess, because we haven't selected it this way, they might have bought two things at the lowest price and one thing at a mid-price," Preysman said to BuzzFeed.
That finding is likely based on the fact that the group included preexisting Everlane fans who have a good feeling about the company — as a lot of people out there do.
"It's the affinity," said Preysman. "If you're honest and transparent with people, then they'll sort of treat you with decency in return."
People are already fans of how Everlane operates as a company — so it wouldn't be surprising if people are willing to throw a few extra bucks Everlane's way to keep up the operation. Source: Twitter
But if you aren't already a fan of Everlane ... The "choose your own price" strategy can also backfire. As Melissa Dahl of the Science of Us reported, having to decide what to pay yourself can often be a paralyzing choice, ridden by guilting and morality — and lead us to choose nothing at all.
"People feel bad paying less than what they feel the item is 'worth,'" Dahl writes, "but at the same time they feel conflicted about choosing to pay more than they have to. There's an element of self-worth and guilt involved when morality comes into play, e.g. paying more will help the company, while paying the lowest won't help them at all. You don't want to look stingy and crappy for paying too little, but you also don't want to pay the high price.
"And so the promotion, according to the research, often ends up backfiring, and people end up buying nothing at all," writes Dahl.
How many people end up choosing nothing remains to be seen (and Everlane likely won't tell us outright). Dahl, for what it's worth, went that route: "After some deliberating, I closed my browser without making the purchase, which in retrospect feels like an odd reaction."
But judging by the fanbase around Everlane — "we have seen an overwhelmingly positive response on social media, specifically on Twitter," a rep told Mic — there are likely people who will pay the higher price to keep the company going... or want the product so much they go the low-priced route and get in, get out.