MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

February 11, 2009

Court Ruling: Sue Me Over A Backorder?

I shouldn't be surprised but I am. Surprised at just how low we, that is Americans, have stooped in being so sensitive and childish about petty things.

Grow a pair!!

Last week a guy ordered a certain product from my website. It was out of stock at the time he ordered it. My E-commerce site doesn't track inventory in real time. That takes a lot of very advanced software and networking to connect an online website to an inventory database and update availability in real time. Several thousands$$$ of dollars worth of software and systems plus the daily management and support (networks are always having issues).

His credit card was not charged when he ordered. I do that manually later for just this reason – if something isn't available immediately it isn't fair to charge someone then make them wait for it. Would you like to be charged today and not receive an item until whenever? I wouldn't.

So the product was out of stock when he placed his order. The next business day when I picked up his order I sent him an email acknowledging the receipt of the order and informing him the item was out of stock but has been reordered from our supply. His order would be shipped promptly when it came in.

Seems reasonable and professional to me so far. Anyone disagree?

Today I received a flaming email from the guy that it's been 5 days (calendar days, only 3 business days) since he placed his order and has not received it nor any communication. He therefore is cancelling his order.

He can cancel. That sucks for me as I now have an item coming that I don't have a buyer for (someone else will order one soon I'm sure). But I can't force it on it.

So for good customer service and to hopefully save the order I call the guy.

He's livid about it.

He's yelling "Why didn't your website tell me it was out of stock when I ordered?"

Buddy - You got a spare $10,000 sitting around I can have to setup a real-time inventory system?

I tell him an email was sent informing him of the backorder. He denies receiving it and demands I forward a copy again to him. So I do. He still insists he never saw that email. Not my problem. I can't control the internet. Call Al Gore about it.

I try to explain that it's not practical to always have an unlimited supply of everything I sell on hand. Sometimes there will be an outage and a delay as items are reordered from my suppliers.

He doesn't care. He's still yelling.

Now it gets fun!

He says it's fraud that I didn't have it immediately on hand when he ordered it. He's going to contact the New York Attorney General and report my fraud.

I nearly fall out of my seat laughing!

This is the first time in this guy's life he's wanted to buy something that's out of stock at the moment from the store?? Must be.

Still trying to save the sale (I'm an eternal optimist) I try to calm him down saying the items will probably come in today or tomorrow (which is true – I called my supplier before calling the customer and was told the item had been shipped) and he'd probably have it by the end of the week. Not good enough for him.

It gets better.

Now he says is going to contact his attorney and sue me for fraud and misrepresentation!

At this point I can barely control the laughter so I tell him we'll cancel the order and have a nice day.

Sue me for fraud and misrepresentation over an out of stock item from an order only 3 business days ago?? This has to have been a joke – but likely not.

I say: Bring it on!!

Sue me. I'd love to see it. I will laugh my ass off in court as you try to explain to a judge that just because you placed an order and didn't receive the item in 5 days you're entitled to damages! Your credit card was not charged so you can't claim any financial loss (the total order including shipping was less than $100 so it would be small claims at best anyway).

5 days – 3 business days – and he's pissed off. Ready to call the AG and a lawyer.

Bring it on!

I doubt anything will come of this but it makes for a good laugh. And a tear as this is what the American people have come to. Thankfully shmucks like this are few and far between while most customers are very decent and understanding people.

If I do get any legal contact from this person, his lawyer or the Attorney General I will keep my readers informed for the entertainment value.

PS- Maybe I should sue too? I placed an order with Bass Pro for some lures 3 weeks ago and still haven't gotten it. I smell millions here! (that's sarcasm if you don't get it)

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Mr. ToughMoneyLove said...

When folks get angry at lawyers, they forget that it's people like this who hire them.

MasterPo said...

But where do you find a lawyer willing to take the case?!

Just imagine walking into a lawyers office and saying "I want to sue for fraud!"

The lawyer might ask "Why?" And you say "Because I tried to order something from their website and it didn't tell me they were out of stock!"

"Did they charge your credit card?" the lawyer inquires.


"How much was the order for?"

"About $80 dollars."

"You got a multi-million dollar case there! Let's get statements going!"