She needs to bake cookies! What happened to her new KitchenAid mixer?

On Black Friday, Carol Broaddus saw a fabulous online deal from JCPenney for a shiny black KitchenAid mixer. With visions of all the tasty Christmas cookies she could create with the new machine, she quickly ordered it. But with just days left before the holiday, where is that KitchenAid mixer?

Question

I ordered a KitchenAid mixer from JCPenney on the day after Thanksgiving. JCPenney charged my credit card right after I ordered the KitchenAid mixer.  Soon I received a confirmation that JCPenney shipped my order via USPS. That confirmation gave me an estimated delivery date. It showed it would be delivered by Dec. 4 at the latest.

I’m still waiting.

I have communicated with JCPenney customer service via phone and Twitter several times. Various representatives have told me, in a nutshell, that they don’t have a tracking number to share with me. One rep told me a week ago, she had requested a tracking number. But no such number has been posted to my account. The next rep told me she could do nothing until Dec. 9. Then on Dec. 9, another rep told it me that the KitchenAid mixer will be delivered by Dec. 14. I tried calling the contact numbers you list for JCPenney. Although the recording said the wait time was just 6 minutes, I waited for a representative for 45 minutes then I hung up. I called the customer service leader but I only reached a voicemail.

I understand you can’t get involved every time an order doesn’t arrive on time. Things happen. My issue is that JCPenney is stringing me along with “just wait a few more days.” It’s clear now they have no idea where my KitchenAid mixer is. And so I have absolutely no idea where it is and have no way of knowing when or if USPS will ever deliver it.

This KitchenAid 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 given me 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 this KitchenAid mixer on Black Friday, you imagined 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.

JCPenney charged you for the KitchenAid mixer before it shipped

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

So in anticipation of the delivery of your new kitchen tool, you went to the grocery store. 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 kitchen 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.

As I reviewed your paper trail, it was clear the various representatives that you spoke to had no specific knowledge of the location of your KitchenAid mixer. None of these representatives had any useful information to offer.

What is JCPenney’s solution to your missing order?

Over the course of two weeks, all of the JCPenney employees 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 KitchenAid mixer via USPS Retail Ground shipping. This 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) JCPenney 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, your KitchenAid mixer’s 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 the good news. A new KitchenAid mixer would be delivered the next day along with a $75 JCPenney gift card to make up for your inconvenience.

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

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