While it was previously unclear which way my CC, MBNA, was leaning, it's now blatant. They rejected my claim. I called my credit card company to complain about how they dealt with the situation (i.e. not taking my side). Their "problem," which I understand (but don't accept), is that I have no written proof of the credit that I am due. (Of course the fact that this is because they informed me of the credit over the phone is of no concern to MBNA.) I then called OM to confirm that the record for the order shows a request for credit, which it did. I asked that they send it to me, and CSR went to check with her supervisor, and then I was disconnected (intentionally or not, you decide). I called back, and the next CSR absolutely refused to send it to me. So I called MBNA, and suggested that to further investigate my case, they call OM and ask about the order record. While at first it seemed the CSR might actually go along with this idea, she decided not to because even if OM did have the information I claimed they did, it still wouldn't be in writing (if she heard it over the phone). Oddly, however, she offered to call OM and ask for a refund.
Well, why not let her give it a try. I gave her OM's number and was put on hold. Quite some time later, she came back to tell me that she was on hold, then promptly put me back on hold. A few minutes later she was back, conferenced with an OM CSR. The OM CSR actually sounded interested in helping until she opened my order an read all the notes. This time, however, the CSR claimed that there was nothing in the record about the request for credit. I went around and around with the OM CSR while the MBNA CSR listened. The OM CSR kept saying that coupons can't be combined with special offers, I kept saying that the bottom line is I was promised a credit, and never received it. Eventually the MBNA CSR got tired or the endless back and forth, and let the OM CSR off the hook. When it was just the two of us, we continued the discussion. She kept repeating that without something in writing, they couldn't get the credit from OM's bank. At one point she said, "I can't get the credit from OM, but could probably credit you $15."
Well, $15 is a start, and I accepted that offer, but asked for confirmation of the credit in writing. She told me she couldn't provide it to me, but that it would appear tonight. "Oh, just like the OM CSR promised that I'd get a credit," I said to her. "No, I'm not like the OM CSR. This credit will actually show up," she replied. At this point I cut off the CSR, who was getting increasingly defensive, to point out that I didn't really need a written confirmation from her, but I was just trying to point out the futility of trying to get written confirmation of a credit phone offered by phone. She seemed to sort of get the idea, but not entirely.
Regardless, I'm still annoyed at OM, so I am pursuing the battle. I wrote a strongly worded angry letter to the president of Boise.
April 27, 2004
Mr. Christopher Milliken
RE: OfficeMax Order #XXXXXXXXX
Division President and Chief Executive Officer
Boise Corporate Headquarters
1111 West Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 50
Boise, ID 83728-0001
Dear Christopher Milliken:
Up until the end of February 2004, I had been a frequent customer of OfficeMax, often spending several hundred dollars per month between catalog, online, and in-store purchases. However, that all changed when OfficeMax did not follow through with their promise.
On February 17, 2004, I placed an order online for a Lexmark printer (Item #2043-8698). The price online was higher than the price in the weekly advertisement, so I called OfficeMax to request an adjustment. The customer service representative with whom I spoke informed me that I would receive a credit for the difference, $49.99 plus tax (for a total of $54.24).
However, a week later, I discovered that no credit was showing from OfficeMax on my statement. When I called back to find out why I wasn’t credited, I was informed that OfficeMax would not credit me because I had used a coupon with my order.
I have two problems with this situation. First, while I understand that OfficeMax now defines a weekly sale as a “special offer” and therefore considers it to be not combinable with a coupon, this has not always been the case (and is an outrageous definition). Second, and more importantly, OfficeMax did not follow through with their agreement. The bottom line is that my acceptance of the sale was because I was promised a credit by OfficeMax.
I have since reduced my OfficeMax purchases, and try to avoid the store (and online/phone catalogs) as much as possible, because this experience soured my relationship with your stores. If I cannot trust the customer service representatives, I can not, and will not, shop in your stores.
In closing, would you please advise me as soon as possible if OfficeMax (now via Boise Office Solutions) is still interested in doing business with me, or if what has happened here is your not so subtle way of telling me to buy my office supplies and technology wares elsewhere.
If you wish to retain me as a customer, rectify this situation immediately by crediting me the amount that I was promised. In the event that you are unable to do so, you will permanently lose a customer, and I will be certain to share my experiences with my family, friends, and co-workers.