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Long wait for light fixtures is a big turn-off

Q: I'm having a problem getting two light fixtures that I ordered in late October 2006 from an online store -- -- for $78.90, including shipping.

When I ordered the fixtures with my credit card, a store confirmation note indicated the lights would arrive in four weeks. As of Jan. 4, I have not received them.

My credit card was charged and I have paid for them. I called the company and left messages twice in late November and also on Dec. 1. No one responded to my calls.

On Dec. 2, I called and spoke with a representative who said the fixtures had not yet been sent, but that the store had just received a shipment. When I ordered them, I did not know that they apparently didn't have fixtures to send me. Then on Dec., 4, a company employee called me and told me the fixtures were due in to them next week, and that they then would be shipped to me.

On Dec. 16, I called again and left a message, and also sent them an e-mail. I received an e-mail from the store that day, saying they still do not have the fixtures. I've since called three more times and left messages, again with no response.

You rarely get to speak with someone from this store, and they don't have the fixtures in stock. I don't get it.

Can you help? One of the light fixtures is for our front lamp post that was broken in the October snowstorm.

-- Carol Minnick, Clarence.


A: It didn't take long to get those light fixtures to your home, but getting to the bottom of why the delay occurred in the first place is another matter.

We first contacted on Jan. 5 and explained your dilemma, asking to speak with a supervisor. No one was available, we were told, and a representative took a detailed message from us that he promised to forward regarding the status of your order.

We were pleased when you informed us Jan. 8 that the company had called you and promised to have the fixtures to your home by Jan.10. As promised, the fixtures did arrive.

Still, we were not impressed when we'd called during the day on Jan. 10 (since we hadn't heard back from them nor had your fixtures yet arrived) to find out what was going on and how your order had gotten messed up.

Again, we repeated your problem to a customer representative for a second time and asked to speak with a supervisor, also to no avail. All we were told when the customer representative came back on the phone, was that you'd been given a tracking number and that the fixtures were on their way to your home.

Again, no manager was available for an interview. So, we asked if any manager or supervisor from would ever return our calls, and were told: "I don't know. I don't know when they'd call you," said the customer rep, who would only give his name as Jason.

Then, we asked, who would know the background about the lengthy delay of the ordered items?

"I don't think anybody will answer that for you," Jason told NewsPower.

No apologies, and no other questions were answered.

Although you finally got your new light fixtures, your disappointment is understandable.

"I told them I was extremely disappointed in their service, and (was told) 'we do the best we can,' " Minnick said in an e-mail to us afterward. "Well, if that's the best they can do, then they've lost me as a future customer."

Have a consumer problem? Send a letter summarizing your problem to News Power, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Attention: Karen Robinson. Or e-mail:

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