Overstock.com and Ceva Home Delivery

2021-05-21

On 2021-05-09, I purchased an outdoor daybed on Overstock.com. The projected delivery was 2021-05-18. Perfect. Just in time for a gathering I was hosting on 2021-05-22. On 2021-05-12, I got a call from Ceva Logistics to schedule the home delivery, since it's an oversized item. I scheduled it for the first available window, 09:00 to 13:00 on 2021-05-18. So far, so good.

But then during the delivery window, I got a call from Ceva Logistics. I picked up, but there was nobody on the other line. I called back. The automated system told me that there was a problem with my delivery, and that I would have to reschedule. I waited on hold for about 20 minutes, and I was getting nervous. Before getting connected with a customer service agent, I went online and rescheduled for the next day, same time: 2021-05-19 09:00 to 13:00. When I was finally connected with the agent, she assured me that, despite the hiccup at the local facility today, they would be able to deliver the package tomorrow. I specifically asked how I could be certain that this time, it would be delivered. She just assured me again. Okay, fine. Her visibility into the system is probably limited. But that raises serious questions about whether she should have projected so much confidence. Oh well.

2021-05-19 13:00 came and passed. I called the Ceva Logistics number. I was advised that I had an upcoming appointment "on Wednesday, May 19, from 9am to 1pm"... which was in the past. Boy, did that ever instill confidence in me. I got through their IVR system to get placed on hold to speak to an agent. After 20 minutes, the obnoxious hold muzak stopped, and it sounded like I had been connected to an agent. "Hello? Hello?", but there was nobody on the other line. After about 30 to 45 seconds of this, the IVR prompted me to complete a survey about my customer service experience. You can imagine the glowing review I left. At the end, I was asked to leave a message with more detailed comments. Perfect. I pressed "1" to indicate my interest to do so... "Please leave your comments after the tone."...and then the system hung up on me. Wow.

I went through this exact script two more times. I submitted an inquiry through the contact form on their website. Then I decided to call Overstock.com customer support.

I was connected rather speedily to Dave, who was extremely apologetic about the inconvenience, opened up a case for me, and credited me $113 for the shipping cost! Good customer service was a welcome change. He said that the team that would handle this kind of case for oversized items would get back to me within 48 hours. That would probably have blown my timeline for the gathering, but I appreciated what Dave was able to do.

Last-ditch effort: I tried calling Ceva again. Miraculously, this time, after my 20-minute hold, I was connected with an agent. She explained that the local office didn't even get the item until just that morning, so there was no way it could have gotten out on a delivery truck the same day... Uhh... Then on what basis did Ceva represent to Overstock.com that delivery would be by 2021-05-18? On what basis did they allow me to schedule a delivery for 2021-05-18 and then 2021-05-19? On what basis did the agent from 2021-05-18 tell me that I could be confident in a delivery the next day? What a mess. And, of course, the next available delivery window was two days later on 2021-05-21, 09:00 to 13:00. There was just no way, despite their repeated errors, that they would do right by their (indirect) customer and deliver either the same day or even the next day.

The evening of 2021-05-20 (Thursday), I submitted another contact form on Ceva's website. Their scheduling system clearly said that they would be delivering the item to my door, and the agent told me the previous day that the delivery people would call me 30 minutes before their arrival. I wanted to avoid any possible snafus:

I understand that you will be delivering the item to my door. Please advise the concierge that you will be taking the item up to Arthur Zey in [Apartment Number]. They will summon the elevator for you and direct you to it. In addition to the call 30 minutes prior to your arrival, it will help with coordination for you to call me when you have arrived, too.

Despite still no response to my previous inquiry, Ceva confirmed by email the morning of the delivery, at 06:21:

We have updated our records to reflect the information you have provided.

Imagine my surprise when the first call I received was when the delivery guys were already downstairs at 10:01.

I was a bit unprepared, but no problem. Vicki was visiting that morning, and we met them at the truck outside. They had already loaded two boxes onto a cart. I noted that they looked pretty small and how the pieces must have been packed really efficiently. They rolled the cart to my elevator. But they insisted that they would not take the items to my door. I said that the order specified "to the door" delivery; they countered with its being the door of the apartment complex, not up to my unit. So I guess I was going to drag the boxes from the elevator lobby to my unit. No big deal, I guess. We parted ways as the elevator doors closed. That's when I noted to Vicki that the exterior of the boxes indicated that they contained the parts to assemble an office desk.

We immediately returned to the lobby. Vicki stayed with the boxes in the elevator while I ran out to catch the delivery guys.

I explained that I thought they had delivered the wrong package. They checked their records, blamed the main office for a mixup, and then loaded the correct (and much larger) packages, which actually had my name and address on prominent labels, onto a dolly and got it to the elevator, taking back the office desk.

On 2021-05-26, Overstock.com's Customer Care department got back to me from the case that Dave had opened for me on 2021-05-19. 5 business days later, not the 2 that Dave promised me or the 4 that Customer Care promised me in their email confirmation on 2021-05-19. But it gets worse: Overstock.com's Customer Care department told me that they got a hold of Ceva and were advised that they're ready to schedule the delivery. I should expect to hear from the local Ceva terminal within the next 1-2 business days... Uh...

Needless to say, I didn't get contacted by Ceva. And while I wouldn't actually do it, part of me wonders whether I could have continued pursuing the matter and gotten a second daybed. I mean, Ceva's left hand doesn't know what their right hand is doing, apparently. I didn't even sign for the delivery.

I wish there were something I could do to escalate this issue, but nobody at Ceva cares. And I doubt that Overstock.com will stop using them as a carrier. This whole ordeal was just shameful, shameful customer service--everybody except for Dave, who was just terrific.