We're back again, covering that dear old Arrow chestnut again! Jeez! After more than five years of runnning this blog, I honestly thought that I'd never have to post another negative story about this utterly feckless company, but here we are, and it's a genuine humdinger!
So what's got my goat, this time around, I here you all ask? Simple: really shitty customer service, from a company that gives Absolute Sweet FA about its customers! I shall explain...
If you collect horror films, you will probably be aware that Arrow recently announced a massive, multi-disc release of many of Herschell Gordon Lewis's major works, in a humoungous, and humoungously pricey Boxed Set. The standard version, was available via Amazon UK, and had a retail price of around £150. (This eventually came-down to a much more reasonable, but still uber-pricey £92!) However, Arrow being Limited Edition Specialists, decided to announce a Super Deluxe, Limited Edition Set, only available from a specific website - not their own, I might add. This set, would contain extra material, in the form of books, and other assorted ephemera, but was limited to just 500 copies in the UK and an additional 500 in the USA.
These Limited Edition sets sold-out within a week or so. But Arrow allowed people to sign-up, to a "waiting list", in case - nearer the time of release - some people had not paid-up, or some had cancelled their orders.
I was one of the lucky recipients of the waiting list!
On Thursday 20th October, I received an e-mail, that said I had been succesful in securing one of the Limited Edition sets. I just needed to pay £160 via PayPal to Arrow, and then my set would soon be winging its way too me, via a courier firm. But I had to pay by Sunday 23rd, or else my order would be cancelled. Thus, I paid them that same evening, and waited.
No e-mail came to confirm that I'd paid anything, but I decided not to panic.
Jump forward to Monday 24th October - release day! Now, the standard sets had already started being shipped to Amazon UK customers, and some had even had them the same day. Arrow posted on their Facebook page this later on that day, at 12:06pm:
**SHOCK AND GORE - UK DELIVERY UPDATE*** Calling all UK Shock and Gore recipients! We have a few updates for you in relation to your orders so please read the short FAQ below for more information.Fantastic! Myself and all the other 499 people who'd paid for this set started getting excited. But then, in true Arrow fashion, it all went horribly wrong! Very, very horribly wrong!
Q. When will my order ship?
A. UK Shock and Gore sets are shipping out from today.
Q. How will orders ship?
A. Each set will be shipped securely via a courier. Sets will be sent via Interlink to UK addresses and via DHL for international addresses.
Q. How will I know when my set is shipping?
A. We will be sending individual email confirmations once your set ships. These will also include your individual tracking info so you check in on the progress of your delivery.
Have an additional question that isn't covered above? Please get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to assist.
We hope you all enjoy your sets once they arrive!
Monday came and went. Tuesday came and went. Wednesday came and went. By Thursday, people still hadn't had any e-mail confirmation that their sets had actually been sent out. So, people started posting on the Arrow Facebook page, asking about it. Here are some of the responses, with people's names removed, for security purposes:
...except they hadn't!
I'd sent a polite, but concerned e-mail to Arrow on 26th (the day before) and had had no reply. Twenty-four hours later, I e-mailed again, explaining that myself and others were becoming very worried that none of us had appeared to have had a response - any response of any kind - and could they extend us the courtesy of notifying us what was happening. This time, I'd sent my e-mail to four or five different e-mail addresses linked to Arrow, in the vague hope that someone would respond!
No response came back! And, it seems I wasn't alone as the following appeared on Facebook...
One person had had their set! Just one! The rest who had got a response, were being told to contact Interlink, the Courier firm Arrow had paid to get our SHOCK AND AWE sets out to us. Yet when people did call Interlink, we had no Tracking Reference Numbers to give them, so we were forced to give our names, addresses, phone numners and/or e-mail addresses to see if Interlink had any parcels linked to us.
Interlink had no parcels!
I called Interlink too, and was told that I had no parcel linked to my name, address, phone number or e-mail address. Their advice was to go back to the sender (Arrow) of the parcel! Wonderful!
Later on Thursday lunchtime, Kevin Gilvear e-mailed me the following:
Hi,We’ve spoken to our courier today and have been informed that orders have started to roll out. E-mails should go out soon to customers. There’s little more I can do to help as of right now. I just hope that folk will have these sets in hand very soon.I do understand the frustration you’re facing and I say this as a customer myself. I wouldn’t be happy waiting for something that I paid good money for to arrive late either. Unfortunately I’m not in a position to phone you, but we are doing our very best to ensure that people get their boxes and we are investigating the matter so that this can be avoided in future.Regards,Kevin Gilvear - Customer Relations Supervisor
Astute readers will notice two things:
1) The response is basically sets have gone out, and that customers just need to be patient.
2) That Arrow essentially say "Sorry, but we can't assist you any more"!
Not the best way to deal with sets worth £160 each, of which there are 500 - some £80,000's worth of stock!
The messages kept piling up on Facebook...
I sent another e-mail to Mr Gilvear:
Hi Mr Gilvear,
Thank You for your speedy reply. I note you say "E-mails should go out soon to customers". How soon? Today, tomorrow, the weekend, next week - when?! If you can't answer that question, then someone else needs to do! So, can you please find out when e-mails will be being sent out?! It's really rather important!
You, or someone at Arrow needs to put a note-up on Facebook, or send an e-mail out to all other customers, and tell them/us what is going on! The problem isn't really that the item is delayed, it's the deathly silence from your company on what is/is not happening! It's the lack of information, and customers being forced to contact you, in a very angry and upset state, because we can't get answers to simple questions.
I appreciate the update, but Arrow really needs to get its act together on this!
Can you please pass my previous e-mail and this reply to the management, so they are aware of what is going on? We shouldn't be being kept waiting like this for information, whilst you sit on £160 of our money!
Later on Thursday afternoon, I telephoned Arrow. For reasons I still don't grasp, the phone number they place on their website goes to their Head Office. Yet, it seems only a handful of receptionists work there, and they can't, won't or simply point-blank refuse to connect you through to anyone. I was told that I needed to e-mail in a complaint, or write too them, as "they are the only department who can help"!
To my mind, this was unacceptable! I'd already sent two e-mails, and had no useful response, and Arrow were telling me Interlink had my parcel, but Interlink were telling me there was no parcel! So each company blamed the other.
Eventually, I stated to Arrow that unless they connected me to someone who was willing to help, they would leave me with no other choice but to take legal action against them, by reversing my payment via my bank; sending PayPal a complaint that the goods I had paid for had not been delivered, and Arrow were refusing to help me out! It was only at this stage, did one of the receptionists put me through to Liane.
Liane, for those who don't know, appears to be Arrow's main Customer Services lady. I explained my situation too her, but all she could do was say what I already knew: namely that the parcels had gone to Interlink, and an e-mail would be forthcoming! Clearly, Arrow seems to think that sticking their head in the sand, is a sound idea!
I gave Arrow an ultimatum. If my parcel was not with me by 5pm on Friday, I would be taking further action, because of their flippant treatment of me, and others. I also explained that there had still been no Facebook updates, and there were plenty of other people in the same situation as me - being left hung out to dry!
Liane e-mailed me about 30-minutes after my phone call, and sent me a couple of JPEG's showing that Interlink had the parcels, but with no Tracking Reference Numbers, the information was basically useless.
Friday came and went. Saturday came and went. We are now at Sunday 30th October - a week after these sets had allegedly been posted out to customers, and still I found complaints littering Arrow's page with angry and confused customers wondering what was happening, and still there was no further updates from Arrow or Interlink, nor any further e-mails.
It was at this point, I sent them one final e-mail:
Dear Arrow and Arrow Management,
Well, it's now Sunday 30th October 2016 - 7 days since you claimed (in your Facebook posts) that these SHOCK AND GORE sets were supposed to be being sent-out by Interlink. Having called Interlink on Friday afternoon, they say they have no records of any parcels under my name, address, telephone number or e-mail address. So, in their view, they know of no parcel that is in their system that is waiting to be sent out to me.
Yet, according to Liane, the courier have had the sets since Thursday, and were out for delivery Thursday and Friday.
Not mine, it would seem! Nor many other people's going by the angry comments on your own Facebook page! Yes, a few people have had their sets, but many people haven't!
I've certainly had no phone calls, no e-mails, no cards slipped through my door to say any attempts at a parcel delivery has been made or is due to be made anytime in the near future!
To then have Liane send me a couple of JPEG's that don't really help or prove anything, other than demonstrate that Arrow are desperately trying to absolve themselves of blame/responsibility, and to then tell me to simply continue to be patient and that my set will arrive, and that I will get an e-mail is - frankly - taking the mick massively!
So, this is your FINAL WARNING: if I don't get my set delivered to me, at my address, by 5pm (17:00 GMT) on Monday 31st October 2016, I will be going back to my bank to reverse the £159.99 payment I made to you, and also reporting your company to both PayPal (for non delivery of goods) and to Trading Standards as well!
The way you have treated both myself, and many other customers, is nothing short of disgusting, and has essentially been a two-fingered salute to each and every single one of us! This will be your final warning! Don't mess me about!!!!
Sunday came and went, with no more updates, and no response from Arrow. Though to be fair, expecting a reply on a Sunday may have been a bit too much. But still...
At this point, it's now Monday 31st October, and myself and others are still none the wiser! One or two people appeared to have had their sets, but had had no e-mails or Tracking Reference Numbers or information e-mailed too them, and it was only pure luck that friends, family or neighbours had been in to accept the deliveries. But many others, still had nothing to show for our £160!
My previous e-mail seemed to have done the trick! I had a response at 12:53pm, from Liane, that said:
Hi,I have finally received confirmation that your boxset will be arriving to you today between 1:04pm and 2:04pm today. I’m sorry that you have had a terrible experience with the delivery of this boxset, but as I’ve explained to you, we have similarly been in a frustrating position dealing with correspondence from our webstore and the couriers. This delivery situation was far from ideal and please know that we have been doing everything in our power to figure out what’s happened here. I do hope that you can enjoy the boxset despite this experience. I will be calling you in a short while if you need any more information at this time, or if this email suffices for your delivery information, please let me know. My sincere apologies again.Best regards,Liane
You'll never guess what happened next...
...Who'd have thought it - no delivery!
Cue a phone call at 3pm from Liane to me: "I see you rejected the delivery of your parcel" she says. Did I? Because I've been sat waiting like a chump, for my doorbell to ring, or the letterbox to have a card put through it, or even for the courier to call me to ask me where my address is, but nothing's happened. So for me to discover I've rejected the very parcel I've been desperately trying to get for the past seven days, was frankly laughable.
Liane promises to investigate! At this point, I'm thinking of just reversing my payment, and telling Arrow to go screw themselves, and I'll settle for one of the basic sets from Amazon UK instead. At least Amazon will get my parcel too me safely, and if anything goes wrong, their Customer Service is usually pretty reliable. Eighty minutes later, I get a text message from Interlink (and you're going to love this):
As requested we've changed your delivery date to 1st Nov. See your 1hr delivery window & more info on day of delivery... (followed by a weblink).
Are you fucking kidding?!
Another call to Liane, demanding some kind of explanation. "Well, the courier tried delivery, but can't attempt a second delivery today. So, they'll try again tomorrow"!
Oh, for fuck's sake!
I then telephoned Interlink, complain to one of their Customer Service agents, and get told that my delivery will be out for delivery again tomorrow, but that there's nothing they can do. So I demand to speak to a manager. "Why?" Ummm, because I want too? No Customer Service agent has the right to stop you from seeking redress, and this agent was determined to do exactly that. After he refused to connect me, I hung-up on him, and called back in again. Got through to another agent, and demanded to speak to a manager, explaining to them that I was fed-up of being messed about by their company.
I was eventually connected to someone who did help me. It turned out that my delivery driver had attempted to deliver my parcel to an address 2.5 miles away from the actual address on the parcel! Even he was shocked at this gross failure of the driver concerned. We agreed, that the driver would have to redeliver my parcel the next day, but that it was to be left for me with staff at a local shop who know me well, and whom are happy to take-in parcels for me. Thankfully, the next day, my parcel arrived!
Sadly, it arrived heavily damaged! The cardboard sleeve of the item was torn-through, due to inadequate packaging from Arrow, and presumably from my parcel being bashed-about by the Interlink staff. So I contact Arrow. Getting through to Arrow is like trying to get blood from a stone! They will stonewall you at every step. This time, I wasn't taking any shit from them! I had to threaten them with legal action - again - unless they connected me to someone.
Spoke to Liane. Got asked to send-in an e-mail with photos of proof, and was assured that they did have replacment lids, and one could be sent out too me. That night, I e-mail photos of the damage. As you can see, the damage was fairly substantial, for an item like this. The entire corner was crished, and torn right the way through the entire thickness of the case!
Three more days of non-response from Arrow! No e-mails, no phone-calls either! This was just winding me up to a point where I thought the only guaranteed way to get their attention, would be to contact PayPal, and simply reverse the entire £160 transaction, and maybe that might do the trick.
For two more days, I called Liane, and had to leave messages with the receptionists at Arrow, because Liane's "in a business meeting" or "on a long conference call". Basically, excuses, followed by more excuses. Is it really that much to expect a reply to a phone call, at some point between 10:30am and 5pm, or am I just being unfair here?
I eventually got through to Liane, who said that Kevin Gilvear had e-mailed me earlier that day, about my damaged box. And then came the shock news....
There are NO replacement containers available, and NO replacement sets available either! There probably never was, and Arrow probably never intended there to be!
Basically, I've been well-and-truly screwed-over by Arrow!
I've had enough!
Fuck you, Arrow, you cheating, thieving scumbags!
I've spent £160 on an item, that is heavily damaged, and Arrow have no way of repairing or replacing it! Absolute incompetence of the highest order! I am now posting this to the entire world, so they can see what utter, fucking shysters Arrow truly are! They still haven't learnt any lessons about Customer Service since the SHIVERS and ZOMBIE FLESH-EATER debacles of past years, and it seems they really just couldn't give a fuck, once they have your money!
So, I've now got an irreplaceable, damaged £160 Limited Edition set, that is worth significantly less, because it is damaged, and which - should I ever wish or have too - I cannot sell for even the price I originally paid for it, because of their incompetence! And I'm not the only one! I know of at least one other Arrow customer, in the same boat as me, and I've had to explain to them, that - like me - they will NOT be getting any replacements, because Arrow hasn't actually got any in stock, nor are they making or receiving any! So, that's at least two people who have items that are ruined!
I've raised a complaint via PayPal, asking for a partial refund, but Arrow have told PayPal that I must return the entire item back to Arrow, at my own expense (and via a "secure" delivery company - a fucking joke if ever there was one), and only then will I get my original £160 back, but nothing more. Otherwise, they've told me they're not helping me any further! (Clearly Arrow don't realise that they're breaking the law here, but Arrow isn't being run by the brightest lightbulb's around, is it?!)
Arrow, I hate you! You're fucking useless! I will never order from your company again! You clearly don't give a fuck about anyone, and couldn't give a rats-ass whether items arrive safely or on time! Your attitude sucks, and to be frank, if this post names-and-shames you on a global scale, then good!
If I sound vindictive, then that may well be a very fair assessment! I don't want to be, but when someone sells you a £160 lemon, I think you have the right to expect them to fix it, and not fuck you off and tell you to just go make lemonade! Yet that is exatly what Arrow have done.