This “chunk of junk” isn’t what I thought it would be

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By Christopher Elliott

Elaine Thompson orders a mystery box from an online retailer. But it’s short by two items. Why won’t the retailer replace the missing merchandise?

Question

I recently purchased two “Chunk of Junk” packages from 1Sale.com, an online discount store. These packages contain a random assortment of goods, with a minimum of five items per “chunk,” and are guaranteed to have a certain minimum dollar value.

My order recently arrived, and when I compared the items in the box to the packing list, two items were missing.

I have gone round and round with customer service over this issue. First, they said that my order was in multiple packages, and I just needed to wait. Several times, they insisted this was a shipping issue, when it is, in fact, a packing issue. Now they’re saying that since the minimum number of items was fulfilled, that’s it.

But the fact remains that the packing list said there should be certain items in the box, and two of the items were left out. I’ve emailed 1Sale.com and have sent them photos of the “Chunk of Junk.” I already tried escalating to the higher level of customer service to no avail. I ended up with the exact same customer service agent. Any help resolving this issue would be appreciated. — Elaine Thompson, Ruston, La.

Answer

Your “Chunk of Junk” should have had all of your junk in it. 1Sale.com should have replaced the missing merchandise as soon as you brought it to their attention.

Shipping errors happen. I know, because I’ve worked in the shipping department, and guess what? People are filling those orders. People who get distracted, confused or just bored. When errors do happen, the business shouldn’t argue with you or stall — it should quickly fix the issue.

Here’s the problem: You ordered junk, and I think the average reader would be saying, “You got exactly what you ordered.”

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As 1Sale.com notes on its Facebook page, the contents of the box are a mystery.

“Please note: No one knows what is in each Chunk of Junk, that’s half the fun! This is the best explanation we can offer: ‘It’s a box full of junk… You know… Like in the title? While we cannot guarantee the value of your box we can tell you it is sure to be a chunk of junk,'” it says.

That’s not much of a guarantee.

When you appealed your case to someone higher up at 1Sale.com, they should have passed you along to someone else — if not a manager. Email addresses at 1Sale.com are firstinitiallastname@1sale.com (so I’d be celliott@1sale.com, although obviously, I don’t work for the company).

The company’s executives are easy to find online. But again, that shouldn’t have been necessary at all. They should have taken care of you right away. (Here’s how to solve your own consumer problem.)

I contacted 1Sale.com on your behalf. A representative said while the company intended to send everything at once, it did, indeed, send your order as two packages. One of the packages didn’t contain all of the items, as promised, according to you.

1Sale.com said the fault lies with a third party fulfillment center, but that it takes “full ownership” of purchases made through its site. (Here’s another story about a third party fulfillment gone awry.) It has agreed to refund your order and will let you keep your package, which is an unexpectedly generous solution.

Did Elaine Thompson get what she paid for?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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