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.



    How hard could it be to ship quality T-shirts in a reasonable amount of time? shirt.woot does a great job, and cheap -- with free shipping, but you won't find any mall-variety shirts like this. It's a competitive market, and they really can't afford to be this bad with customers.

  2. Dude, Your story sounds identical to my own. I have received the identical replies from their service department. I just reported them to the BBB. I won't purchase from them again.

  3. Well, now I know never to bother with Busted Tees.

    By the way, "Valerie Palmer" sounds really familiar, like one of those generic customer-service names. KF

  4. Well speaking as the geneeric customer service rep" named 'Valerie Palmer'
    Yes that is my name and I apologize if my parents did not provide me with a less-generic name.I guess customer service kinda fit it huh??! Anyway,i do strive to serve the customer and respond to hundreds of emails a day.. Personally! Not computer generated or whatever the world may believe. I cannot control what experiences you may have had through calling the other numbers or contacting the other emails. Hope all other shopping experiences go well! Have a good one!!

    -Valerie Palmer


  6. Valerie,

    It seems every time I contact Bustedtees, I am talk to a different person so I have to repeat myself again and again.

    How about email me with your direct contact information and we can get this resolved in person?

  7. V.P. with SS c/o BTDecember 28, 2007 at 2:45 PM

    I understand that you may have spoken with many different people. I work for the fullfillment company for Busted Tees and things kinda go through a "chain". Your replacement order was placed, but the Ladies Tee that you have requested is currently backordered.

    oh, and i don't apprecite the fact that all of the names used in your article (besides the CV partners) were somewhat abbreviated but you have posted my FULL name. A first name would have been sufficient enough for your blog, i'm sure!


  8. VP,

    It would be really nice if you or one your people would contact me to let me know it was backordered, especially when I have been calling back several times!

    Regarding the use of your full name, that was from the email you have sent me.

  9. The Busted Tees Site ( shows the item is back ordered, yet i am sorry you weren't contacted directly and informed of the back order. You have the email address to contact me at work. Lets keep this professional.


  10. VP,

    Please show me how am I not being professional?

  11. If you still have the original shirt, I'd be willing to sew the hole up and pay for return shipping to you. If you want, I can even pull out the entire armhole seam and restitch it on my serger.

    -- Melissa Gutierrez (oddharmonic)

  12. Looking at VP's post times, maybe she should spend less time on blogger and pay more attention to her work. I hope my bank does not try to resolve customer service issues by posting comments on my blogs.

    Busted Tee: I know this may be difficult but try this:
    1- Call the customer via their contact information
    2- Provide a replacement Tee
    3- Apologize for the crappy service after you resolve the issue.
    Good luck following these complicated steps.

  13. Busted Tees has great shirts, but their customer service sucks. Why should they care anymore? They sell hundreds of shirts a day, and IAC owns them - their offices are on freakin Park Avenue, for godssakes.

    lol by next Christmas, you'll be able to check out

    Screw the fake Valerie in this comment section!

  14. Eddie,

    Those steps have ALREADY BEEN taken. The issue here is not satisfying the customer with a replacement, the issue is that the tee shirt is backordered.
    He will have to wait for the item, or choose a new one.

    .... fake Valerie??
    Come on now! LOL


    Like i have said, your replacement order was placed but your shirt is on backorder.

  15. Not properly taking care of your customers is a disgrace. It doesn't matter if you're shipping life-saving medicines or stupid t-shirts. Do a better job for your customers.

  16. Q,

    Correction: the customer was taken care of! His replacement order was done. The issue was the item is on back order! How is that a disgrace? I cannot control when and how fast the designs are printed. I guess you are missing the point here and continue to focus on looking for the negative.

    Your task: Take care of over 4,000 customers a day (personally) so that i can see if every one of them were taken care of in a speedy time frame with no delays!

    Then comment back.

    Have a good day!


  17. Apparently informing the customer of the delay is not part of customer service. That is an interesting concept.

    I have read all the exchanges here, it is obvious Bustedtee & Co. have dropped the ball on this one. Regardless if the shirt is on backorder or not, the merchant should be the proactive one.

    If Ms. VP is not happy dealing with "4,000 customers a day personally", then perhaps she should change to another profession. It is not like she is an indentured servant to Bustedtee & Co.

  18. Fake Valerie,

    You don't process 4,000 orders a day, I know this for a fact. It's alot, but it's not close to 4,000. Don't be stupid.

    And judging by a whole lot of complaints I've read on the Internet, you suck at your job. BustedTees doesn't give a sh*t anymore - BT doesn't even fulfill its own orders. No one complains about SnorgTees' service.

    This can't be good for your case, Val:

    Better Business Bureau: Based on BBB files, this business has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau because it failed to respond to one or more complaints.

  19. This is Josh - I operate BustedTees. Please email me,, and I will personally take care of your problem.

    We messed up. Our holiday volume exceeded our expectations and a few people we're not properly taken care of. We are going to fix it, I promise!

    Please email me and I will personally make it right.


  20. tian let us know how this goes. it sounds promising, at least

  21. Busted Tees messed up a holiday order for me too.

    I ordered 8 shirts with Christmas Guaranteed Shipping and they help the entire order for one backordered shirt.

    Totally useless...

  22. That is technically their policy, but they coulda contacted you and asked you what you wanted to do. Sheeesh

  23. I am currently having problems witk BT as well. They keep giving me the run-around on my order and it wasn't even placed during the holiday rush! Its been over a month now and its still not resolved. Bastards!

  24. lol the thread that won't die. Valerie, come back!