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Complete Basket Case

Dear Harry & David

I’m sure you are both delightful, and honorable gentleman. I am quite sure that when you conceived the “Harry & David Holiday Gift Basket” that you truly believed it would bring joy to thousands and would fill a much needed gap in the market for a seasonal offering replete with fruits, cheeses and snacks of unrivaled quality. 

As I write this blog I’m sure you are sitting on a picturesque porch in Vermont or Virginia or Tennessee sipping wine and toasting each other on the success of your vision and imagining your beautiful boxes of pears winging their way across all fifty states and making Christmas special for their recipients. 

Sadly it falls upon me to tell you that this is NOT the case. Your entire operation is so INCREDIBLY dysfunctional that anyone who places an order with you is guaranteed to become a victim of GIFT BASKET RAGE. Yes - thanks to your completely inadequate on-line ordering system and your extremely POOR decision to internationally outsource your Customer Service center ALL of the Baskets my company chose to send as Corporate Gifts this year will be rotting away on the empty desks of Clients who have already departed for the Christmas break!

Let’s start with the fact that none of the discount coupons you offer on your OWN web site or in promotional e-mails actually work. One has to place an order and then engage in frustratingly slow dialogue/on line chat with someone who then must manually apply the discount which probably means you are hoping that it will all be too much trouble and customers will simply give up and pay the full price. Next is the scam of paying for expedited shipping. A whole slew of options ranging from an extra $9.99 to $24.99 in order to have my gifts arrive on the preferred date. I was only too happy to pay these charges to ensure my Clients received these gifts well in advance of the holidays. Mission finally completed on the ordering process BUT alarm bells start ringing when no order confirmation e-mail is received! One hour passes, six hours pass a WHOLE 2 days pass and STILL no confirmation e-mail! More frustrating on-line chats and phone calls to Customer Service based in Goodness-Knows-Where.

By now I have been consumed by GIFT BASKET RAGE. I have turned into the type of person I DESPISE - the one who screams down the phone at some poor, innocent, underpaid soul who has absolutely no control over how and why your organization is such a complete mess. This 'poor soul' has zero ability to resolve my problems and all attempts to engage a Supervisor are fruitless (no pun intended.)

As a last resort and in a desperate effort to placate me he offers the ONE thing he is authorized to give - a fabulous supersized tin of Holiday Special Moose Munch. 

SERIOUSLY???? - I would have LOVED to be part of that staff training program - a whole bunch of eager-to- please tele-sales newbies sent into battle to face an army of enraged dissatisfied customers equipped only with a basic script and a few tins of free Moose Munch to dispense in cases of DIRE emergency.

Finally the confirmation e-mail arrives confirming my worst fears; the baskets will arrive by COB on December 24th. I use the word “arrive” in the full knowledge that there will in fact be no arrival at the designated destinations because they are places of work and no-one will be there! 

I can only hope that the Fedex crews have the sense to take these baskets home and share them with their families because the last thing my Business relationships need is a basket of stinky cheeses and rotting fruits arriving with fanfare on January 2nd.


Disgruntled Dishy

Wellington, FL.

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