Monday, October 29, 2012

Consumer Talk : The Fight against Xend Business Solutions Inc.

Three weeks ago, I happily announced the winners of my month-long 5th Anniversary Giveaway contest. As soon as I sent out the emails to the winners, I immediately got their replies back together with them sending me their mailing addresses and contact details. That same evening, Paul and I turned our dining room into a mini packaging factory. We carefully labeled each envelope, wrote down mini notes for each winner and attached the correct waybill papers to all prizes that will be sent via courier. We're both OC so we had to double triple check every thing before sending it out. There was definitely no room for error.

I've been using Xend Business Solutions as my courier for almost a year already. Sending out all sorts of items from gift certificates to Starbucks planners and a lot more. So far, I've never had any problem with them save for one hiccup that involves them overcharging us for a couple of cans of peanuts. This was immediately resolved as the delivery man quickly came back to our house with the refund after I sent a complaint email and they were quickly forgiven for it.

To those who know us, Paul and I are pretty patient when it comes to dealing with suppliers and service providers. We try to give them as much leeway as possible always giving allowances for human errors and delays.

However, this was just TOO much.

frannywanny anniversary 2
Four days after sending out a package to a winner who resides in Taguig (barely 45 minutes from where I live), I was appalled to find out that the package still hasn't reached her. This was sent together with 4 other packages which were quickly received the day after it was picked up from my house. This package includes a box of Gold Leaf Tea boxes and a bottle of Gold Leaf Tea Concentrate. I even went to the extent of attaching the bottle to the box with a lot of scotch tape to ensure that the bottle won't left behind or stolen.

xend
5 days after the package was picked up from my house (October 18), I sent my first follow up email which was immediately attended to by a certain Shim Felipe. This was also after checking the tracking status and no update has been made since October 13. Here's what he said:

Good Day! We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Upon checking, package is out for re-delivery today. We'll make sure that we'll take steps to ensure that this will never happen again. Again our sincere apology for any difficulty that delayed shipments has made. We value your business. Hoping for your kind consideration and understanding.

This gave me hope that there was just a slight delay in the delivery and I quickly relayed this to my winner. Assuming that the prize was to be delivered last October 18, I was surprised to find out that after two more days (October 20) my winner still hasn't received her prize. Again, I sent another email and Shim Felipe quickly responded with this:


From: Customer Support 1 
Subject: Re: FW: Just Craving [General Help #128091] 

Good Day! We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Upon checking, package is out for re-delivery today. We'll make sure that we'll take steps to ensure that this will never happen again. Again our sincere apology for any difficulty that delayed shipments has made. We value your business. Hoping for your kind consideration and understanding. 
Thanks, Shim Felipe 
Again, I felt relieved and told my winner that she will surely receive her prize on October 20. It was only when I made my full report and attached both emails together that I realized...it was a TEMPLATE email! I was infuriated. Now, I began to doubt if Shim really knew what package I was referring to. The prize could have been lost days ago and he just keeps on telling me that it's out for re-delivery.

My doubts were confirmed when I gave Xend a call last October 22. Talking to their CSR and Manager on Duty, they both asked me for a photo of the product. While they still continued to assure me that this was just protocol and my product wasn't lost, I felt more helpless than ever before. We went around and around barely hitting any conclusion. At this point, I was already demanding for a refund and for them to pay for the missing product. The manager quickly agreed and said that we will be able to receive the amount within 5 working days.

The following day (October 23), both the winner and I were able to receive a call from Xend's accounting representative verifying the waybill and the product AGAIN. I once again confirmed with her that a refund and lost product compensation will be made and she promised to call me before the day ends as she needs to double check this. No call was made. Now, I'm confused. Are they refunding the product or not?

I've been calling Xend so often that I've memorized their number by heart. All I had to do was to press the "redial" button on my phone and it would dial the hotline number on its own. That was how often I've been calling Xend to do my follow up. Not only was it so hard to get hold of the Manager as he seems to be always out of the office or on break or worst, on day-off, the phone line gets cut off every 10 minutes too! I felt like I was at the losing end yet I know I shouldn't give up.

While I gave up calling Xend's hotline, I sent them an email last October 24 detailing the emails that I've sent, the phone conversations that have transpired and I attached a photo of the prize, the way bill and a screenshot of the current tracking status of the package. I requested for a reply within 24 hours.

October 27, 60 hours after -- no reply was sent. At this point, you could just imagine how tired and frustrated I already feel towards Xend's inefficiency. Finally, I got through their hotline and was able to talk to Olive who, in my opinion, was the most efficient among ALL the Xend employees. She listened to me and read the email. She apologized for the delay and quickly acted on the case. Within hours, she sent me this email:

This is to inform you that we got an update from the concerned Department. And we declare this item as lost. We will refund the amount of this item to you, anytime next week. 

She called back as she promised she will and the day ended with her confirming that a refund will be made by this week. Thank God for her as I was already in the brink of asking the DTI for help.

Today, October 29-- The refund was finally delivered to my home together with an email from Xend apologizing for the boo-boo. I've also sent out new set of prize to my very patient winner hoping that it'll finally reach her tomorrow. This time, I made use of another courier service.

Apology accepted but rest assured, I'm never availing of Xend's service ever again. It was just too traumatizing and exhausting to take the risk that I might have to go through the whole thing again. No way, Jose!

My objective for sharing my experience with you is NOT to mainly bash Xend. I hope that what happened between us will serve as a wake-up call for them and also, I hope that this story will serve as an eye-opener for all of us. 

For the consumers, we always have to fight for our rights. Let us not let our hard-earned money go to waste and if you know you are right, then fight for it. For the service providers, please value the importance of customer service. Always remember, it takes months, even years to build a good relationship but just one boo-boo to ruin it. Honesty is really the best policy.
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