Tag Archives: customer service

Bizarre Customer Services Interaction of the Year [updated]

When the customer service experience takes a trip into another reality altogether…

I have a 15-year-old MINI Cooper S. It’s doing well, just routine maintenance needed for such an old car to keep it in the best condition. The latest job is to replace the rear suspension, mounts, trailing arms and so on. So I’ve been getting all the parts together.

The most complicated part has been assembling the rear shock-struts. Just a lot of parts that I then need to assemble. To get the best deals I have been shopping around and for a lot of things, ebay is actually rather good in this regard. You just need to spend time tracking parts down.

…the other box contained a completely wrong part. It wasn’t what was listed, it wasn’t as pictured, it wasn’t even for the MINI! Bearing in mind, this was the part on the listing that I originally sent the message about!

eBay - Top Strut mount listingAnd so it came to something called the ‘Top Strut Mounts’. It’s a metal plate that goes on top of the assembly, that is what you bolt to the actual car chassis. BMW charge nearly £80 for it, but on ebay you can get new replacements for around £14. After searching a while, I came across the ‘ACP Top Strut Mount Kit’ listing, as pictured on the right. I messaged asking which side this was for, as the listing didn’t say, and I would also like to know the listing for the other side too. The reply came. I was told it was ‘for the left’ and given the listing for the right. So, two weeks ago, I duly ordered both items at the same time.

The delivery came after the weekend and I hurried to open so I could get building the two struts. One box felt lighter than the other. On opening, I saw that the top mount for the right-hand side was correct, but the other box contained a completely wrong part. It wasn’t what was listed, it wasn’t as pictured, it wasn’t even for the MINI! Bearing in mind, this was the part on the listing that I originally sent the message about.

This was obviously a warehouse packing error and could easily be corrected. I immediately took photos and messaged the seller. Here are the ensuing exchanges between customer services and myself.

25th Nov, 20:20
Dear ACE Parts,
One of the items delivered, pictured right, was not the item that I ordered. It’s completely different foam and doesn’t include the top mount. I had ordered left and right, I am unable to say which I have, but the marking on the box for the correct item says NTM302242 MINI, the box with the wrong item in says NTM 302240.
I look forward to your prompt resolution.
Peter

26th Nov, 10.23
Hi Peter,
I am really sorry to hear of this error, would it be possible to send us an image of the part number on the box? I am afraid I could not see this in the images you sent.
Kind Regards
Alwyn
aceparts_uk Customer Support

The wrong part26th Nov, 15.15
Hi, Attached is the photo of the box with the wrong item. The correct item has an ‘R’ stamp in a circle on it, so I presume that means right-hand side.
Peter

27th Nov, 09.07
I can see that you purchased two items, one NTM302242 and one NTM302240. Have you only received NTM302240 and not NTM302242?
Please can I ask for your full UK vehicle registration and I will be happy to have a look for you.
Kind Regards
Katerina
aceparts_uk Customer Support

27th Nov, 09.10
The reg [my car reg]
either way, what I received is not what was pictured in the listing, as my first picture showed.
Peter

27th Nov, 13.18
Could you please send us an image of what is in the bag that is incorrect as Iam unable to see what the part on the right looks like in the first image.I am sorry about that.
Kind Regards
Stephanie
aceparts_uk Customer Support

27th Nov, 09.10
Quite simply, there was no large metal top mount plate, and these items are completely wrong. The part should look like the 2nd photo.
Peter
[I sent the photo of the incorrect part AGAIN, and a photo of the correct right-side part that I had received.]

28th Nov, 09.32
Please can we ask you to request a return through eBay using the reason incorrect part and we will provide you with a freepost return label.
On receipt of your return we will issue a refund for you.
Kind Regards
Alwyn
aceparts_uk Customer Support

At this point, I was hopeful that this was on track and sent the incorrect part back. But I missed the part about “refund.” So, today (4th Dec by this point!) I sent them this message:

4th Dec, 09.05
Hi, I have returned this. I didn’t see the bit about the label, however, I put the details in the box. I don’t want a refund, I want the correct part, please. This is a matter of urgency!
Peter

This is where things took a bizarre turn and I entered into an alternative reality.

4th Dec, 13.35
Unfortunately we don’t have alternative to offer for those , we can only process a refund upon return.
Kind Regards
Katerina
aceparts_uk Customer Support

4th Dec, 13.35
You delivered the wrong part, it wasn’t the one pictured or advertised. I even contacted yourselves to find out which side it was for then asked for the opposite side upon which I ordered both parts together. This conversation makes no sense what so ever. Please, can you get someone who understands what your selling!
Peter

4th Dec, 15.50
We did ask for more details as previously explained, we needed to locate the part number of the one which was incorrect as you purchased two of the different ones. As we didn’t have enough info we will issue a refund. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Kind Regards
Katerina
aceparts_uk Customer Support

Yes, I know. So, I replied:

I have found this experience utterly baffling. All I want is the item that is listed, as advertised, and as pictured in the advert. The Top strut mount kit for MINI Cooper S R53 for the left-hand side of the vehicle. The part that was sent out was nothing like the part pictured, it was something completely different to what was ordered, as I showed in two photographs that I sent. PLEASE, can you direct me to where I can order the Top Strut Mount Kit for the MINI R53 for the left-hand side AS pictured in the advertised image and description?
I really don’t understand how this seems to have become so difficult!
Thank you
Peter

Update: 5th Dec

Is the part number 302240 correct? The 302242 should really just be a mirror copy of 302240.
I am sorry for our confusion. If you could send us an image of the two parts contents this will help us out.
Kind Regards
Alwyn
aceparts_uk Customer Support

5th Dec, 16:18
The items as sent to meYes, 302240 is correct and is pictured on the left of this picture. The other item pictured on the right, as I have been trying to say all along, is not correct and certainly is 302242 as shown in the listing. There must have been a boxing error or a packing error.
The 2nd picture [shown earlier in the posting, 26th Nov] shows the close up of what was sent.
All I want is the correct item, the mirror item to the correct item that was sent.
Thank you for your attention
Peter