She’s waiting to bake Christmas cookies. So where’s her mixer, JCPenney?


On Black Friday, Carol Broaddus sees a fabulous online deal for a shiny black KitchenAid mixer. With visions of all the tasty Christmas cookies she can create with this new machine, she quickly orders it. But with just days left before the holiday, why aren’t there any confections being made?

Question: After I ordered the KitchenAid mixer, my credit card was charged and I received a confirmation that it was shipped by USPS. That confirmation gave me an estimated delivery date, which showed it would be delivered at the latest by Dec. 4. I’m still waiting.

I have communicated with customer service via phone and Twitter several times and have been told, in a nutshell, that a tracking number has not been assigned. One rep told me a week ago a tracking number had been requested, but no such number has been posted to my account. I was then told they could do nothing until Dec. 9, then on Dec. 9 I was told it will be delivered by Dec. 14. I tried calling the contact numbers on your list for JCPenney. I waited for a representative for 45 minutes although the recording said there was a 6-minute wait, then I called the customer service leader but had to leave a message on voicemail.

I understand you can’t get involved every time an order doesn’t arrive on time. Things happen. My issue is that I am being strung along with essentially “just wait a few more days” when they have no idea where my order is. I have absolutely no idea where it is and can’t have any way of knowing if or when it will be delivered.

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The mixer is not a gift. I ordered it to use for Christmas baking, so being blown off until Dec. 25 is totally unacceptable. Every other company I have dealt with has assigned a tracking number to my order so I can know where it is. I understand delays during the busiest season. But being strung along with empty promises is just not right.

Can you help find out where my mixer is? I would love to be able to make these cookies! — Carol Broaddus, Midlothian, Va.

Answer: Oh, no! You should be busy baking — not contacting a consumer advocate.

When you purchased the mixer on Black Friday, you felt confident that you would soon be whipping up a variety of goodies for your family and friends.

JCPenney had promised you the KitchenAid mixer by Dec. 4. But that date had come and gone with no explanation from the company as to why.

And that left you in cookie-making limbo.


Typically when a consumer orders a product online, the company charges the customer’s credit card once shipping occurs. JCPenney charged your credit card on Nov. 28 and confirmed that the mixer was on its way.

In anticipation of the delivery of your new kitchen tool, you purchased all the ingredients that you would need for your baking extravaganza. Unfortunately, two weeks after the shipping date of your mixer, those ingredients were still sitting untouched on your counter.

Using our company contacts for JCPenney, you tried to resolve this problem on your own. You attempted to communicate the urgency of this delivery to the JCPenney representatives, but your pleas seemed to land on unsympathetic ears.

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As I reviewed your paper trail, it was clear the various representatives that you spoke to had no specific knowledge of the location of this package and had no useful information to offer.

Over the course of two weeks, all of the JCPenney’s representatives that you spoke to offered the same solution to your problem: Wait. And hopefully, eventually, the mixer will arrive. If not — just wait. Your email trail went in circles with various representatives all offering this same “help.”

And although you were patient, your growing frustration was evident.

Unfortunately, it appears that JCPenney shipped your expensive item via USPS Retail Ground shipping which is advertised as an “economical” and “reliable” way of shipping “less than urgent deliveries.”

In other words — the slow way.

And so far you found this shipping method to be anything but reliable.

The USPS website indicates that it provides a tracking number for Retail Ground, but the JCPenney’s representatives told you that your order did not have one.

You are correct that typically our advocacy team would not contact a company to inquire about a delayed order. However, your case was different. That is to say that your (prepaid) order wasn’t just delayed. JCPenney was unable to locate it. And it was beginning to appear that it may have been lost somewhere along the way. With no way of tracking the item, its fate was murky.

I reached out to our executive contact at JCPenney and explained your holiday baking dilemma. She sympathized with your problem and soon confirmed good news. A new KitchenAid mixer would be delivered the next day along with a $75 JCPenney gift card to make up for the inconvenience.

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And finally, all those ingredients are being transformed into yummy holiday treats. Merry Christmas!


Michelle Couch-Friedman

Michelle is a consumer advocate, writer and licensed clinical social worker who spends as much time as possible exploring the world with her family. As the managing director of Elliott.org, she leads the advocacy, editorial and production departments. Read more of Michelle's articles here.

  • Mel65

    So glad you got involved in this case! How frustrating for the OP! We’ve all been there I think when we ordered something and it just doesn’t arrive and doesn’t arrive with no status or explanation forthcoming. In this instance I would have screwed myself into the ceiling so good on the OP for remaining calm and trying to resolve it.

  • ArizonaRoadWarrior

    “Typically when a consumer orders a product online, the company charges the customer’s credit card once shipping occurs.”

    Amazon, eBay, Walmart.com, etc. charges the customer’s credit card when the order is placed not shipping. The reason is simple…does the customer have money to pay for the items. An online merchant isn’t going to pick the order (incurring a cost)…then pack the order (incurring a cost)…then charge the customer’s credit card only to find out that the card doesn’t go through.

  • Pegtoo

    My sister just went through this trying to get her dryer fixed. This was AFTER a $200 initial repair, and it still didn’t work. No one could tell her where the new part was, and when it would arrive. And of course, scheduling the repair would add another week or so. She gave up after 4 weeks of major runaround (and no dryer!!!), and bought a new dryer. The repair company said they’ll reimburse her for the first repair. Oh yes they will!!!

  • Annie M

    We had the same problem with Macy’s and Kohl’s. Took weeks to get everything we ordered and our orders were split up into so many deliveries I had a hard time keeping track.

    I am spoiled by Amazon and their efficiency.

  • AJPeabody

    You’re not the only one. Which explains JCP’s death spiral.

  • finance_tony

    As much as I want to support a variety of businesses, this is one instance where I’d buy the mixer from Amazon and then do a Citi Price Rewind through the credit card for the difference.

  • Michael__K

    Actually, no, Amazon and Walmart normally do only an authorization when an order is placed and they wait until items are shipped before they bill the customer’s card.
    http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/91/~/when-will-i-be-charged
    https://www.quora.com/Why-didnt-Amazon-take-out-the-money-from-my-debit-card-after-I-ordered-an-item/answer/Rafael-Santana-9?srid=kexe

  • cscasi

    I guess it was too hard to go to USPS.com and enter the tracking number JC Pr enny has provided her. Right off, she would have known whether or not the post office had received it and if it was on the way.
    As the story progressed, it was said Penny had lost it. But, at least she would have known up front if the post office had it and if it had been delivered to a wrong address.
    Anyway, I am glad Chris and company were able to lend a hand. She got her mixer and a $75 gift card to boot.

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