You Call That “Customer Service”?

As most of you already know, I wear Bengals jerseys 7/365. It’s no big secret. Anyway, I have quite a few player’s jerseys but thought that this time around I would take the leap, spend the extra cash, and buy one fully customized. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to have a 4 barrel carburetor, loud pipes, mag wheels, and fully chromed. No, what this means is that I ordered a jersey with the name and number that*I* want on it. I decided to go with number 68, the year I was born, and have MULLY stitched across the name plate. How cool would that be? Well, with today’s technology I was able to take a preview shot of it from the NFL shop so here ya go….

That's right, bitchez!!!

I shopped around the net quite a bit for this. Finding customized jerseys isn’t so difficult, it’s finding them big enough to go around my girth that poses a problem. Not to change the subject, but that has always bothered me about these football jerseys. Some of these NFL players are like walking mountains. If they are going to advertise these jerseys as being “authentic” and “just like your favorite player wears”, then they should have those bigger sizes. I met a couple of the Bengals linemen back in the late 80’s. I stood between Anthony Munoz and Brian Blados and they towered over me like I was a circus midget. Anyway, point being, Domato Peko isn’t going to squeeze into an XL jersey so, in my opinion, these jerseys aren’t “authentic”. Back on track here, I found the bigger sizes at the NFL shop and decided to jump on it.

I placed my order the night before last and I have to say that the guy I had on the phone was as nice as could be. He stepped left and right to help me out with my order and he even got my a 10% discount for being an international customer and he got me free shipping within the lower 48. Neither of them were probably that much trouble to do, but the point that he took the initiative to do that for me gives him thumbs up in my book. Oh, why shipping in the lower 48 when I live in Japan? Because shipping that jersey international was going to cost 92 bucks. That’s right, stick your eyeballs back in your head, I said ninety-two dollars…….with a 9 and a 2. I’ve done some crazy things in my life but paying 92 bucks to put a shirt in a cardboard box and have the UPS man pick it up isn’t going to be one of them. I guess you’re wondering what the shipping in the lower 48 was before he cut it, aren’t you? 7 bucks. That’s right, seven dollars…..with a 7. I could understand 92 bucks for international shipping if domestic shipping was like 80. But 7?? Send it to mom and let her send it to me.

I forgot to mention that I also ordered 2 other items. One of them being a pair of Bengals house pants and the other, well, I can’t say here because it’s a present for Tomoko and I know she’s going to be reading this. So we finish my order and say our goodbyes. I asked him if he was pulling an all nighter and he said that he finished at 9:00… was 8:58 by my calculations so I told him to enjoy the rest of the night and we hung up. I then dialed my mom’s number to let her know that a package would be coming. As soon as she answered the phone the first words out of my mouth were “Hi, mom, I want to confirm your address….” then I read off what I had written down. She quickly reminded me that they had moved not too long ago and the address I had was the old one. So I got off the phone and called the NFL shop back. Now realize, I had just gotten off the phone with that guy, literally, within the last 3 to 4 minutes. I knew he wouldn’t be the one taking my call though because I was sure as soon as that 9:00 bell rang he was probably out that door quicker than Dean Martin sucking down a martini.

So, I get a different guy on the phone and I tell him that I had made a mistake on the shipping address and asked if he could correct it. His reply “No problem” and I heard him ticking away on the computer. Cool! So we get through what we needed to do and got off the phone. About an hour later I got an order confirmation email. I opened it and what did I see? That’s right, the mistaken address. So I got on the phone again and called. The simple answer on their end was that it was the middle of the night and that it would be corrected at the warehouse come morning. Fair enough, makes sense to me. Off to bed I went. Yesterday afternoon I open my mail to find a shipping confirmation message. They had sent out my other 2 items……and guess what address was on there? That’s right. Another phone call.

So I get this chick on the phone and lay everything out for her. She doesn’t seem too impressed with anything and tells me “Once the order is sent out we can’t change the shipping address. They should have told you that.” “WHAT?!?!” “Look, I called here, literally, like 3 minutes after hanging up with you guys, and was told that it would be taken care of.” She then repeated what she had just said. So I asked her “What am I supposed to do? There are X-Mas presents in there” and she tells me “You’ll have to wait until it arrives at it’s destination and gets sent back to us.” WTF?!?!?!?! “So, what if the person there doesn’t return it?” and she tells me “Then we’ll file a loss of package and start over”. Needless to say, I was reaching my boiling point with this chick. I then laid into her and told her that I don’t want that jersey getting sent to the wrong address. It’s going to take a few days to get that jersey ready so they better get it right. She then pushed me over the edge with “I’ve put a note on the order about the address change. Hopefully they’ll catch it at the warehouse” HOPEFULLY????? HOPEFULLY????? Are we dealing jerseys out of the trunk of a ’74 Nova? This is the frickin’ NFL shop for God’s sake. You should get on the phone and call over there and let them know. She told me that they don’t do that. I did as best as I could to not get too ugly with her but I was raising my voice. I wasn’t cussing at her but she knew I was hot. I apologized to her and told her that I understand that it’s not her fault, she’s probably some college student pulling in some extra hours at some phone farm. But I was still pissed. Now all I can do is wait and see what transpires. Such fun.

This situation got me to thinking. Something like this would NEVER happen in Japan. I’m not saying that it “probably wouldn’t”, I’m telling you straight up that it wouldn’t. This kind of thing is unthinkable over here. If the same situation were to arise they would take every step necessary to get it corrected……and they’d probably give me a gift as an apology. That’s not a joke either. I’ve been in Japan for far too long. The thought of this happening just amazes me beyond words. Unbelievable.

There is no way that I will ever, EVER, buy something from the NFL shop again. They have lost a customer.

Y’all come back, I’ll leave a light on for ya.




ex-pat American living in Japan since 1991. Love to play guitar and billiards. Love my Cincinnati Bengals too. Who-Dey!!
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One Response to You Call That “Customer Service”?

  1. Heidi says:

    Mully, it’s not that you’ve lived in Japan too long! It’s that. Customer service in the states is null and void. There are lots of horror stories I could tell you. Most involving phone companies. I actually had an AT&T lady hang up on me after asking to speak with her supervisor. I think you are lucky to live where being polite and actually solving the problem
    for a paying customer rather than blaming them is the norm. Happy Thanksgiving!

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