Maddie De Pree is a Junior, Vol. 6: The Strange Zen of Bad Customer Service

By: Maddie De Pree, Columnist

I am a simple woman. I have simple needs. All I want is a life completely free of minor inconveniences, a life where my whims are met swiftly and unconditionally! Is that so much to ask?

I jest, of course. After all, I grew up with three siblings, so I had to do a lot of bargaining and compromising in order to get my way. I recognize that life is full of irritations, and I like to think that I accept these annoyances as they come. For the most part, I am generally a patient gal.

The one area that I have no patience for, however, is online shopping. This is why I love Amazon Prime — it’s fast, it’s vast and the review-writing community is pretty strong. I do most of my shopping (clothes and otherwise) online for that exact reason: product reviews. I like to know what I’m getting into, and the reviews section offers a chance to see what other people are saying about the product in question. Say what you will about online shopping killing brick-andmortar storefronts — I live for the thrill of a well-researched online purchase.

Hence why I was excited to place my fourth order of the semester with Uniqlo, a little-known but fabulous clothing company that specializes in affordable, wellmade basics. (Before you ask, yes, its customer base is mostly middle-aged and up. I like a good mock-neck. Leave me alone.) I bought two shirts and a pair of jeans, selected the three to five day free shipping, and waited for my confirmation email.

I waited for an hour. Then I waited for a day. A week went by, and my order still had not been processed. Menial as this was, it got under my skin. All of my previous Uniqlo orders had arrived on time! I wanted my pants! What was going on?

After another full week and several lengthy phone calls with customer service, my order was shipped and on its way. Instead of arriving in its three to five-day range, however, it was going to arrive about three weeks after my initial order. Needless to say, I was annoyed.

Customer service never actually explained what the hold-up had been, nor did they answer my emails requesting a discount. Eventually, though, I realized that I didn’t care. There comes a point where one must realize that, despite all the glorious trappings of modern life, not everything — not even online shopping — can go as planned. Ultimately, my stalled Uniqlo order became a exercise in acceptance.

Despite all this, I’ll probably order from there again. How else could I supplement my middle-aged looking wardrobe?

To that end: let me know if you ever need a decent turtleneck. I’ve got some good recommendations.

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