Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Busted Tee from

The following is my personal experience with as a first time customer.

On Nov. 29th, 2007, I placed an order with It was a "You have died of dysentery" tee, in reference to an old computer game called Oregon Trail. I wanted to give this tee as a Christmas present to someone, who is addicted to this game when she was a child.

A week later, the shirt arrived with an unnecessary vent hole under the shirt's left arm.

Busted Tee from Bustedtees

I promptly contacted the company via email to inform them of my damaged shirt and request for exchange. An email from JenW states that someone will contact me within one business day.

The following Tuesday, Dec. 11th, I received an email from Valerie Palmer showing my replacement shirt had been ordered and would be shipped to me via U.S. Postal Service.

Another week went by, after which I called Bustedtees via the number posted on their website (877-287-8333) asking about the shirt's status. The young lady I spoke to told me it should be here on Friday Dec. 21st. I thought to myself, "great, it will still be here before Christmas."

But, it did not arrive.

Christmas came and went.

I called again yesterday and was told "we don't know what happened to the order. I see the original order from Nov. 29th, but as for the replacement one, it seems no one has done anything with it. When the customer service department people are back from their holidays, someone will contact you either via email or phone."

In the meantime, the young man I was speaking with, "Jason", offered to place another order & over-night the shirt to me via UPS.

Once again, the shirt did not show up as promised.

Using their live chat option, I was surprised to receive confirmation by "Jorge M" that none of my orders were found even though the order had supposedly been placed just the previous day.

After I sent them an email complaining about the terrible experience I had, I got a reply that is nothing more than some customer service lip service.

I understand perhaps my order was neglected among other holiday shopping orders. However, waiting two weeks for a replacement order while being misled with false promises is unacceptable.

As a first time customer of Bustedtees, my recent purchasing experience is giving me doubts regarding my personal as well as my friends' future business with their service.

Perhaps for next year, I should switch my holiday celebration to Kwanzaa. At least I will know my local grocery store will not have a problem of replacing ears of corn for me.

Update: Dec. 28, 2007 - Bustedtees has a store front in and selling the exact same shirt for $1 less. Although the shipping charge is $1 more, so there is no saving. What is good about purchasing via is its customer reviews, which Bustedtees' website is lacking. Instead of getting pointless response like "I do apologize for the inconvenience. I have forwarded your concerns to our corporate office and you should be contacted back as soon as possible", customers can leave comments about their experience on the same page in and forewarn others of any potential problem.

I wish I have read Sarah in Tampa's post "Busted Tees Stole My Money" on Nov. 29 before I placed my order.

I called Chase Bank this morning to retract my original credit card payment for that damaged shirt. In the meantime, I have found Zach Klein & Jakob Lodwick in Flickr. Klein & Lodwick are two of several partners in Connected Ventures, which owns Bustedtees. In a short email, I pointed them to this entry regarding my recent experience with Bustedtees. Hopefully their underlings would get the hint of stop ignoring customers with legitimate issues.

Update: Dec. 29, 2007 - This is the latest reply I have received from Bustedtees. "Brandy G" has once again assured me that my issue will be forwarded to the appropriate department & they will contact me back as soon as possible.

Valerie P. has left some comments yesterday. According to her, the particular shirt I wanted is on backorder. However, no one from Bustedtees or SureShip, its fulfillment company, has ever contacted me directly, especially when I have been calling & emailing them every week.

Update: Jan. 2, 2008 - Josh Mohrer ( has emailed me as well as leaving a comment here to inform those who had the similar experience as I did to contact him directly. Plus, he is going to send me a replacement shirt free of charge once it is available.

Update: Jan. 4, 2008 - Some parts of Josh’s email have raised more concerns & needed clarification.

1. "I unfortunately am only learning of this situation today [Jan. 2, 2008]." In the email sent out by Valerie Palmer on Dec. 11th, it clearly showed Josh was copied on the matter.

2. "I see that a new order was put through for you with Next Day Air. When you purchased the shirt, the site should have said the item was back ordered." Actually I was on the phone with Jason in person when the order was placed. If it was back ordered, shouldn't Jason see that on his computer & inform me then?

3. "We served about 25,000 customers this holiday season, and I imagine several hundred has a similar experience as you." Several hundred could be three or nine hundred. Out of 25,000 customers, that is a dissatisfaction rate of 1.2 to 3.6%. Does that seem a bit high comparing to other apparel retailers?

Recently I told my experience to my friend Steve Hall, who manages a website called that focuses on business management & advertisement. We don’t know if Bustedtees has genuinely learned a lesson about customer service & supply chain management. Or, giving away a free t-shirt is just PR damage control.

Update: Jan. 15, 2008 - I received a replacement shirt from Bustedtees yesterday. Based on my experience with Bustedtees as a first time customer, I have decided not to purchase from them ever again.