Argh!

What's your biggest pet peeve when you're shopping online?
This story first appeared in the November 2000 issue of Startups. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Jezz Holland, 33, co-founderof Della.com, now joined with WeddingChannel.com

The impersonality-when you ask a question and get a form letter back, don't hear back in a timely manner or not at all. We've [devised] good customer service systems so you get a response every time you send an e-mail. We staff enough people so they can read e-mail carefully, do some investigation and respond.

Paula Jagemann, 34, co-founder of Web-based office supply superstore onlineofficesupplies.com

When I purchase something and don't get immediate acknowledgement, [like] tracking information or a number to call if it doesn't show up. If your order [with us] is over $75, you'll get a follow-up phone call thanking you, asking if you're a business and if you'd like to open an account. Then there are follow-up calls ensuring the product's there, that it was top quality and packed right.

Michael Covel, 32, founder of online drugstore HomePharmacy.com

When you [can't] clearly see what you want, get it in a couple clicks and get out. It's about selling product, not about building a community. With that in mind, we've kept HomePharmacy simple but elegant. We give customers the product they want, let them grab it and get out. I think that actually builds loyalty.

Tom Williams, 30, co-founder of action sports e-tailer Fusion.com

When there's no phone number [on the site] or when nobody picks up the phone. I won't shop with those companies because if there's a problem, I know I'll never be able to get in touch with someone. Fusion.com has customer service available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST. People can always get in touch with a human.

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