Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I ordered some RV parts from PPL Motor Homes of Houston, Texas and the whole process has turned into a nightmare. Let me explain.
On 9 April 2008 I was searching for a replacement kitchen faucet and florescent light for my fifth wheel RV. I have found that you just can't go down to the local Home Depot for RV parts. So I went online and searched for RV Parts and found the web site for PPL Motor Homes of Houston, Texas. They had an extensive online catalog. But I was unsure of the exact part numbers so I called their toll free line and spoke with a customer service operator.
Their operator was very helpful and helped me to select the right parts (I assumed) and I paid for both items by credit card. Then a couple of days later she called me back saying that when they went to get the florescent light from the warehouse the item could not be found. She said they would have to refund my credit card for the florescent light but would still ship the faucet.
I later confirmed that a refund to my credit card had been made. I then waited for my faucet to arrive. I was distracted and did not follow up for two or three weeks and when I began to realize my faucet had never showed up I started calling PPL Motor Homes of Houston, Texas and was getting the "you are number 12 in line" for assistance so I chose the option to leave a message where I left them my number and asked them to call me back.
I waited a week and they never returned my call. So I went through that process again and did not wait to get through again by waiting for all the people ahead of me so I left another message asking them to call me about my order. Again after a week I realized they were not going to call. So I sent a somewhat strong email message to their parts and sales email addresses. Below is a copy of the email message I sent them;
"To whom it may concern,
This message is my final attempt to contact your company regarding my order of 9 April for a faucet part number 86-8901. I say final attempt because I have called and left messages twice before leaving my phone number and asking that I be called back. To date no one has called.
If I have not heard from your company within the next 48 hours I intend to do the following two things:
1. Request a charge back from my credit card company.
2. Write a very unfavorable blog on my RV travel web site. Actually, even if I am contacted I am writing the adverse blog entry, the only question is how bad a review I give your company. It will start with "Terrible Service" and go down from there."
I finally got a reply. I am including the content of their message here so you can read their reply:
"I am very sorry about the delay in the shipment of your order. I hate to make excuses for our failure to you to provide you with an excellent experience in dealing with PPL. If you must have the reason it is not a good one. It appears you placed the order on the 9th. On the 11th one of the items was cancelled. It was likely cancelled because it was going to take too long to ship due to availability. When we did the cancellation the order was not re-activated and it sat there till it was brought to our attention. I can promise you that is not the way PPL does business. From time to time we make mistakes and that is what happened. Like I said, we don't have a good excuse. I would like you to give us a second chance the next time you need an item we have. I have encoded your customer ID number with a 10% discount that is good for any future purchases. I can assure you we have a good reputation in the RV world and that is because we make it a habit of providing excellent customer service, but ultimately in spite of the high technology we are human. Please let me know if I can do anything further for you."
Frank A. PPL Motor Homes, Houston, Texas
I then sent the following message:
Please cancel the order and refund the charge. The original shipping address no longer is valid. As an RVer I have moved on down the road.
Please confirm that this is done."
Then I got this reply:
"The faucet shipped on the 29th and cannot be cancelled at this point.
Unfortunately your request to cancel that item came a day after it shipped. If you are no longer there it will be returned to me and we will issue credit accordingly. Sorry for the inconvenience."
Frank A. Frank A. PPL Motor Homes, Houston, Texas
Well as you can see the life of an RVer is full of unique problems. The item may have eventually been shipped, 6 plus weeks late, and long after I left the RV park they shipped it to.
I finally got my first call from PPL Motor Homes because my faucet came back as undeliverable. The very nice lady who called was the same lady who I originally spoke to when I ordered the faucet originally. I explained to her what happened and asked that my credit charge be refunded. She said she would.
Until my credit card is actually refunded I will consider this issue still open and any updates will be added to this review.
The only really puzzling thing about all this is how I got straight through with no waiting originally to place my order with PPL Motor Homes of Houston, Texas. Then when I wanted to follow up on the non delivery of that order and I tried twice to call I was faced with over 10 people in the que ahead of me. Now how do they know who is a new order and who is not? That's a neat trick!
One final note to say that PPL Motor Homes, Houston, Texas did refund my credit card for the purchase they couldn't get to me in a reasonable time even if after they were prompted first.
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