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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ordered a computer desk and chair from Staples in Lisbon a week ago and use and international credit card.

The maximum delivery time was stated as 2 days so when nothing had arrived after 4 days I sent an email asking when to expect the goods.

I sent the email on Saturday and got a reply on Monday.

The email stated that there was a problem because I'd used an international credit card and maybe I would reorder using a local one.

I checked with CapitalOne who said that they had approved the sale but added that it was listed as pending.

So the worst thing about this is that they didn't contact me, which is exactly what the Portuguese Telephone company failed to do after they discovered that they couldn't install and Internet connection at my location. Another company installed a very fast wifi-connection with a free two week trial, within two days.

So I guess that the lesson to be learned here in Portugal is that the individual has to keep right on top of things and not expect companies to contact you if there's a problem.

I find it hard to believe that Staples have a problem with international credit cards since tourists use them everywhere. I wonder if they were simply out of stock.

I sent a letter to customer service requesting that they cancel the order (I did the same with CapitalOne) and said that I had a local credit card but was so disappointed with their poor service that I wouldn't never order anything from them again.
 

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I have found service standards in Portugal better than they used to be, but still inconsistent. However, with regards to Staples, I stopped ordering from them earlier this year (in Canada). I filed a service complaint online (no response) and when I phoned the response was arrogant and basically said I should read the fine print (which I had and considered to be ambiguous). I found it remarkable that after shopping with them for 10 years for my small business, that they did not even acknowledge my message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have found service standards in Portugal better than they used to be, but still inconsistent. However, with regards to Staples, I stopped ordering from them earlier this year (in Canada). I filed a service complaint online (no response) and when I phoned the response was arrogant and basically said I should read the fine print (which I had and considered to be ambiguous). I found it remarkable that after shopping with them for 10 years for my small business, that they did not even acknowledge my message.
They obviously didn't learn from Avis whose whole business was built on the slogan, "We want you back'.

Sorry about your experience, but it's good that we've both posted our experiences here.
 

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I wonder if it's a local thing as I regularly use my UK cards in Staples in Coimbra. Mainly my Capital One as it gives a 2% cashback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wonder if it's a local thing as I regularly use my UK cards in Staples in Coimbra. Mainly my Capital One as it gives a 2% cashback.
I don't think it's a local thing because I ordered on the Internet and my card was verified and accepted.

I'm not sure they are telling the truth and suspect that there might be another reason, such as being out of stock or they somehow messed up.

We will never know.

Maybe it turned out for the best because I found a used one in very good condition on OLX and the guy is charging half the price of a new one and is delivering and assembling it tonight.


Just by comparison, there is an old maybe 15 year old AEG washing machine in my apartment which works well but I could only make a guess at which program to use. I emailed AEG, gave them the model number and back came a user manual in English the next day.

The German economy is doing well and the Portuguese one is in the pits.


Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I have some good news to post about Staples.

I was contacted by them today and the gentleman said that he wanted to apologize on behalf of Staples and to explain what went wrong.

He said that even after a credit card company approves a transaction, that because it's an international transaction that it still gets checked for fraud, by the local handling company. In my case, the name on my card is M Redbourn but on the order I wrote Michael Redbourn so it got flagged for verification.

I explained that the credit card problem was not what was worst for me as I could have corrected it.

I said that what was worse for me was that I heard nothing from Staples about a delay.

He said that he agreed and would have felt the same frustration, and added that they were working on the technical side so that in similar situations the buyer would be notified.

I said that following the phone call that I would like to re-order the goods, after which I was offered several means of payment, including COD, and we agreed on one.

The goods are set to be delivered tomorrow and the courier will call me one hour before he arrives.

So a happy ending to a sad story.

P.S He apologized for so long (20 mins) that I tried to end the conversation on several occasions, but I can't fault him for that ;-)

* I am sending him a copy of this post without the PS , informing him of the negative comments that I previously posted both here, and on Facebook, to show just how important customer service and communication is today, but I believe he already understands.
 
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