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Subject: CoolStuffInc - Terrible Experience - Order on hold for days!? rss

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Nick Rotondo
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Hi everyone - long time lurker here, and my most recent transaction with CoolStuffInc.com has brought me out of the shadows looking for some feedback or to give a warning to others.

I had recently registered an account with them about a month ago after seeing they had a good selection and much better prices than where I would have normally gotten my games from... Amazon. I had been saving up some funds and through a few trades online I got a few gift certificates banked towards an order, and placed my first order with them on 4-25. It was just over $100.00, a modest order, and I got free shipping. It shipped, and is still on the way, a bit slow but hey that's free shipping for you.

Fast forward to 4-26, I am discussing some new games with a good friend of mine, who is in the market to set up an order of his own. I talk up the selection and prices and CSI, the free shipping, and he decided to get his next games with them. Another modest order, about $125.00. Since I am already registered and to get the order shipping to my house so we can hold it for him (keep it from being stolen, out of the weather etc.) I offer to place the order for him. So we dont have to exchange cash, or me take his bank/card info, we decide the best bet is for him to email me a gift certificate for the order, using his Paypal account. We place the order on 4-26, Saturday, and wait for Monday to get the shipping details....

They never come. My initial order processed very quickly so I found this odd that the second order didnt get done ASAP. I check my order status and find out that it is "on hold". Weird, I havent gotten any emails about it...maybe one of the games was out of stock. By Monday afternoon I still have no updates, so I contact CSI by phone. I am told by the rep that it is on hold while they check out the Paypal account used because it was an unverified account...it will be resolved in 24 hours. Thats understandable, so I check back on Tuesday and find no updates. I call and speak with the same rep, who now advises me the order is with the Loss Prevention department, and they still just need to verify the Paypal account. Weird...loss prevention?? Throws up red flags, what are we...thieves?? He advises me it will be resolved in 24 hours again.

By Tuesday night the whole situation is rubbing me the wrong way, so I fire off an email to their info@ address. I again ask if there is something we did wrong or anything we can do to help the situation along? I ask for possible expedited shipping as it has now been delayed 2 days. I get a quick response back apologizing. This rep again just states it is with loss prevention and should be done in 24 hours. If we want to cancel and reorder via different payment method to let him know. At this point its already been 2 lost days, whats a third? As the minutes tick down to close of business (5pm est) today, I still have not heard anything. I email back to them and ask to cancel the order and to refund the Paypal account immediately. My friends account has been debited as of 4-26, and the paypal transaction shows as complete. I havent the foggiest as to why this would be held for three days while they do whatever investigating they have to do. It makes me feel like we have done something wrong and are being treated like scammers...which is pretty ridiculous.

TL;DR - new CSI customer, first order goes fine. Second order goes sideways and somehow ends up stuck in their "loss prevention" area for 3 days with very little, useless, and inaccurate communication about the issue. Asked for a refund; pretty disappointed and frankly, a bit insulted.

Anyone have any other problems like this?? I am hoping to get the order cancelled and refunded ASAP but considering how the communication has gone thus far, I anticipate future problems. Any other suggestions for alternative sites to order from? Just felt I should share this buyer beware story and vent a little bit!

-Nick
 
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George Grimes
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the way i see it you cant quite blame them. It takes like a day at the most to verify a paypal account and they are just trying to make sure their butts are covered in case its a nonlegit account since it isnt verified. It's like with ebay, until you have a record of completed sales you have to wait till 3 days AFTER the package arrives to get your money released. Youyr reaction also could make it seem even more suspicious to them

I've ordered tons of times with them both with debit cards and through my verified paypal account and have yet to run into any problems. my advice is take the time to verify your account and you'll have less problems.
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Andy Andersen
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I've never had any problems with CSI.

Call them again - looks like they may be trying to protect you
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Robert Sell
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Um..... use a verified paypal account. And to put it nicely I'm reading you as a little impatient.
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Nick Rotondo
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Im more concerned about the lack of communication from them and getting inaccurate and wrong information on a day to day basis. If they had told me it would be 3-4 days from the beginning I would have been fine with that.soblue
 
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Runs with scissors
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I think that you just need to give it some time. I've had nothing but good experiences with Coolstuff.

Placing an order on Friday means that the first time that they're going to look at anything is on Monday and today is still only Wednesday. I don't see anything here that qualifies as a terrible experience.


I remember when you'd look at the back of comic books and everything they were selling said to wait 6-8 weeks for delivery.
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George Grimes
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you place an order, and the next day after it ships you place another large order. now if it was fraud and your account was stolen and they shipped out both orders they're the ones out the money and the product. especially since you probably wouldnt see the fraud for a few days. they're covering both of you. if you had waited a few days you probably wouldnt have had this problem. i mean once someone jacks your account and realizes the account works they go to town. I've had a few times in the past few years where my debit card number has been jacked from gas pumps and once they use the numbers and they work (which is usually like 2-3 weeks after they get your numbers) they can go to town and ring up to the limit on your account in as little as 2 hours, hence why now if i ever forget and use my card at a pump instead of going inside my bank immediately after deactivates my card, which is annoying especially if it happens on a drunken saturday night and the bank isnt open to get a new card till monday. i cant quite blame the bank or the gas station when its just my butt being protected....
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Runs with scissors
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nsrotondo wrote:
Im more concerned about the lack of communication from them and getting inaccurate and wrong information on a day to day basis. If they had told me it would be 3-4 days from the beginning I would have been fine with that.soblue


I might suggest that next time you go to your FLGS. It sounds like your expectations will be better met there with face-to-face staff.
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Chef D
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I have never had anything less than fantastic service from CSI. The OP clearly needs to make sure they have the proper verified funds. I have had the same thing happen with items from eBay. The buyer is not verified and it takes sometimes upwards of a week for the pending money to be released. A credit card or debit card would speed things up considerably.
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Patrick Lee
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oddtime wrote:
Um..... use a verified paypal account. And to put it nicely I'm reading you as a little impatient.


Agree. It actually can take a few days to verify payment. Since an unverified paypal account is used, I don't think it is fair to put the blame on CSI.
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Joe Salamone
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I have placed dozens of orders for thousands of dollars with CSI and my orders have always shipped the next day and arrived within 3 business days of the shipping date. They have always been complete and safely packaged.
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I can understand that you and your friend were looking forward to your games, but I can also understand (and appreciate) that two $100+ orders one right after the other from a new customer with an unverified PayPal account might raise a red flag to them. It reminds me of the time someone charged $900 on my credit card, two charges under the $500 transaction limit. They tried it, it went through, they tried again. Someone who didn't know the background (excited about games, told friend, friend orders too) might see it as that sort of phishing, seeing if the info worked, it did, they try again right away.

We've ordered from CoolStuff for years, probably more than anyone else, and I'm glad to know that they pay attention to this stuff. It makes me even more likely to order from them again.

Having an established BGG account can perhaps help in situations like this. About 5 years ago, I decided to get my own eBay account, and I wanted a large ticket item. To help allay any fears from the seller, I also provided my BGG username, and they could contact me here and verify who I was. I know that can't help this time, but it might help the next time.
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Ben Crane
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Sebulik wrote:
if i ever forget and use my card at a pump instead of going inside my bank immediately after deactivates my card,which is annoying especially if it happens on a drunken saturday night


Possibly off topic... but why are you getting gas on drunken saturday nights?
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William Cody
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+1 to giving it some time, I actually think compared to most companies the fact that they answered your emails and phone calls everytime you called them is quite amazing. Most of the time people have a bad experience it is because they can't even get ahold of the reps.
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Evan Katz III
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Have to agree with most folks here. I have placed over 100 orders with CSI amounting to 1000s of $$$ and I have only had two small issues with them. They are absolutely my go to olgs. I think, as others have said, need a verified paypal account and need a bit of patience. They are top notch and there is no need to worry with them... The 2 times I have had an issue they actually called me to let me know what was up. I just placed 2 orders w/ funagain that have taken 2 weeks (they had a huge clearance sale so "no worries")and I have still not received... try to put yourselves in their shoes. They are trying to protect themselves and they may be quite busy too. It's just games... it will get worked out... CSI would not scam.
 
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Nick Rotondo
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Once again I have no problems with waiting. Its not that I dont have other concerns and things to busy myself. Its been the 3 contacts now with their customer service and getting no information or getting wrong information. The unverified PayPal account was unknown to me, it wasn't my account.

I come from 10 years of working customer service and I guess I am just expecting too much. If they would have been up front and honest that it would take days (going on day 4 at this point) I would have accepted that or moved on to order elsewhere. Again its getting misleading info every day so far and having emails and questions not responded to that frustrates me most.
 
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Kevin C
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Dozens of orders with CSI, never any problems (beyond my own impatience )
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Leon Major
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Cool Stuff is my number 1 order site. No problems, fast shipping. When they are out of games I want I go to Miniature Market or Sci Fi City. Both good places to order.
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Frustrating yes, probably would have been better had they said that it will probably be 4 to 5 business days. However, this could be something where it usually takes 24 hours to verify and you might have a special situation that they aren't used to or have info for. You obviously hit a trigger with your unverified account that flagged it. I'd just cancel and find another payment method personally. Never had an issue with them before, always 100%.
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nsrotondo wrote:
Once again I have no problems with waiting. Its not that I dont have other concerns and things to busy myself. Its been the 3 contacts now with their customer service and getting no information or getting wrong information. The unverified PayPal account was unknown to me, it wasn't my account.

I come from 10 years of working customer service and I guess I am just expecting too much. If they would have been up front and honest that it would take days (going on day 4 at this point) I would have accepted that or moved on to order elsewhere. Again its getting misleading info every day so far and having emails and questions not responded to that frustrates me most.


Here's the thing, I don't think it's them. I believe when they say loss prevention they may be talking about Paypal and that they are waiting to hear back from them.

Jorune
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James Flight
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I recommend you call them. I have had dozens upon dozens of good experiences with Coolstuff. On the rare instances were something went wrong, they straightened it out quickly and professionally. They are a standup business
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Yep, CSI is a good company. Unverified PayPal + large, back-to-back orders has a slight smell of fraud, even if it is legit. You are just going to have to hold tight and play by the game you laid out. PayPal account quality is the buyer's responsibility and as a merchant, you don't accept monies from a suspicious buyer - per PayPal's requirement.

Maybe wait a week or so, I'm sure it will all work out for you. Of course, if its not legit, well then PayPal will have their way.

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Nick Rotondo
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Jorune wrote:
nsrotondo wrote:
Once again I have no problems with waiting. Its not that I dont have other concerns and things to busy myself. Its been the 3 contacts now with their customer service and getting no information or getting wrong information. The unverified PayPal account was unknown to me, it wasn't my account.

I come from 10 years of working customer service and I guess I am just expecting too much. If they would have been up front and honest that it would take days (going on day 4 at this point) I would have accepted that or moved on to order elsewhere. Again its getting misleading info every day so far and having emails and questions not responded to that frustrates me most.


Here's the thing, I don't think it's them. I believe when they say loss prevention they may be talking about Paypal and that they are waiting to hear back from them.

Jorune


Could be. It just would have been extremely useful to get the actual story on Monday....or Tuesday...or today. I think most people are missing my issue. I deal with verifying payments and clearing times on a daily basis so I am well aware how long things can take sometimes. That's fine. Just make me aware of it the first time. I don't want to have to get the run around for the better part of a week and get told my account is with loss prevention and then get zero other details about it all. That strikes me as poor service and communication. But I guess my headache has at least bolstered everyone elses opinion on CSI so maybe they should thank me! Lol
 
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Actually, you were told what the problem was by CSI... a problem with your PayPal account. I believe it is your responsibility to clean up that issue on your side - with your PayPal account. CSI has no skin in the game, but you do.

Seems like you should be communicating with PayPal.

Keep in touch. Let us know how it all turns out for you.



nsrotondo wrote:
Jorune wrote:
nsrotondo wrote:
Once again I have no problems with waiting. Its not that I dont have other concerns and things to busy myself. Its been the 3 contacts now with their customer service and getting no information or getting wrong information. The unverified PayPal account was unknown to me, it wasn't my account.

I come from 10 years of working customer service and I guess I am just expecting too much. If they would have been up front and honest that it would take days (going on day 4 at this point) I would have accepted that or moved on to order elsewhere. Again its getting misleading info every day so far and having emails and questions not responded to that frustrates me most.


Here's the thing, I don't think it's them. I believe when they say loss prevention they may be talking about Paypal and that they are waiting to hear back from them.

Jorune


Could be. It just would have been extremely useful to get the actual story on Monday....or Tuesday...or today. I think most people are missing my issue. I deal with verifying payments and clearing times on a daily basis so I am well aware how long things can take sometimes. That's fine. Just make me aware of it the first time. I don't want to have to get the run around for the better part of a week and get told my account is with loss prevention and then get zero other details about it all. That strikes me as poor service and communication. But I guess my headache has at least bolstered everyone elses opinion on CSI so maybe they should thank me! Lol
 
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Nick Rotondo
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I asked what I could do to help resolve the issue. They did not tell me anything and said it would be reviewed and done within 24 hours. That was on Monday...

Im not being belligerent for the heck of it. If they gave me an option to fix it we would have been on it already.
 
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