Reporting Susan Koeppen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This holiday season is shaping up to be very successful for retailers, especially online.
Consumers spent more than $1 billion shopping online on Black Friday, breaking a record.
But there is a dark side to shopping online during the holiday frenzy.
At a store, customers can grab the product, pay for it and go.
But online, shoppers see a product, put down a credit card and wait for it to arrive.
But some shoppers are getting notices that their Black Friday deals are not being delivered.
One man, Rob Rudy, did his Black Friday shopping on his iPad.
Rudy scored, or so he though, at Microsoft’s online store, grabbing a deal on a Star Wars video game.
“It was a great deal,” Rudy said. “I mean it was normally $49.99 and it was priced at $9.99 – so $40 off.”
But just days later, he received an email from Microsoft saying the item sold out faster than they anticipated. It said the company could not fulfill his order.
“It’s not like this was a mom and pop shop and they couldn’t fill its inventory,” Rudy said. “This is a big company and for them not being able to manage their inventory or make good on their offer is frustrating.”
Many consumers across the country are sharing Rudy’s frustration, saying they went Black Friday shopping online and got a raw end in the deal.
Some Toys ‘R’ Us shoppers took to the company’s Facebook page, to call it out for cancelling orders.
“Guess you guys never learned how to improve your order fulfillment process, eh?” Richard Callaby wrote on the page.
The same thing happened with Best Buy last year when it cancelled online orders just days before Christmas.
The company vowed to do better this year.
E-commerce expert Michael Smith from Carnegie Mellon University says that’s exactly what these retailers need to do, they need to do better by their customers.
“The internet is a place where I can tell 1,000 friends if I am happy or unhappy,” Smith said. “And it’s to these company’s best interests to fulfill the commitment or provide the customers a coupon to make them whole.”
Rudy says Microsoft did offer him a $5 off coupon to make up for not sending his video game – a far cry from the $40 he would have saved.
“I was expecting to get this great deal and instead, they offer me a $5 certificate off my next shopping order,” he said. “And $40 savings versus $5 off was hard to swallow.”
Rudy said he has no plans to use that $5 coupon and that he is done shopping at Microsoft.