After my last Teavana Online shopping experience I will never use their website to make purchases from them ever again.
I have made a total of four purchases with Teavana Online. The first was over a year ago, back in 2011, and was without issue.
The second was around the holiday season of 2011. I ordered two cups, a tea pot, and some tea. I received the order fairly quickly but the order was missing a cup. I called customer service who, without any issue, shipped out the missing replacement cup. Chocking it up to “these things happen”, I fully intended to order with them again and did.
The third order was this year, in May 2012. I had received a gift card as a birthday present and was eager to spend it on a new tea pot, some cute cups on sale, some extra storage tins, and of course, more tea. I placed my order, used the gift card as payment, and thought I was set. The online status of my order said “ReadyToShip”. After placing the order I was shuffled to a confirmation page saying I would get an email confirmation “soon” and could check my order status online. Two days go by and no email. I check my Spam folder. Nope. Not there. I check the order status on my account. Status: “ReadyToShip”. Hrmpfh. I started getting the sinking suspicion something was amiss. I emailed customer service inquiring about the status since it had been a few days. I provided the order number, date and time of purchase, advised I had used a gift card to pay, my name and address. Later that same day I get an email saying my order never actually processed and the agent can’t find my order to fix it. Apparently “ReadyToShip” means something went WRONG with the order and their system didn’t actually take it. I’m told this error can be for numerous reasons, they can’t tell me exactly what might have gone wrong, and I should just place my order again.
So I go to do that. And I put my gift card information in. And it says my gift card is used up. Why the agent didn’t realize this would happen I don’t know. So I email them again, this time saying my gift card is now used up and they need to fix it. The same agent replies, telling me it will take a few days for the gift card vendor they use to release the funds to the card again, but she will email me when that happens so I can re-do my order.
Fine! I’ll wait. I still had time on the sale and I was trying to practice my Zen nature by being patient.
Two days go by. I hear nothing. I go online to check the balance on the gift card. The balance is back to being the amount I had before my purchase. Alrighty then, the agent never emailed me but the gift card was fixed. Hurray! I’ll just place my order again and move on with life.
Can you guess what happened with my second order? Once again – “ReadyToShip” status, no email, and the order never processed. This time I gave it 24 hours, then emailed them again, demanding that a manager review the issue and reply. Something was obviously messed up with their ordering system and I didn’t want to just wait around and keep reordering and having the same thing happen.
The only reason I give Teavana Online a 2 star rating is because of the managerial response I received. The day after my second order didn’t process and I emailed them, a manager called me back to discuss the issue. He was very understanding, assured me that he had escalated the issue to their website IT department to see if they could figure out what error was going on and causing multiple orders to not process, and then filled my order for me for free. He put in a request to release the gift card funds too, so I had my original order sent without charge and my gift card still available.
I’ve never shopped online with a company whose website makes it appear your order processed when it didn’t. Most have ordering and processing systems that give the shopper some sort of indication if an order rejected for some reason. I also did not care for the attitude/response I got from the first agent. I’m not going into detail here because this review is quite long enough, but suffice to say she did have an attitude, even in email.
My forth order I finally got the gift card to work by using a different computer and different browser. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that I had to do that to make the order work as the first computer/browser were up to date and a very popular browser. It might not have even been the change that finally got it to work. I will never know because Teavana themselves couldn’t figure it out to tell me. The entire experience with the last two orders was off putting enough that I feel no desire to utilize their website again anytime in the near future – especially not when I have a local retail store that pretty much always has everything I’d want and has the instant gratification of walking out with the items instead of waiting for shipping.
This Teavana location has always been a positive experience for me. I’ve mostly shopped here on weekdays in late afternoon/early evening. There are usually plenty of staff members available to help, and I’ve had the same few associates help me a couple of times. They were pleasant, helpful, let me sniff bunches of teas, and didn’t pressure me into purchases. They did make mention of things like discounts or sales, but it never felt like pushing. The store always has samples brewing and a really good selection of tea accessories.
My only complaint about the store is the lack of some of the essential items that are available online. I wanted to get some small tins for storing tea at work, and was really surprised to find I couldn’t purchase them on their own in the store, it had to be in a set (of which I didn’t need the other items). This is more of an issue with whoever at corporate decides what stores should have what inventory, but still. Having to order something as simple as a tin online seems a bit silly.
Besides the inventory issues I’ve never had a problem at this store and highly enjoy being able to sniff my teas before purchase, taste new teas, and get suggestions from the staff.