Tales From the Front

Mar 01, 2010 10:30 PM  By

The husband of a Multichannel Merchant staffer ordered (or so he thought) a jar of Basil & Cabernet vinegar “pearls” in dipping oil from the Napa Style Website. The item was backordered for several weeks, and when it finally arrived — on Christmas Eve — it was not the Basil & Cabernet but the Smoky Paprika & Sherry vinegar pearls. To add insult to injury, the jar was not sealed, so the oily contents had leaked all over the bubble wrap. A customer service rep told the husband that Napa Style would send another jar. Could Napa Style send the Basil & Cabernet as a substitute instead of the Smoky Paprika & Sherry version, he asked? No dice — though the items were the same price, there could be no substitutions, he was told. This seemed a bit unyielding, considering the initial item was backordered and arrived damaged. Plus, the rep said the merchant could not accept back any food items, so he couldn’t return it for a refund. The only option was to accept another jar of a condiment that neither he nor his wife was interested in. Needless to say, the experience left the customer with a bad taste in his mouth — much like the Smoky Paprika & Sherry vinegar pearls.