I placed an order for an inexpensive and self-explanatory item. It retailed for around $50. It was nothing special at all. I did not require any customer service, sales support, or technical assistance.
But just 10 minutes after the order was placed, I received a call from "Ryan", an employee at Sweetwater.
Well, it turns out he was calling (as a courtesy) to confirm that he received my order. (?!?) At that point, I became confused as to what was happening. Why would an order for such a low-risk and self-explanatory item need to be confirmed? Who does this? Almost nobody!
Ryan Murray of Sweetwater then told me that the shipping would be free (which I had already known), no signature would be required (which I had already known), and that my order would be delivered in about three business days or so (which I had already known). All of the above-mentioned were readily and clearly apparent during the simple and fast online checkout process. [continued below]....
Ryan Murray asked me whether I had any questions at all. And I told him that I did. I asked Ryan Murray why I received any phone call in the first place. Ryan Murray claimed that Sweetwater calls to confirm ALL Internet orders
. (!) And he asked me whether I would prefer to continue to receive these so-called confirmatory phone calls.
I told Ryan Murray that Sweetwater does not need to confirm any of my orders with me over the phone. But, as if that were not enough, Ryan Murray insisted in asking whether I was certain that Sweetwater should no longer make any future order-confirmation phone calls. I of coursed re-confirmed (!) that I do not want to receive any order-confirmation phone calls in the future.
To make matters worse, Ryan Murray stated that an order of mine may not go through "as how I want it" unless Sweetwater initiates an order-confirmation phone call.
In all, when one does not turn a spammer away, eventually it may escalate into up-selling or seasonal sales calls (per complaints from customers against Sweetwater as easily found on the Internet). I do not want a more expensive item, an upgrade, or an add-on. But Sweetwater wants more profitable sales apparently. See, when I turn to the Internet for shopping, I appreciate the fact that I am not badgered by salespersons, especially the ones who "groom" the customer.
I assume the executives at Sweetwater came up with this nonsense about the salesperson-initiated order confirmation calls. So, shame on the Sweetwater executives for making the employees perform revenue-generating, unnecessary, overzealous, and overwrought spam phone calls disguised as customer service/order confirmation. To some this is viewed as badgering and high-pressure. Please be aware that I had *no* opportunity to opt-out of these order confirmation phone calls when I was placing my order. If I had been given a chance to opt-out, then I would have clicked the opt-out button. And by right, each and every customer should have to *opt-in* first.
I am most certainly not alone in filing this complaint. (#1)
"i hate having some sweetwater rep call me after every order or web purchase. that drives me crazy... I use to be in sales...never again." (#2)
"The up-selling. You can't just buy something. They Sweetwater ask you if you want a microphone or a plug in or a new computer etc. Also, they call you randomly throughout the year, trying to get you to buy more things. They are like telemarketers." (#3)
"My Sweetwater rep doesn't call me after orders (he usually sends and email instead) but will call me every 3 or 4 months to see if I need anything. I don't know why he bothers as I don't really buy much from there..." (#4)
"They used to do this to me, too. It's very annoying when you work at a busy studio where the phone is often very busy and it's important to keep the lines free. In my situation, these calls seemed particularly superfluous." (#5)
"I've heard people talk about this before and my advice would be to request a different representative or just tell the one you have how you feel."
I complained via e-mail to make certain that there is a written record of my preference (opt-out) in case Ryan Murray of Sweetwater failed to input my preference into his end of my account.
Unfortunately, Ryan Murray sent an *INAPPROPRIATE*
follow-up email to my complaint. "Hey XXXXX, I received your email the first time, but I wasn't sure if you wanted a response. We call our customers to confirm their orders for a few reasons.
1. It helps prevent millions of dollars in fraudulent orders each year.
2. It helps us make sure the customers are really getting the product that will solve their problem.
3. It helps us build a relationship with the customer. This is something that 99% of the customers we talk to really appreciate.
4. It gives the customers a point of contact in case they have questions or concerns. It puts a face to the website. Most companies just take your money and process an order. If you prefer to just be treated as an order, and not as a customer, then we can surely process your orders in that fashion in the future.
Sweetwater Sales Engineer
1-800-222-4700 ext. 1311"
The last bullet-point was outstandingly nasty and cocky. So, we'll start with that one first. "4. If you prefer to just be treated as an order, and not as a customer, then we can surely process your orders in that fashion in the future."
I most certainly do *not* prefer to be treated as just an order, not a person! However, you must understand that I prefer to initiate the communication. I'd prefer to contact customer service according to my own preference and during at a convenient time. Why is this so apparently difficult for you to appreciate and most importantly RESPECT? When I need help, I'll ask for it. OK? If each and every order I placed on the Internet were to be followed up with a pesky call by a salesperson/service-rep like Ryan, then I would have received about 1,000+ phone calls per year. Sweetwater is the one and only website I have encountered which initiates these superfluous sales calls which they disguise as customer service. There needs to be an opt-in process as explained here in the link. "3. It helps us build a relationship with the customer. This is something that 99% of the customers we talk to really appreciate."
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts--for support rather than illumination." Andrew Lang
You must give all customers a *fair* opportunity to opt-out before reaching that conclusion. "2. It helps us make sure the customers are really getting the product that will solve their problem."
the sale? That was *not* the purpose of your phone call. You did not ask me what my needs were or whether the item I had purchased would resolve them. But given that the item I purchased was so stupid, cheap, and easy to use, item #2 is moot. "1. It helps prevent millions of dollars in fraudulent orders each year."
Complete nonsense. My billing address matched my shipping address. My shipping address matched my billing address. My phone number matched the number on file with Discover Card. The CV2 code matched as well. Moreover, I'm familiar with these addresses verification systems and they can be configured to work in an automated manner. If anything is flagged, then it will be reviewed manually. Nothing about my transaction was to be flagged. It was a low-risk item which was going to an address which matched the address on account with Discover Card. Even worse, this was a Christmas present for someone. When I answered the phone call, my answering machine had picked up at the same time and the friend of the intended recipient of this present heard the entire phone call!
I would have marked my order as "gift" if Sweetwater had given a prior warning about spamcall.
I would like to switch to a new salesperson. And I - the customer - will INITIATE all communications.
In all, please at least issue an apology.