There have been some awesome bargain websites springing up with some amazing deals on baby and kid items. I’ve had great experiences with sites like Mamabargains, Babysteals, and Kidsteals, so when a friend of mine pointed out that one discount site, Totsy.com, was carrying an adorable winter jacket from Convertible Designs at a fantastic price, I really didn’t hesitate to place my order.
Big mistake. Huge.
I placed my order on August 11, and then waited. And waited. And waited. At no time in the ordering process was I informed of an estimated delivery date. That should have been another warning, but I’ve had such great service from other sites (particularly the three I mentioned above) that I just decided to wait. After a couple of weeks, I went back to the Totsy site to look at my account. It was only then that I learned that Totsy waits until the sale ends, then places the order with the manufacturer, and then ships it to me. Okay, I know some sites work that way and don’t keep products in a warehouse, and I know that can take a while.
So I decided to take a look around the site for shipping information, just to see how long it might actually take. Normally on etailer sites, there’s a link to the shipping policy right on the very first page. Not so on Totsy. I looked all over the sign-in page and finally found an FAQ link at the very bottom in teeny gray letters:
Once I signed into my account, I found a shipping link, again way at the bottom in tiny gray letters. I don’t want to take a screen capture since it is a members-only section of the site, but believe me when I say that the placing, color, and prominence of the text is exactly the way it is on the sign-in screen, except it is labeled “Shipping.”
In the FAQ/Shipping section is their shipping policy:
How long will it take for me to get my order?
For delivery, orders will be processed, ordered to the brand, received at Totsy, quality controlled, and then shipped, and delivered within 3-5 weeks after the sale close. Your items are ordered to the brand after you purchase them so some brands might be a bit slow to ship those items to us. Make sure you always consider this when choosing the size when ordering an apparel item. When your order is shipped, you will be able to access a tracking number on your personal account page.
My first reaction was WHAT??? 3-5 weeks??? I really wish I’d known that before I ordered, particularly for clothes. They say that you should “make sure you always consider this when choosing the size when ordering an apparel item” except that this information is NOWHERE in the ordering process and can ONLY be found in that tiny FAQ or Shipping link at the bottom.
It had been 4 weeks at that point, so I decided to wait it out a little longer. Things got busy, and the order kind of slipped my mind until one day I thought “This has been a really long time–much longer than the stated 5 weeks.” I then got an email from my friend who had ordered a jacket in the same batch but a different style, and she asked if I’d received mine, because she hadn’t, and she hadn’t been able to reach a live person on their phone line, just a recording. At that point I got a sinking feeling in my stomach, and did what I should have done at the start, which was a little research on Totsy reviews.
They were terrible. And I noticed the same negative comments coming up over and over again: unreasonably long shipping times, inability to get a live person on the phone, lack of response to emails, lost/missing items, incorrect items, no refunds, and so on. It was very dismaying, but look for yourself:
Moody Mama Says got incorrect items even though she had emailed to ask the mistake to be fixed prior to shipping.
GetHuman.com showed 5 different 1 star, terrible reviews.
RateItAll.com has 30 reviews, nearly all of them 1 star
One Bored Mommy blogged about her experience after giving Totsy a tremendous benefit of the doubt.
Katie Talks About… her experience, and a follow-up to the debacle.
And there are plenty others if you want to do your own Google search.
I realized it had been 8 full weeks, October 5th, since I’d placed my order (remember, it was placed on August 11th, and they charged my card immediately upon placing the order), so I sent them an email with my order number demanding a refund. Totsy replied by saying:
Dear [my name],
Thank you for your inquiry regarding order #[number].
The CONVERTIBLE DESIGNS manufacturer did not include this jacket with our shipment as they had no stock. We have asked the Accounting Department to process a refund for the order. You will receive a copy of the merchants receipt for refund within 3 to 5 business days at this e-mail address.
We apologize for any inconvenience you may have incurred.
Thank you for your patience and thank you for shopping with Totsy.com.
After having read all of the negative reviews, I was very suspicious of this response. They said that Convertible Designs didn’t include the jacket in the order because they were out of stock? And it was just a coincidence that my friend also didn’t receive her jacket even though it was in a different style? This just didn’t strike me as likely to be true. And even if it was true, when did they plan on telling me this? 8 weeks had gone by without a peep from Totsy, yet they were happy to just take and keep my money. That’s just ridiculous.
I did actually receive my refund a few days later, and I was very glad for that, but I decided to email Convertible Designs directly to let them know about my experience and to warn them that Totsy was placing the blame on them, and they might want to reconsider any future arrangements with Totsy.
I received a very prompt reply (within a few hours, on a weekend even!) from Convertible Designs saying:
Dear [my name],
You are a second person who contacted me with this problem. I fulfilled my obligation with Totsy according to their PO as you have suggested. There was no problem with the stock. Also, I’ve heard about the problem with their shipping and customer service departments, but this was after our event was run.
I am a true believer in a good customer service. I demand this from the companies I buy from, and I try to offer it to my customers to the best of my abilities. I would be more then happy to offer you the same price and free shipping on the item that was misplaced by Totsy. Please let me know if you are interested, and I will send you the discount code.
So basically Totsy totally blamed the whole thing on Convertible Designs. Now obviously someone is not being truthful here. But after reading everything I did about Totsy and the fact that they didn’t bother to contact me, I feel very secure in concluding that Totsy is the one not telling the truth in this situation. Later, my friend told me that she had also received a refund from Totsy for her missing jacket as well. I did place the order with Convertible Designs and they totally lived up to their offer and sent me the jacket with no problems at all. Talk about great customer service!!! I would absolutely recommend Convertible Designs to anyone. And look at how cute this jacket is!
But back to Totsy–I have no idea what Totsy plans to do with these missing jackets (mine, my friend’s, and the other person who contacted Convertible Designs before me), or really how many missing jackets there are total, but whatever they do with them, I have trouble believing that it’s going to be ethical. The Totsy website is very slick and professional looking and I’m shocked that they run their business this way, but it seems like my experience is hardly the exception.
Totsy is terrible, and I suggest you avoid them at all costs.
*Full disclosure: I made my purchase through Totsy at my own expense on my own initiative. I was not offered any product or compensation from Totsy in exchange for any kind of review.
Filed under: Product, Review, Website | Tagged: avoid totsy, Babysteals, bad Totsy experience, convertible designs, Kidsteals, Mamabargains, t-jack, Totsy | 19 Comments »