A couple of weeks ago, somebody on the GoVegan Forum posted a note about a clearance sale at the Vegetarian Times website. I checked it out and ordered two books: The Nutritonal Yeast Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak and Cooking with Gluten and Seitan by Dorothy R. Bates and Colby Wingate. I received the Nutrional Yeast Cookbook, but not Cooking with Gluten and Seitan. Instead, I received The Whole Foods Diabetic Cookbook by Patricia Stevenson and Michael Cook.
Of course, the package arrived late Friday night, so there was no way I could call about the mistake until Monday. I called the number on the sales order that came with the books. It was one of those automated answering systems, and I did not know the extension number of the person I wanted to speak to. So, I left a message with the receptionist. She did call me back the next day and left me a message on my cell phone; I was in the middle of teaching a lesson, and I do not answer my cell phone when I'm working. Anyway, she told me I had to call a completely different number. I dutifully called that number and left a message with that organization, the Home Bar (?) Publications Bookstore. The recording on that sytem was also of poor quality, so I am uncertain of the name. Did anyone answer at that extension? Of course not. But the lovely woman's voice told me I could order by leaving my name, number, credit card number, and the order number of the book I wanted, and would I please speak clearly. Has anyone called me back from that location? Of course not.
So, this morning I tried the Vegetarian Times website again. Go see for yourself on the Contact Us page. There is no number or e-mail address for customer sevice. So, I tried the phone number again. Yet, again, I left a message for the receptionist. No one returned my call. I waited two hours and called again, this time finally getting a real person. She (her name was Sharon) confirmed the information I was given previously for the bookstore manager in Virginia. I said I left a message for them two days ago and no one had returned my call. She reiterated that the number I called was the accounting office and that I had to deal with the bookstore manager. I then asked if there was a complaint department, someone I could register a complaint with. I was transferred to someone who did not identify herself and said the reason I did not get a call back was because they (the people in Virginia) are out of the office at some trade show and that I would be able to reach them on Monday. I said, "You must be joking," and then she hung up on me when I started to explain how I was unhappy with their customer service.
Something tells me this frustrated little story isn't over yet.