So a popular item went out of stock. The manufacturer has high demand and as a result, low quantities. So we’re trying to get more product in, but they’re essentially like “We can only send you X at a time, but we don’t know when that will be. Sorry.” We took it off the site until we have more.
Most other customers have agreed to have them refunded due to no timeline of availabiligy…except one. He wants to wait until we get more. Initially the conversation was easy:
ME: I am very sorry. This does not usually happen. But they’re really popular this year and we have not received an update on when more will be available. I can swap for another item.
HIM: Damn. Everyone finally jumped on this bandwagon, huh? It’s fine. Just let me know when more will be in. Can you deliver it then?
ME: Sure. I’ll just make a note and we’ll let you know as soon as we receive more.
HIM: Great! Thanks for the awesome communication.
Then four days later…
HIM: Yeah, so I haven’t heard back. Is this still available? Do you have more? I thought more would be in by now.
ME: No. They’re completely out right now and not up to full production. I have not received an update on when these will be in. Do you want me to issue you a store credit instead? Or send an alternate.
HIM: No, it’s okay. I’ll just wait. Thanks.
Four more days later…..
HIM: Yeah, I don’t appreciate the lack of communication. You said you would let me know when more are available, but you have not. So are more available?
ME: I am sorry, Sir, but we have not received an update from the manufacturer. Our team is in constant communication with them, but they have not provided us with an exact time frame on when this will be available. As soon as it is back in stock, we will definitely let you know. You can also check the website as well for updates. Since your order has been updated as a pre-order, yours will be one of the first to send out. I’m also issuing you a gift card for the inconvenience.
HIM: Alright. Just let me know as soon as it is in.
ME: Of course! We’ll also send you an e-mail confirmation as soon as the order ships.
Five days later…
HIM: No one is providing me any updates and this is just getting ridiculous. Stores usually stock up weekly. But aside from an update two weeks ago, no one has spoken with me about what is going on. So what is going on? I e-mailed two days ago (the weekend), but have not gotten a response. Please provide an update.
ME: I am honestly sorry this is taking to long to resolve. But the only information I have is the update I provided you 5 days ago. Currently, we’re anticipating more in 2-3 weeks, but that honestly depends on how quickly the manufacturer can send them to us. Aside from that, we only have the information we have provided.
HIM: But why is it taking so long?
ME: Well, they are pretty popular.
HIM: So I have to wait another 2-3 weeks to get my order?
ME: If you want to wait for the product, roughly so. If you prefer to swap, I can recommend alternatives.
HIM: No, I’ll wait. Just keep me in the loop.
I haven’t decided which is worse: Lying and being like “sure, in 2-3 weeks….ish?” or saying the truth and being like “I don’t have an update.” Both are unprofessional.