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  • Report: #175385

Complaint Review: Lightinguniverse.com - Allied Trade Group - Aziano Lighting

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  • Submitted: Wed, February 08, 2006
  • Updated: Sat, December 02, 2006

  • Reported By:Andover New Jersey
Lightinguniverse.com - Allied Trade Group - Aziano Lighting
11730 118th Ave NE, Suite 100 Kirkland, Washington U.S.A.

Lightinguniverse.com - Allied Trade Group - Aziano Lighting customer service unresponsive to missing product replacement, ripoff Kirkland Washington

*Author of original report: responding to Cherie

*Consumer Suggestion: Tracy and Gary

*Author of original report: replying to comments filed by company and Cherie

*Consumer Suggestion: The Joys Of Customer Service

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Lighting Universe prides itself on great Customer Service

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Run fast from this company, there are better places to shop like lightingshowplace.com etc.. better prices and better customer service.

Lighting Universe does have a great selection on their website. However, that is about the only thing going for them. Their salesmen do not return phone calls, and the customer service representatives only want to help if they can fix a situation quickly. And don't bother trying to speak to a supervisor, that will never happen. I tried many times, never happened.

I ordered over $700 worth of fixtures from them on 11/29/05 (which I found out too late I could have ordered for ~$150 less on another site). The order came quickly but one of the fixtures was missing the lampshades. I dealt with customer service rep Sylvia for almost 2 months to get the correct lampshades. She tried in the beginning, but after receiving the FOURTH set of incorrect lampshades, she no longer returned my calls or emails.

I finally called the manufacturer myself and got a hold of someone who shipped out the correct lampshades immediately. If I had not taken care of the situation myself, I'd be sitting on $700 worth of useless fixtures and no one to help me. All the fixtures matched, so without the one set of lampshades, I had nothing, all fixtures were worthless.

FYI - the manufacturer was Aziano Lighting, might want to stay clear of them too as it was their incompetent staff member who kept sending out the wrong lampshades. Apparently neither lightinguniverse nor the Aziano Lighting rep could find a list of part numbers for their fixtures. The item numbers on the lampshades I kept getting did not even match the item number of the fixture I had. The sticker specifically stated the fixtures the lampshades were for and my fixture was not one of them.

How is that for terrible customer service? And I had sent dozens of emails and left voice messages for Sylvia and the customer service manager, no one will call me back or email me. And other reps will only say "Oh, you've dealt with Sylvia in the past, you should talk with her about this then, let me forward you to her voicemail." No one else wanted to step up and help.

Tracy
Andover, New Jersey
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/08/2006 04:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Lightinguniversecom-Allied-Trade-Group-Aziano-Lighting/Kirkland-Washington-98034/Lightinguniversecom-Allied-Trade-Group-Aziano-Lighting-customer-service-unresponsive-175385. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 4Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

responding to Cherie

AUTHOR: Tracy - (U.S.A.)

Thanks for the comments Cherie. Sounds like I would have been in great hands had you been my CS rep.

Just wanted to respond to your question about why I bought lighting fixtures online.

I had shopped around quite a bit online and locally. I subscribe to a couple of online forums and feedback I read on those forums was most folks have good experiences shopping online. So I decided to give it a try since the online companies prices for lighting fixtures were/are almost always less than I found locally, and shipping was free and I paided no tax. I saved money, and got the fixtures (in most cases) quicker than the local shops would deliver. Most local shops didn't stock the fixtures, they would have to order them. Many of the online stores stocked the fixtures, delivery was quick.

And I will say, that other than this experience, my online shopping experience has been great. I got the fixtures I wanted when I wanted them for a great price and dealt with sales reps and CS reps that were very helpful.

Now that you mention it, I will make it a point to call back the companies that were most helpful and get an address I can write to, to give thanks for the great help I received. I'm usually very good about pointing out great service. I know how good it feels to receive recognition from clients and management for work well done.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Tracy and Gary

AUTHOR: Cherie - (U.S.A.)

Tracy,
As a rule I call people back with updates as quickly as time allows. Now the type of updates depends on pretty much the customer Im dealing with. I had to learn to read minds and emotional situations at this job *and I dont remember signing up for that part, lol* If its a customer who tells me they want a constant update, I will call them to let them know something every day-be it 'status is the same' or 'it will be here in two days' or as horrible as 'they have discontinued that specific fixture' I will do my best
to see that I keep my word. I know I do a good job because I the owner of a rival company tried to convince me to leave my current job and come work for them-while I was AT work.

The shades thing threw me because of situations Ive had with customers. I shouldnt have allowed a
stressful day *during our annual christmas sale* to factor in but I did. In fact I was coming on this website to see if anyone had ever complained about our company on here-however I was looking for employee complaints, if that helps.

Being mad at her for not returning calls is 100%
reasonable-as long as its within a reasonable amount of time. Where I work, if you call us and you havent gotten a return call by close the next day-then its time to contact management the following morning. However we are not an internet based or run company so I cant say what a 'fair amount' is to them as compared to us, but considering the laughable 30 day return policy...time was an issue and I personally think Gary should give you a refund for 25% of the fixture you had a problem with and a 10% refund on the rest of the items for your time and hassle. Any good business owner would.

No-its not right for the CS to give up on a
customer-within reason. As long as the customer has treated me fairly I will continue to do everything I can to see that they are more than satisfied with both our company and me. Now when a customer thinks that they are entitled to belittle, yell, speak down to, or just otherwise abuse me-well it will be a cold day before I help them. The difference is I dont say I will help and then dont. I have told customers that they were obviously very upset and should call/come back when they have calmed down enough for me to be able to help them. I have hung up on customers who were screaming/cussing.
I have walked out of the showroom on a customer who was unable to understand the concept that 'those two fixtures are discontinued, yes you can purchase those, no I cannot order more' and I was then informed that she really needed someone to help her and I was obviously unable to do so. This particular woman has since come back to our store and had the audacity to ask me for help. I responded in the only way I knew how..."I would love to-but you told me I couldnt" and I continued to work on people who wanted service, not slaves.

One of the easiest things I do at work is requesting replacement parts-one fax and its done. One of the most difficult is actually getting the correct part.
Typical problems: backorders, lost packages, wrong
part sent, and my personal favorite: 'We never
received that fax' to which I always fax over the
original fax AND trans report that shows it went
through. Yes, it is frustrating for us to get the run around from our vendors, just as it is frustrating for our customers to get 'Im sorry I just dont know anything yet' from us. So when you call to find out and you rely on us-we are usually having to turn to the vendor and rely on them. Its rare that any customer understands that.

Few things justify ignoring a customer-things I
highlighted earlier. The main reason I dont get back to my customers during the day they call is
A) other customers
B) my boss telling me to do something else
C) vendors not returning calls
D) the customers attitude

Where I work, we work per hour-PLUS commission. I think that any company would do so much better if they gave commission as well as hourly wages. I bust my ass for my customers, why? Because they supplement my income. If I know that a pissed off customer is going to tell everyone they know how horrible the experience shopping with me/our store was, Im going to make sure they have a good one so not only will they come back and spend more money-they will hoepfully tell friends to spend money too.

True-there are times that when being polite is not cutting it and sometimes you have to use strong words to prove a point to a company. And profanity, lots and lots of profanity. *grin* I have found the best way to get a company to pay attention is to put it in writing-to the owner of the company. Any complaints sent to the owner are IMMEDIATELY dealt with-as I witnessed last week. Praise written and sent to him takes a bit longer for him to pass on to us though, not fair...but hey, priorities.

I do have to ask-why buy fixtures online instead of in a showroom? I love the idea of buying online-I hate the problems that arise from it. But since you had a good experience with another company-write the company and tell them about how well the CS you dealt with there did and be loyal to that CS if you purchase again because they most likely work on commission.

Gary,
How on earth can you only offer a 30 day guarantee on products and still sell anything? Tracy had a very difficult time getting a problem and while you did apoligize for the problem you didnt offer a partial refund for the hassle. Also if its that hard to get ahold of a C.S. hire a few more-stressed employees do not give good customer service.
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#3 Author of original report

replying to comments filed by company and Cherie

AUTHOR: Tracy - (U.S.A.)

Gary, yes, it was in fact the manufacturer that continued to send the wrong lampshades. I was never completely sure whether the disconnect was in your CS rep, Sylvia, or with the Aziano Representative, but either way, 4 times the wrong shades were delivered. Since Syliva was my only contact at the time, I was relying on her solely to keep me in the loop and fight on my behalf since I could not. I didn't feel in the end that she cared to help me anymore. She was frustrated and gave up.... leaving me in the dark without the parts I needed to complete my project, and sitting on $700 in useless fixtures.

As a customer in NJ where your located on the west coast, I was at the mercy of the phone and email. It wasn't like I could walk to the store and complain. It seemed very easy for your CS department to simply ignore me and there was nothing I could do about it.

Regarding the 100% policy, I asked your customer service about returning all of the fixtures since Aziano could not make good on the shades, and your customer service reps told me that since the order was now over 30 days old, I could not return the items. This shade issue had gone on from beginning of December til end of Jan, more than 1 month during which I feel I was pretty darn patient and almost always respectful on the phone. I had a couple of bad moments when I was extremely frustrated and I apologize for that, but for the most part, I was respectful.

So, I was going to be stuck with $700 worth of fixtures that were useless. It is true that in the end, on my own, I got in touch with someone at Aziano, not the person Sylvia dealt with, but someone else who was compentent enough to find the right part number and ship me the right shades the first time. I dialed the number on the warranty card and left a voicemail. The person called me back and looked up the fixture and found the part number. She explained that the rep dealing with Sylvia was in the corporate office and they don't have a clue about parts etc... Nice to know the sales reps at Aziano know the products....

Now, had sylvia or even someone else at Lighting Universe CS suggested I check my warranty card, I would have done so to begin with, but sylvia in the beginning suggested I work through her. I was going to send the whole fixture back and try reordering another, but Sylvia discouraged that as well, not sure why. I was trying to do as she thought best....after all she does this everyday, I don't.

Regarding your price guarantee, it was past 30 days when I realized the price was much lower elsewhere, so I lost out there. But even today, your price is still higher for this fixture than other sites. I'm talking regular prices, not sale prices.

Additionally, let me say that if I thought CS was going to be great, I'd be more than happy to pay more, but since my last experience was so bad, why on earth would I continue to pay higher prices for so little CS?

Regarding your comments "I apologize if you got the run around regarding who you could talk to in our CS department. Any of our CS reps can take care of issues like this...." I would have been more than happy to continue to deal with Sylvia. I would prefer one person, but Sylvia in fact seemed to be over worked, too busy most of the time to talk. There were one or two times I simply called to find out a status, whether she had talked to Aziano or not, and I could not even get her on the phone for that. And everyone else just kept pushing me back to her, saying I would be better off dealing directly with her since this case was involved...

I'd be happy to do that if Sylvia would have just communicated a bit more. And when I asked to speak with a supervisor, I feel I should have been given the right to do so, not told that the supervisor was unavailable and worked "banker hours". That is just great to tell your customers.

In conclusion, gary if you would like to talk more about this, please feel free to contact me at taw9370@yahoo.com

To Cherie:

Let me start by saying I like communication, even if its to say, "Sorry, no news yet, but I'm still aware of the issue and its on my radar." And I feel a good CS rep would/should be very skilled in this duty.

And yes, $700 worth of fixtures would have been worthless without the shades. I'm not going to go into details, but that was the situation.

And to clarify, I was mad at Sylvia for giving up on my issue, not for sending the wrong lamp shades. And if she had bothered to communicate with me at all in the end, I wouldn't have had to continuously try to contact her to get a status.

And it is not right in my eyes for CS to give up when the going gets tough, after all, I figured out how to get the correct shades, as a CS who deals with this manufacturer alot more than I do, she should have proper contact info to get things done on behalf of customers when she needs to.

I'm well aware of how overworked and under paided people are in all areas of business today. I don't however, feel that justifies the right to be unresponsive and give up on difficult issues that arise in your daily duties.

I also understand that Sylvia was at much at the mercy of Aziano as I was, but since she does this type of work everyday and is my only contact, I feel she is responsible for fighting the fight on my behalf, and she gave up.

Also, let me say that on the consumer side, lets not forget how that feels, especially when the company you've ordered from is all the way across contry, and the phone and email are all you have for communication and the company can simply decide not to respond. Its not like the consumer can simply walk to their store and complain to the manager. And even if $700 is not alot of money to anyone but me, that no excuse to give up on my issue.

And I was polite as can be 95% of the time. We all have those moments where we get upset, but I tried to be civil and respectful. I know enough not to tick off the person I need on my side.

I'd like to conclude by saying I've since ordered from a couple other places without issue. Lightingshowplace was great to deal with, I've ordered over $1500 in additional fixtures from them on several occassions without issue, and a couple other sites I've dealt with were wonderful as well.

Knowing what I know now, lightinguniverse is now off my list of perspect buying sites.

I had planned to write a letter to the company, but figured that would go nowhere just like my experience with CS had.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

The Joys Of Customer Service

AUTHOR: Cherie - (U.S.A.)

"I dealt with customer service rep Sylvia for almost 2 months to get the correct lampshades. She tried in the beginning, but after receiving the FOURTH set of incorrect lampshades, she no longer returned my calls or emails."
She most likely didnt want to return your calls or emails without having any new information to give you-if she had already tried four times to fix your problem and had been unable to do so she was most likely afraid to call without being able to give you new information.

"I finally called the manufacturer myself and got a hold of someone who shipped out the correct lampshades immediately. If I had not taken care of the situation myself, I'd be sitting on $700 worth of useless fixtures and no one to help me. All the fixtures matched, so without the one set of lampshades, I had nothing, all fixtures were worthless."
$700 worth of fixtures worthless by a set of missing lampshades?

"FYI - the manufacturer was Aziano Lighting, might want to stay clear of them too as it was their incompetent staff member who kept sending out the wrong lampshades."
Ok...now Im confused. You were mad at Sylvia because she just couldnt get it right-but then you blame it on Aziano-AFTER you say someone from there sent out the correct ones immediately. Which is it?

"I had sent dozens of emails and left voice messages for Sylvia and the customer service manager, no one will call me back or email me. And other reps will only say "Oh, you've dealt with Sylvia in the past, you should talk with her about this then, let me forward you to her voicemail." No one else wanted to step up and help."

This can be easily explained. No, I do not work for this particular company but I do work for a lighting company in Alabama.

1. Sylvia is the person who has been helping you-she has ALL of the information. Your situation getting handled by one person has much better chances of getting corrected than if you called and told each new person you talked to the situation.

2. Every one of those dozen calls you made did nothing but hold up not only Sylvia, but other staff members and customers who had legitimate problems about fixtures like-the wiring has a short and it wont turn on-not:
"my lamp shades didnt match-its the end of the world"

Now Im in no way saying that you were wrong for wanting the correct lampshades-you are entitled to what you paid for-BUT:

*She tried to get you the correct ones-FOUR TIMES! Now while they were not correct it does show that she was trying to get the problem fixed.

*Did you ever express any appreciation for what she was doing to help? Personally I will go the extra mile and even call customers from MY home if I didnt get to them during the day if they were just simply NICE!

*When you called her, how did you speak to her? If someone calls me about something that was wrong with a fixture and they are rude, yelling, pissy,and/or hard to deal with I will move them to the bottom of my to do list-and they will move further down each time they call unless they have had a massive attitude adjustment.

People who work in customer service are overworked, underpaid, and HIGHLY UNAPPRECIATED. Not only by the customers they are trying to help, but where I work-by the employer as well. Im not saying that you do not deserve what you paid for by any means. Im just trying to give you a new perspective on the situation.
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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Lighting Universe prides itself on great Customer Service

AUTHOR: Gary - (U.S.A.)

While it seems the CS rep did try 4 times to get you the correct shades, it is appearant that the manufacturer had the wrong parts and continued to send the wrong shades.

Lighting Universe always offers a 100% return policy on items that are damaged or defective. In this case, since the manufacturer, Aziano, has a manufacturing error, if they cannot fix it, we/they will gladly take care of the issue and either return the entire fixture and refund your money or continue to try to fix the situation, but it sounds like you got the correct lampshades in the end and I am assuming you did not have to pay for them?.

Regarding price, we also offer a 110% low price guarantee. If you find a cheaper price, we will match it if notified within 30 days. We take greta efforts to keep our prices competitive, but we cnanot alwasy keep up with every sale or special price cut otehr websites offer.

I apologize if you got the run around regarding who you could talk to in our CS department. Any of our CS reps can take care of issues like this. They may have seen a pending/open issue Sylvia was working on and figured she would have the most current status. regardless, someone should have called you back, I am very sorry and this is not our normal approach to business. If I knew your name or contact information I could look deeper into the details for you, but once again, I apologize for this seemingly lack of CS.
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