Read below and perhaps you'll understand my frustration and why I'd recommend staying away from this online retailer at all costs. I apologize in advance for the long-windedness of the post, but you'll see why I took the time to explain things.
June 17 2005: Placed an order online at bikeroom.com for new RD, cassette, shifters and chainstay protector. I received no email confirmation that the order was placed.
June 21 2005: I send an email to Bikeroom indicating that I've still received no confirmation concerning my order even though checking the status on their website it is listed as "Confirmed". I have also phoned their office and left messages inquiring about my order and received no returned call.
June 22 2005: I finally receive an email indicating that my order is ready to ship except for the RD and chainstay protector which were actually out of stock. They offer to downgrade or upgrade the RD (at my expense), ship the order without the RD or wait 3 days until the remaining items are back in stock and ship the order. I opt to wait the additional 3 days but suggest that they express ship the order to me for my troubles. They reply that they will ship the order without the RD and chainstay protector today and in 3 days when they are back in stock they will ship the remaining portion of the order.
June 29 2005: Still no RD and protector and no confirmation that they were actually shipped on June 24 as promised. I send an email inquiring about the status of the order.
July 04 2005: Still no RD and protector and no confirmation that they were actually shipped. Since June 29 I have phoned their office multiple times and left multiple messages simply asking for a status update on the remaining portion of the order that was to be shipped on June 24. By the end of the day I've received no phone calls or email. I phone again when I get home from the office and finally get a live human being on the other end. After describing my situation the employee looks up my order. I'm told that the RD isn't in stock and that they can't say when it will be back in stock. I'm told that it's likely held up at the US/Canada border and that it could take up to 2 weeks to get to the Bikeroom warehouse at which point they could ship it to me. I explain how unsatisfactory this is and ask to speak with the person I'd been dealing with up to this point. I'm told that this particular individual is busy doing office paper work and making other calls but if I leave my number I'll be sure to have my call returned. I leave my cellphone number so as to not miss the call.
July 06 2005: Still no returned email or phone call from my contact. I (once again) take it upon myself to initiate communication and phone their office to see what's going on. I manage to actually speak with my contact who casually apologizes and reassures me that the remaining items from my order was shipped today and that I will recieve them by Friday July 08. With great restraint I thank him and wait.
July 08 2005: The end of the day comes and nothing has arrived. Frustrated I call and once again I am greeted with voice mail. I decided to check the status of the order on the Bikeroom website. It turns out the order wasn't shipped on July 06 as promised it was in fact shipped on July 07. I notice that a tracking number for the order is provided in a link. I click the link and am taken to the UPS website where I'm told that the number I'm trying to track isn't a valid UPS tracking number.
July 11 2005: The order finally arrives via Canada Post. The tracking number they had provided on their website was in fact a Canada Post tracking number even though their order processing system had decided it was a UPS tracking number. At any rate I'm happy to have finally recieved the rest of my order and open the box only to find that the chainstay protector isn't the one I had ordered! I immediately call their office to inform them of the mistake (at this point I'm quite fed up with the poor service and errors made on their part) and of course once again get their voice mail.
July 13 2005: I've yet to have my calls returned from July 08 or July 11. I'll probably call again today if I get bored. At this point I'm willing to suck up the $12 CAD for the wrong chainstay protector rather than wait for Bikeroom to correct things. The complete lack of communication, the empty promises, and missed dates have made this one of the worst online shopping experiences I've ever had -- and I've been shopping online since around 1996. I was going to order from a different (foreign) online retailer who's prices were slightly better but chose to order from Bikeroom as they were Canadian and I prefer to support business within my country when possible. I understand that mistakes happen, items get backordered, etc. but the fact that they can't take 2 minutes to write an email or return a phone call to let me know the status of my order or to allay my concerns is ridiculous. I'm amazed that these guys can remain in business despite such poor customer service -- they can be sure of one thing though -- I'll *never* shop there again and I'll make sure to spread the word. Once bitten...