Service, Please!

Caution: this is a long one, and some of you may not like me when I’m done.

Never again will I order a product online from a foreign country. Yes, I know how that sounds. I don’t care. I’m about to show “that” side of me and name names while doing so. In advance, I apologize for NOTHING.

I have been ordering online for the better part of 15 years. I am very experienced in the processes of transaction, shipping, delivery, return and, occasionally, refund. Most of the time, the process is good. Occasionally, a glitch in the process makes it bad but correctable. In rare cases (as in ‘this is the second time this has happened to me’), it gets ugly.

Buckle up, and take a fun ride with me through some “ugly”.

September 18th – I ordered some authentic Hebrew incense from THIS company. My red flag went up when I discovered that the company is based in Israel, because I’d previously placed an order with a China-based company, and that went to Hell in a handbasket. I never wanted to deal with a Chinese website ever again, and I haven’t. These people, however, are in Israel. Maybe they’d be better at this cyber-commerce thing. I don’t know, but I’m hoping.

For the record, the issue that I have with foreign orders is that it takes them FOREVER to get it to me. Weeks! A month! Maybe more! I don’t order online to wait that long for my merchandise. Nobody does. Nevertheless, the order’s already been placed, so I’ll give it month.

October 18th, two Fridays ago – after waiting exactly a month with zero communication from the company, I shoot out a very straightforward email:

On Thu, Oct 18, 2019 at 10:07 PM Chantal wrote:
Where is my order???


Normally, the answer to that question is the tracking information wrapped up in some form of “I’m sorry that this happened. Let me fix it for you”. This was the response I received from “Reuven”:

From: The Jerusalem Gift Shop <>
To: Chantal <redacted>
Sent: Fri, Oct 25, 2019 7:33 am
Subject: Re: Order#118699

Please check with your local post office.

That was it. I’m not used to getting that short, dismissive tone from a Customer Service Representative. And isn’t it HIS job to ‘check the Post Office’? What else do you notice about this blurb of an email? Something’s missing, isn’t it? Naturally, I respond back:

On Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 8:03 PM Chantal <redacted> wrote:
I would have done that a month ago if you’d given me the tracking number.  I still don’t have one, so I cannot do that.  At this point, just give me my money back.  

A very simple request, right? Any CSR worth a whoopty-do would have gone forth with the refund process and called it a day. Not Reuven. Totally ignored it.

From: The Jerusalem Gift Shop <>
To: Chantal <redacted>
Sent: Sat, Oct 26, 2019 4:38 am
Subject: Re: Order#118699

your tracking is RR-blabbadabba-IL

What’s the first thing you notice, America? US tracking numbers don’t contain letters. For the sake of argument, I play along and click the link:

On Sat, Oct 26, 2019 at 8:42 PM Chantal <redacted> wrote:
This tracking number (which is not a USPS tracking number) requires a username and password to access.  Obviously, I don’t have that.  It has been over a month since I placed this order, and I no longer want the items.  REFUND MY MONEY!

I really can’t make this any simpler. Since I didn’t get the product, just give me back my money! In America, it takes one email exchange and a visit to my bank account. With Reuven, this has now become a negotiable issue, for some reason.

From: The Jerusalem Gift Shop <> Date: 10/26/19 5:03 PM (GMT-05:00) To: Chantal <redacted> Subject: Re: Order#118699
It is Israel post tracking :
You do not need password and username

Sorry but we will refund your money only after We will get the package  back in Israel.

Now I’m hot! I’m also flashbacking to the China website, who also refused to give me a refund for a product that I didn’t receive after waiting a month for it. I take a breath. And another. And one for the Holy Ghost. Okay…let’s at least try to approach this ridiculousness on a Godly level:

On Sun, Oct 27, 2019 at 7:05 AM Chantal <redacted> wrote:
Are you serious? The tracking number only gives me information on the package while it was in Israel! What good is that to me? You haven’t provided me any way to track this month-old order once it reached the US–if it ever got here at all! It’s your responsibility as the seller to have that US tracking information and to give it to me. Why don’t you know that?
If I never received the package, then how can I send it back for a refund? How does your company handle lost items? If I hadn’t contacted you, would you have even bothered to investigate this issue?
For the third time, refund my money or I’ll get it back myself.

The ONLY reason that I’m still talking to this man is because my bank’s website is down for maintenance. First thing in the morning, I’m planning to put in a claim to dispute the transaction–like I had to do with China. That’s what I meant by ‘getting it back myself’. I consider myself done with the matter. Reuven does not:

From: The Jerusalem Gift Shop <>
To: Chantal <redacted>
Sent: Sun, Oct 27, 2019 1:48 am
Subject: Re: Order#118699

This is the Address you provided with your order:
Chantal McKelton
Apt #
Apt #
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 191XX
United States

so please do not blame us. We did refund you for $30.06 not including the $13.5 the shipping charge !!!!! Blessings

Zero to ninety! Once again, I’m not accustomed to this tone from a business–and a faith-based one, at that. Obviously, Reuven is one of those last-word kind of people who tries to get that zinger in that the person is not supposed to be able to answer. Man, did HE pick the wrong Daughter! I didn’t believe for a second that he processed the refund, but did you notice that he’s also trying to make me eat the shipping cost of a package that I never received? Okay, God…it’s my move:

On Sun, Oct 27, 2019 at 8:40 AM Chantal <redacted> wrote:
I blame you because you had an entire month to confirm my address and efficiently deliver my order.  You never communicated an issue with my address, you failed on all counts, and you don’t even have the professional ethics to apologize for it. Thank you for my refund, and may God bless you with better customer service skills in the future.


This is supposed to be the end of it, right? It was, as far as I was concerned. Still not true for Reuven, who has some desperate need to be in control of a conversation in which HE owes ME money:

From: The Jerusalem Gift Shop <>
To: Chantal <redacted>
Sent: Sun, Oct 27, 2019 7:25 am
Subject: Re: Order#118699

Sorry that we found out only today about your mistake…My advise ,you should be less aggressive you defiantly will get a better results.. God Bless you

Yeah. He really said that. To a customer. That he owed money to. I was having flashbacks of a whole ‘nother kind. In case you haven’t already picked up on it, my writing style has a tendency to blow the reader’s head off, especially when it comes to putting someone in their place. This brat-mouthed little so-and-so had no idea how “aggressive” I can really get without using a drop of profanity. So far, this exchange has been “Ms. Chantal Without Her Wheaties”. In the name of Jesus, I’m about to take this man-child straight to the woodshed:

On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 2:30 PM Chantal <redacted> wrote:
I have ordered online for years, and whenever my address has been input wrong, the company contacts me within 24 hours to resolve the issue.  That’s the professional customer service that I’m used to. The fact that you only found out about the address today is YOUR mistake.  YOU’RE the one in business.  YOU’RE the one selling the product. YOU’RE the one who had me waiting a month for the product that I paid for and never received.  YOU’RE the one who either delivered your product to a nonexistent address or never shipped it out in the first place (and then told me to “check the Post Office”). YOU’RE the one with the obvious attitude problem, going back and forth with me when your job is to solve the problem.
I am a dissatisfied customer.  That should matter more to you than my “aggression”, which wouldn’t be an issue if I were a man. Your consistent disrespect and lack of professionalism is an issue that will cost you a lot more than what you owe me. Once I get my money back, you’re God’s problem, not mine.

That same day, I contacted my bank and filed the claim for my refund. Extremely satisfying! Another day goes by, and I assume that my bank has had enough time to contact Reuven (whom I later discover is part of the two-man team that runs the Jerusalem Gift Shop). The only way that I can know for sure is if Reuven is dumb enough to email me again. A smart man would have just stopped corresponding, but those last-word people just cannot help themselves:

From: The Jerusalem Gift Shop <>
To: Chantal <redacted>
Sent: Tue, Oct 29, 2019 2:21 am
Subject: Re: Order#118699

I am really sorry about it . Have a wonderful day.

I HOPE that he wasn’t suddenly expecting me to be nice to him (because that’s what women are always told to do). After days of dealing with the worst of Reuven’s idea of customer service, I’m not about to fall for that piss-poor apology, sounding like a little boy being marched back into the store that he stole candy from. Reuven is only apologizing is because someone or something prompted him . I don’t know. I don’t care. But I got the opportunity to respond to him again, so I did:

On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 7:08 PM Chantal <redacted> wrote:
This entire email thread documents how sorry you really are. 
I am having a wonderful day, because my bank just gave me a FULL refund. Maybe you already know that by now.
Our business is concluded. Do NOT contact me again.

Hey, Reuven….that burning sensation that you’re feeling in your backside right now? An “aggressive” woman named Chantal put that there.

Call me petty if you want to, and do not try to preach to me. I’ve already had a conversation with God about it. We’re good. The bottom line is that I NEEDED Reuven to know that I didn’t have to settle for his partial refund (which he never processed, btw). No man holds me or my money hostage.

Do you know that that fool emailed me AGAIN? The only logical reason for him to contact me after I specifically told him not to is that I offended his little macho sensitivity, and he had to get back his sense of control. Men, please don’t be like Reuven:

From: The Jerusalem Gift Shop <>
To: Chantal <redacted>
Sent: Tue, Oct 29, 2019 2:01 pm
Subject: Re: Order#118699

Only one last question , You write : ” I have ordered online for years, and whenever my address has been input wrong, the company contacts me within 24 hours” How many times its happens before ? Do You get your satisfaction from entering falls address and then start fighting ?? Enjoy your refund !

“Enjoy your refund!” Yeah…I liked that particular piece of gibberish. It meant that I rattled him…well. Reuven doesn’t sound very sorry anymore, does he? At this point, Reuven has totally forgotten that he’s supposed to be representing a Judeo-Christian online business. He is also under the impression that we’re on some kind of message board.

I REALLY wanted to go nuclear on Reuven, but God told me that I’d emasculated him enough. It is not my job to teach this boy manners on a long-term basis. That’s what his mommy and daddy should have done. All I wanted was my money back, and I got it. This attempt to pick a new argument with me just tips Reuven’s hand again, telling me how butthurt he still is from the lesson I’ve already taught him. Here was MY final response to this email madness:

Chantal (redacted)


I don’t owe you another word.  If you wanted an answer to that question, you should have asked it before insulting me and wasting my time.  
This is now harassment.

With that, I blocked Reuven’s email address. I also blocked the Jerusalem Gift Shop’s Facebook page, but not before leaving an appropriately negative review. Nothing long, nothing vicious…just two absolutely true sentences. Here endeth the lesson.

I am DONE with foreign businesses represented by men who don’t know how to address female customers! Do they really think that they can get away with behaving badly when they’re supposed to be professional? Not on my watch!

Customer service: learn it, please!

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