Spotlight Misleading Item Quantities

I received an email saying an item I had on my wishlist came back in stock. So I proceeded to add to cart (it was delivery only), and added a bunch of other items to make the $12.99 shipping worth it.

Got an email confirmation of my order.

The next day, I received an email saying that item that came back in stock is out of stock and shipped the rest of my items.

So without communicating to me or anything just sent out the rest of the order.

Is there anything I can do to get the shipping costs back? Otherwise I would have gone with click and collect.

I'm thinking of doing a charge back via the bank, as it's misleading advertising!! You can't confirm the order and then cancel the item that's delivery only and send the rest out? Rubbish tactics.

What do you guys think? Might drop the ACCC a message too.

I did call them, they said we don't control the stock levels (LOL) and can't refund money for delivery because that's with the courier. Also, nasty customer service talking over the top of me.

Related Stores

Spotlight Australia
Spotlight Australia

Comments

  • -2 votes

    That's the way most online orders roll unfortunately.

    Might drop the ACCC a message too.

    Ok.

  • +4 votes

    Nasty customer service trying to talk some sense into you

    •  

      What sense is that exactly? You endorse this practice do you?

  • +2 votes

    I hate spend $100 at Woolies for $20 pts back .
    Of course they can't provide some items and it drops below that to like $90 and I get 0 pts .
    I tend to counter by spending like $15 + more to counter the drop .

    • +7 votes

      Yes, spend more. That'll teach em.

  • +1 vote

    I'm thinking of doing a charge back via the bank

    Did you order the other items? (Your motivation for ordering is irrelevant to the merchant)
    Are the goods being sent?
    Are the goods being sent by the method you selected? (Your motivation for selecting delivery method is irrelevant to the merchant)

    The chance of doing a charge back and being successful, IMO, is zero.
    ACCC will, IMO, have zero interest in your case.

    •  

      Oh, and the misleading of the item is perfectly fine because everything else becomes irrelevant. How is misleading the customer perfectly acceptable?

      You guys even reading what I am writing?

      • +7 votes

        I read exactly what you said. Did you read my response?
        You ordered goods, instructed those goods to be sent.
        One item is unavailable, so now you want to charge back and contact the ACCC.
        Point out where there is a factual inaccuracy.
        Retailers can't read your mind. They have no idea that if item X is unavailable you want to cancel order for items Y & Z. They also have no idea that you would have chosen C&C if only ordering Y&Z.

        TIL retailers are supposed to be mind readers.

        • -4 votes

          They confirmed the item was in stock.

          The item was delivery only.

          That's misleading. Without that item there wouldn't have been an order.

          Exactly bait and switch.

          I want a charge back for the delivery costs not the other items.

          Yes I did read your post, but it seems to be missing the only argument.

          • +4 votes

            @RocketSwitch:

            Without that item there wouldn't have been an order.

            Retailers can't read your mind. They have no idea that if item X is unavailable you want to cancel order for items Y & Z.

            • +2 votes

              @DashCam AKA Rolts: They can't. But retailers also shouldn't confirm your order saying it's in stock.

              •  

                @RocketSwitch: Have they attempted to fulfill the rest of your order?
                Did you want those things? If not why order?
                You seem very salty over a $12.99 delivery charge for items you wanted, instructed to be delivered and the retailer has fulfilled. SMH

                • +1 vote

                  @DashCam AKA Rolts: I do feel salty because the rest of those items you can get click and collect.

                  This item however is delivery online. So, commonsense would suggest I fill my cart to get value for money right?

                  Surely you can see the frustration there?

                  •  

                    @RocketSwitch:

                    Surely you can see the frustration there?

                    Not at all. I see a retailer fulfilling a customers order as requested, after notifying the customer that one item in the order was OOS and refunding that item's cost.
                    Your outrage over the business doing what was requested, seems misplaced and seems to originate in missing out on an item you clearly wanted.

                    •  

                      @DashCam AKA Rolts: The outrage is with the confirmation of the item in stock. That is all. If they didn't allow you to add the item or didn't confirm it prior to shipping then fine, but they did. They fulfilled like a robot. Void of any customer service.

                      But yes, my outrage is placed with that item because it's delivery only which was the motive for the order and yes I understand that they don't know that.

            • +1 vote

              @DashCam AKA Rolts: If you have no idea about something do you just pick a random course of action and pray for the best? Here's an idea, how about the retailer actually contacts OP to say part of their order can't be fulfilled and ASKS what they would like to happen?

              •  

                @jaejae69: The retailer received an order for 4 items, to be sent out. 1 item is OOS, so it sends out the 3 items OP ordered, via the method selected and notifies OP other item is OOS and refunds. This is not a unique occurence.

                Here's an idea, how about the retailer actually contacts OP to say part of their order can't be fulfilled and ASKS what they would like to happen?

                I don't think we are dealing with high yield investment items here, so your suggestions would involve an increase in staff to contact online purchasers and to intercept orders, then return items to stock. Hence restocking fees of 20% + for some online stores.

                Do you think OP would have accepted a restocking fee, when they were upset over a $12.99 shipping cost that actually saw 3 items delivered?

                • +1 vote

                  @DashCam AKA Rolts: You say it's not a unique occurrence but I literally cannot remember the last time this has happened to me, and I shop online far more than i should TBH.

                  However, If I've placed a singular online order for multiple items, then my "intent" insofar as the retailer is concerned is to purchase ALL items together. If one or more items are OOS after confirmation, I feel there is just as much an argument to be made where the entire order shoould be cancelled automatically, rather than automatically send out a part order.

                  As for my suggestion increasing staffing costs, I don't buy it. It would be quite easy to set up an auto message when the item does go OOS informing the customer to either cancel within X hours or the remaining order will be processed as per usual. There is no need for a human to to this manually for every time this happens.

                  •  

                    @jaejae69:

                    I literally cannot remember the last time this has happened to me

                    You must have been blessed by the online shopping Gods.

                    This has happened to me on a number of occasions, over the years, ordering tools and bike parts (in particular) from various suppliers, different countries/continents. Sometimes, back order is sent later, occasionally with no mail cost. With OOS items, receiving emails to notify when back in stock.

          •  

            @RocketSwitch:

            Exactly bait and switch.

            I think you need to check what this actually means.
            There has been no substitution of a lesser product for what was ordered.

            • -3 votes

              @DashCam AKA Rolts: That was my definition. Because sure as hell felt like that and almost fits ACCC definition.

              So I will let them decide.

      • +1 vote

        So I proceeded to add to cart (it was delivery only), and added a bunch of other items to make the $12.99 shipping worth it.

        As far as they know, maybe you wanted the other stuff and ordered the delivery only item to make the shipping worth it.

        You've jumped to the conclusion that this is misleading, when its debatable whether it can be classified as misleading or not. Stocks come and go, not exactly new news.

        •  

          As far as they know, maybe you wanted the other stuff and ordered the delivery only item to make the shipping worth it.

          You've jumped to the conclusion that this is misleading, when its debatable whether it can be classified as misleading or not. Stocks come and go, not exactly new news.

          This.

        • +1 vote

          I understand that, but they confirmed the stock.

          Added to cart and paid.

          Email confirming stock.

          How did I jump to the conclusion it's misleading???

          The chain of events:

          1. Hello, item is back in stock.
          2. Order item. Paid.
          3. Email received next day, order confirmed. That item confirmed.
          4. Next day item NOT IN STOCK .

          Yep, I jumped to conclusions. Wow!

          I understand stock comes and go, but don't confirm the order saying it is.

          •  

            @RocketSwitch:

            Email received next day, order confirmed. That item confirmed

            Did they actually say that the item is confirmed? Or that confirmation that they have received your order? Exact wording (not your interpretation or your summary) is important.

            As I and others have said, As far as they know, maybe you wanted the other stuff and ordered the delivery only item to make the shipping worth it.

            It might be poor customer service or poor ordering system, but immediately saying its misleading (a malicious act btw) is jumping into conclusions.

            •  

              @Ughhh: It was confirmation that they have received the order. Upon looking at the subject line, It's an automated message. The cancellation email is also automated.

              So it looks like an inventory issue on their end.

              But there's no wording on the email saying in stock other than the email I got saying it's in stock (alert email) and the stock on the website saying available.

  • +8 votes

    I agree with the OP, its bad business practice and they should at least confirm with the buyer before proceeding if there is stock issue. It's just like when there is a price error they will cancel straight away.

    •  

      Thanks.

      I honestly can't believe what I am reading with some of these other posts.

      Looks like these people are happy being misled wtf?

      • +1 vote

        I think try emailing head office and request a refund on the delivery charges on good will would be a good start.

        •  

          Yeah, I sent the email. Phone was no dice.

  • +3 votes

    I had this happen to me recently. Spotlight inventory control is hopeless. I emailed them and they refunded shipping cost. That said I only added one small item to the out of stock item.

    •  

      Ah, thanks for this. So there might be some hope afterall.

  • +8 votes

    Unlucky, OP.

    However, your motivations to order the other items to justify shipping aren't known (nor relevant) to the Spotlight (or any business, for that matter).

    It sucks that the item you really wanted was the one to be incorrectly marked as available, but I don't think they've done that much wrong other making a mistake with stock levels of one item.

    They received an order from you, they packed what was physically available and sent it to you, the items you paid for.

    What you've not included is your post is what Spotlight have said about your out of stock item. Is it on backorder, or are you being refunded for that item only?

    You just seem to insist that they have acted maliciously with the intention to mislead you. You even claim bait and switch. What have they switched you to, exactly? Mistakes are mistakes, but you seem intent on thinking it was a malicious act.

    I did call them, they said we don't control the stock levels (LOL) and can't refund money for delivery because that's with the courier.

    They could refund as a gesture of goodwill, but a service was paid for, and the service has been provided.

    The person you spoke to probably doesn't control stock levels. So much of that is automated these days and mistakes happen. I've been to major retailers to pick up an item, to experience the same issue. The staff were very apologetically, but it's not like they've personally hidden items from you.

    Also, nasty customer service talking over the top of me.

    The way this post has been worded, it seems like you have very strong feelings about this, and may have communicated in that manner too. Maybe the customer service rep was just being assertive and being firm in what they could say/offer as per company policy?

    And your complaints about others giving a different view above, if you can't handle people to have opposing/different/altnerative views to yours, are you sure you want to post in a forum where others can respond?

    Maybe you should have specifically stated "supportive views only".

    • +1 vote

      Thanks for the comment.

      I felt like the customer rep didn't want to help.

      I was very respectful. She would say, I don't control stock levels, not my problem. I mean okay, here is how you could resolve it. She would say, "No, unfortunately I don't control stock levels and the shipping is with the courier company."

      So I did feel strongly because I was talking to someone not interested in providing customer service.

      I understand it's not her fault. I also understand they made the mistake. So why should I be the one at fault here?

      I'm looking for all views, but I just can't get how someone wouldn't care about this as some posts are seemingly inferring. Surely you would care? Seems very odd especially for a bargain site.

      •  

        So why should I be the one at fault here?

        I don't think anyone has attributed blame to you. I implied above you may have carried negative emotion into your communication, but if you said you were respectful, no one here is in any position to dispute it.

        It really does suck when customer service don't appear to want to help, when it is their main responsibility!

        Sorry to hear the customer rep wasn't useful. Hopefully emailing head office as someone mentioned above will provide satisfactory outcomes. Maybe mention the negative customer service experience to help convince them to refund the shipping!

        All the best and good luck :)

  • +3 votes

    This isn't just Spotlight - it happens all the time with most retailers.
    And I agree - it is not only misleading, it is very annoying.
    If I buy four items at $20 each, I may be willing to pay $20 in shipping.
    If they then cancel four of the items - but ship the remaining one - the shipping cost has gone from 20% of my cost, to 50% of my cost.
    That is not acceptable in any circumstance.
    However, I don't see it changing any time soon, and I doubt you'll have much luck.
    As for the various negative posters here - most people on this site are limp-d!cks who just take any good bargains that come along and otherwise are just happy to cop a shafting when it happens because its the only action they are getting. Don't worry about them.

    •  

      It happened to me too with another retailer so I understand how OP feels but since they did ship the items even it does not have the item u originaly wanted, not much you can do. After all, its only $12.99, not worth getting high blood pressure over this.

  • -2 votes

    That's exactly right, especially the other items were bloody zips and buttons FFS!! This was the only big item!!

    I think the concept was just too hard for most people to understand.

    • +2 votes

      I've heard of bloody zips but what are FFS buttons?

    •  

      You’re certainly not going to win anyone over here by antagonising them. We understand, we just don’t agree with you.

      •  

        How was I antagonising them?

        They misled me, and those that didn't "agree" enjoy being misled then.

        Is it so hard to actually understand this without looking at every other narrative? Like retailers can't read my mind? Wtf?

        Others got it. Others tried to find a way to make it seem like it was an acceptable practice which is BS! I don't care if most stores do it, because they do doesn't mean it's right. It's wrong and more are changing.

        •  

          The hostility in your response tells me there is little I can say to change how you feel.

          •  

            @jackary: Thank you for taking the time to consider my feelings, I appreciate it.

  •  

    Out of interest did it say the item was in "low stock" or "available"?

    •  

      Available not low stock.

  •  

    From Spotlight's delivery page:

    SPLIT DELIVERIES & MULTIPLE CONSIGNMENTS.
    Occasionally, customer's orders may need to be sourced and supplied by multiple Spotlight locations. If this is the case, then your order will arrive at its destination in more than one consignment and possibly with more than one courier company. The multiple shipping charges are not passed onto the customer.

    The shipping charge paid at the checkout page of the order will not be exceeded even if multiple deliveries are required.

    The fine print indicates you won't be charged if your item is a split delivery - i.e. you've paid, and it's on backorder. But it all depends if it's actually a split delivery according to their system, and you have proof of ordering & payment.

  • +4 votes

    This happened to me a few years ago with EB. I ended up with only the crappy things I didn't really want and none of the good things. I was able to return everything for a refund. If you are polite and respectful (not like how you sound here) you should be able to return all the stuff for a full refund. Try again and hopefully you get a customer service person you haven't yet spoken to.

    • +1 vote

      polite and respectful (not like how you sound here)

      I think there is no hope for me as well :)

  • +3 votes

    No I have sympathy for OP because Spotlight is the worst! Usually you will order a number of items that are labeled as in stock. Your order gets farmed out to a number of stores that have what you order on hand, so yes you can get several parcels. It seems that items they actually have no stock of are never updated on the website, so having at least part of your order cancelled is very common. They don’t do back order. See the thread on their cast iron casseroles… they cancelled some orders and supplied others in no particular order, not in order of receipt. Just chaotic!

  • +1 vote

    This happens all the time at spotlight.
    I’ve stopped adding extra small things to my order if there is any doubt about stock.

  •  

    Yes this has happened to me multiple times. Frustrating but I don’t think what they’re doing is against the law. I would much prefer that things are back ordered, or that I have the opportunity to cancel the whole order. Thing is, they can’t really cancel it because they could have already sent one item from store A, before store B attempts to pick the stock and finds that it’s not there anymore.

    I agree though that their inventory system is hopeless. Ive been told that their store stock indicator is completely inaccurate, by multiple staff members at different stores while looking for a particular item.

  • +2 votes

    This has happened to me several times with Target, they're really bad for stock numbers not being accurate (although not as bad as Bunnings LOL) and also once with Mountain Designs, where I'd ordered some hiking shoes I really wanted (which were on clearance, said they were in stock etc) and added a cheap clearance t-shirt to get over the free delivery threshold. Received an email two days later saying the shoes were out of stock, so they just sent the t-shirt, but didn't charge for shipping. Disappointing, but not much you can do.

    Some businesses will do what they can to help - I put in an order with Gildan Australia for a number of clearance items, received an email next day to say a ladies' jacket I'd ordered was OOS, I emailed back and asked if they still had any of the mens' jackets in a small size (same style, same price on clearance), they still had some and so they amended my order accordingly.

  • +2 votes

    I won’t order from Spotlight any more for this reason. I don’t think anyone working there cares enough to fix it, so I just avoid.

    Chemist Warehouse’s system should be implemented everywhere - if something is out of stock you automatically get the option to cancel or continue the order, just by clicking a button. So simple!

    • +2 votes

      I do my best to avoid ordering from them as well - sadly if you are a sewist there are few other places that stock as much as they do and at their prices. One of my neighbours does a lot of embroidery and we have a bit of a running joke about how bad our local store is and how badly they retail. We message each other if we're in a different part of town and if we need anything!

      I did an order with Lincraft last week and just about fell of my chair when all 17 items (10 different cut fabrics!) were dispatched from the one store. I usually do a cart at each and compare total cost and then decide where to shop - I've never shopped online with Lincraft so we'll what it's like when it arrives.

      As someone who used to work as a sales rep visiting Chemist Warehouse, I can say they really are the gold star of retailing, especially in pharmacy. The people who run that business are super switched on and ironically started out in a building vacated by Spotlight…

  • +2 votes

    Spotlight are useless. I found a product on their website and confirmed it was in stock at my local store. When I went in, the staff said it was out of stock for a long time and was irritated at me that I expected it to be in stock, despite the website saying it was. I guess they deal with so many angry customers who come in to get something that isn't there, that they pull the "I'm more angry than you so back off" tactic.

    If only we could permanently delete Spotlight and other unreliable retailers from our Google search results.

    •  

      This has happened to me a few times. Think I'm done with them, just go in-store and see what's available.

  • +2 votes

    Spotlight….joke of a place.

  • +1 vote

    Marketing tactics… take note of ads targeting you on any device, tube, mobile etc… all out for your money.

  • +5 votes

    Some of these replys are absolutely ridiculous. OP has absolutely every right to be pissed and expect shipping to be refunded.
    The core problem is not whether or not the retailer can "read his mind." Clearly every one understands that only OP knows what they wanted, the issue is that spotlight confirmed an order, then altered the order without informing OP prior to "fulfilment". When 1 or more items of my single transaction are no longer available, I think the reasonable expectation is to be informed and asked whether I would still like to proceed with the order as a whole.