Magellan’s – Your Trusted Source of Travel Supplies is the logo. It’s emblazoned across every Google result. It’s stamped reassuringly across the repeated catalogs I receive from them, after ordering travel masks a couple of years ago.
I have asthma. Specifically, cigarette-smoke-induced asthma, although exposure to dust and mold can sometimes trigger it. Cigarettes are the trigger I worry about, though – I live in a clean home, the places I travel aren’t dusty or moldy, but cigarettes are pervasive.
After several terrible travel experiences, including a 2 hour episode in an ambulance at Arlington National Cemetery thanks to the crowd of people ignoring the “no smoking” signs, my husband suggested I search out travel masks. A quick Google later, I discovered I Can Breathe masks. Now, I confess to being a website snob, and so I looked for the product on a site I felt was a bit more secure and a lot more put together. (Sorry, I Can Breathe people.)
I found the products on Magellan’s site, and ordered them in 2010. They worked as described, and although I’ve gotten odd looks a few times over the years for pulling a mask to my face, I’ve avoided hospitalization. I’ve even felt secure enough to travel without a nebulizer.
In 2011, I ordered a couple of more filters, again, from Magellan’s. They arrived on time, as described, and since I don’t often encounter cigarette smoke in my day-to-day life, they have lasted until now.
Each year, I do at least one work trip, and so on February 19, 2013, I went back to my “Trusted Source of Travel Supplies” and ordered more replacement filters. I didn’t think twice about doing so.
Except that the closer my March 4 departure date came, there was still a marked lack of filters in my Po Box. So, on Thursday Feb. 28, I did the rational thing – I picked up the phone and called Magellan’s customer service department, and asked “hey, what about my order?”
Joshua was very pleasant as he told me, “Oh! Yeah, we didn’t get around to renewing our contract with the USPS after we switched warehouses. We actually can’t ship anything out to Po Boxes right now. We’ll get that fixed in the next month or so and get your order out to you.”
Understandably, that wasn’t ok with me, so I said “here’s how you can fix this. You can upgrade my shipping from ground to FedEx, and go ahead and get them out to me before my trip.”
He looked into it, and that wasn’t an option, so he offered to ship them to my destination at no extra cost. Had it ended there, that would have been a great resolution to a situation that never should have happened.
The problem? When I arrived at my destination in AZ, there were no filters.
So, I called again. And I talked to Joshua, again. And this time, Joshua said, “Oh. I guess they didn’t feel like getting around to sending that out. When I’m done, I’ll walk over there and have them put it in tomorrow’s shipment.”
As I explained to him, the next day was too late – I’d be on a plane, heading to the next destination. I cancelled the order, and asked for a supervisor to call me back. First, Joshua said, “supervisors aren’t allowed to call people.” I reiterated, “I expect a call back from a supervisor.” He then asked, “What do you want, them to apologize to you or something?!”
At that point, I ended the call. I did wind up getting a voicemail later that week from someone who said she was a supervisor – unfortunately, I had already lost my voice due in part to cigarette exposure and repeated asthma attacks.
I decided to let it go – after all, a $12 item wasn’t worth any more of my time and energy, right?
Which brings us to today, March 27, over a month since I placed the order and 3 weeks since I cancelled it. I received an email from Magellan’s, “updating you on your order status”. Said invoice is pictured here – notice the “Item Cancelled”? Apparently, in the world of Magellan’s, “Item Cancelled” means “ship and charge whenever we’d like.”
So…I tried calling, again. The phone rang 20 times, and then a person picked up. I started to explain what I needed, and was told “oh, you want customer service. Here’s the number.”
After I explained that the number I was given was, in fact, the very number I was using to speak to him, I was told “oh. Yeah, I guess they are busy or something. Try it in 10 minutes.”
I called back, and spoke to a representative who listened to my summation of this entire chain of events, and said “you know what? Let me get a supervisor on the phone for you.”
I then spoke to Damian, who started out by saying, “Your item is no longer backordered. It is shipping today.”
Insert a combination of facepalm, and dumbfounded, here, along with ANOTHER summation of this entire chain of events, all over a $12 item.
Damian verified the details, and asked for my number to call me back. I’ll give Joshua points for creativity – the number he left in my file contained my home area code, the first 3 digits of my destination phone number, and the last 4 digits of my cell phone number. Once I straightened that out, Damian hung up, and returned my call in just a few minutes. According to Damian, the system won’t allow them to cancel the order, but he has it on his desk so that it won’t ship.
I’m waiting until tomorrow to see if the promised refund does, in fact, show up on my card. If not, I suppose it will be time for another round of calls.
Given the marked lack of attention Magellan’s has paid to anything I’ve said or done so far, I’m fairly certain this blog post won’t ever catch their eye. (I mean, even my first and second attempts to reach out to them on twitter were ignored.)
So why spend any more of my valuable time writing this post? To let everyone else (people who expect items ordered to be received in a timely fashion, who expect competent customer service, who expect mail order companies to not, you know, FORGET HOW TO MAIL THINGS…) know that Magellan’s should never, ever be your “Trusted Source of Travel Supplies”.