Sunday, March 2, 2008

If you can avoid it

NEVER shop at

After posting about my Best Buy experience yesterday, I felt obligated to finish telling the story about the business I reported to the here it is:

Up until recently, I was a faithful buyer of twice. They had reasonable prices, fast turn around...holy cow, it was AWESOME!


I placed an order for the two restaurant locations that we're working on building. This time it was for surveillance system equipment. I needed some cameras and some power supplies for said cameras. Placed the order, paid for it, got an order confirmation, everything was hunky-dory.

Then I got a call. Michelle wanted to verify my order and I needed to call her back at a number she provided. So I did. And I reached a voicemail mailbox that did not identify who I was calling but only said "extension 1-1-2 is not available" and instructed me either press 9 to exit voicemail or wait to leave a message. Well...considering this is a BUSINESS - you would think that someone else could either help me or point me to someone ELSE who could help me. Not only that, but I had no indicator that I even dialed ANTonline...this could be a scam. I dialed 9. the number was legit, because I then entered the auto-attendant for and listened to the choices and finally selected the option for customer service. I explained that I had placed an order, that according to their website, my order had left the warehouse and was sitting at the shipping hub. I also explained that Michelle had left me a message saying she needed to verify something on my order and wondered if there was someone else who could help me because she was not available.

Apparently, ineptitude runs deep at because the person I was talking to not only did not know who Michelle was, but could not tell me ANYTHING about my order that I didn't already know. She could not transfer me to anyone who knew anything about my order that I didn't already know because they can't do that.


She tells me that her recommendation is to call Michelle's number again and see if Michelle can give me any information about my order to prove that she was indeed from I told her that the same number I used to try to reach Michelle was the same number that I used to reach her.


I think she used her brain-cell (singular) quota for the day.

So I called Michelle the same irritating voicemail mailbox...but I left a message this time with my cell phone number (she had called my desk phone the first time and I was out of the office) and asked her to call me back.

No calls. I called a few additional times throughout the day to see if I could get through. No luck.

I get an email a day or two later that says "My name is Michelle and I've been trying to reach you." as if she tried more than once. She told me I needed to call her right away on the same phone number she left on my voicemail. The email came from so I figured a response to the email would be fruitless, but I responded anyway. I explained that I had already tried calling her SEVERAL times and that I had even left a message with my cell number. I left my cell number in the email and sent it off. I then attempted to call AGAIN. No luck.

A few minutes later I got a response! It was an AUTORESPONSE! It said, "Thank you for contacting customer support at Please accept this email as acknowledgment of your support inquiry." It went on to tell me how I can track orders and all kinds of other CRAP. I couldn't BELIEVE that they sent an autoresponse like that to a REPLY on an email that THEY SENT! I contemplated trying to use telekinesis to force every person involved so far to smash their shin up against something hard and painful or force them to pour vinegar in their eyes...but unfortunately I have not yet mastered the art of telekinesis.

This went on for a few days and I was starting to get irritated that they hadn't shipped my order yet. Especially since I couldn't answer whatever question they had because they were not reachable. I had, in the past few days, talked to a few more inept ANTonline call center idiots who all told me the same thing. They couldn't transfer me, they couldn't answer my questions, they didn't know what Michelle needed to ask. They offer to submit a support ticket to see what the delay is and I tell them that the problem is their support team is non-responsive and I'm tired of waiting for them to call me back.

By this point I was pretty irritated and talking not-so-nicely to the people at the call center. My assistant chimes in and offers to call in like he has no idea what's going on to see if he can find out the status of the order. He does and they tell him the same status that's on their website (because they are probably using the same interface as we are to find the status) and say that they can submit a support ticket to see what the delay is. He allows them to do so.

I get an email a few hours later. It says nothing more than "This order cannot be processed and has been refunded."

That's it. Verbatim. No explanation. No apology. NOTHING.

I call in AGAIN. This time I have a bright idea. Instead of going through customer service, I go through sales. I get someone who sounds more intelligent (probably because they care about selling to people...just not supporting them). This guy looks up my order, explains to me that Michelle works in accounting and wanted to verify information on my credit card (that they had charged before she ever called me), but that she had already found what she needed.


Apparently the item was out of stock. I pull up their website which conveniently shows how many are in stock. I ordered 16 cameras. At the time of order there were 31 in stock. Now there are showing 24 in stock. Just in case my mental math fails me on that, I check with a calculator...yep...24 minus 16 really does equal 8...there should still be a surplus of 8 cameras. Trying to be polite so that I don't make matters worse at this point I calmly ask, "So when do you think you WILL be able to fill my order?"

I kid you not. He said, "look, we have seven warehouses nation-wide so unless we just get a massive shipment of these cameras, we'll never be able to fill your order."

It took everything I had not to convert myself into an electric signal and force myself through the phone lines so I could jump out of his phone or headset and strangle him with the cord.

You would think that with seven warehouses, they could CONSOLIDATE and get me my order...that is, after all, what you do when you're in business to MAKE MONEY.

Not according to this salesman. I told him I wanted a manager or supervisor to call me and he said "no one is going to be able to do anything for you" and basically ended the call there. I replied to the vague "your order has been refunded" email and demanded that someone call me. I also went onto their website and submitted a support request explaining the situation and asked that someone call me.

I get an email a few hours later that says (paraphrased),

"Our Texas warehouse is misreporting on the website. We have reported it to our support team. We are sorry for any confusion but no amount of phone calls or emails will change this until we have more stock." That last sentence is word-for-word. On top of being inept, now they turn to being antagonistic.

I reported them to the Better Business Bureau and said that it was unacceptable that they were willing to charge over $800 to my credit card immediately but that they were not willing to talk to me about what happened. I was upset because their customer service was extremely poor and there was not one single returned phone call.

Their response? The forwarded the antagonistic email. The BBB asked if I accepted their response. I very verbosely explained to them WHY I did not accept that response. ANTonline responded again by saying that the credit card was refunded.

I was too busy to respond again in the few days it took before the BBB closed the case. But you know's not worth my time anymore. I'll just post this blog and hopefully people doing a search for ANTonline or ANTonline sucks or ANTonline reviews will stumble upon my blog and learn just what a miserable company they really are.

But I don't hold a grudge! PPPFFFFFFFTTTT.


Crystal said...

Reporting to the BBB is a waste of time anyway.

The Rock Chick said...

This is exactly why regularly nice and normal people snap and drop boxes of broken furniture pieces inside a showroom.

I think the furniture place has sent all of their employees over there!

CBlogger said...

This place is a rip-off and I wouldn't trust them at all. I am not saying this as a buyer from them, but as a former employee. First, let me set the record straight. I did not get fired or laid off or let go or anything of the sort. I left on my own free will. Second, I was not a bad employee, stupid, or lazy. In fact, I worked for this company for less than two weeks. Now usually two weeks is not much time to make a sound judgement of a job, but this place showed some serious problems to me immediately. On my
8th day at work, after busting my butt, and doing nothing but reading and sending approx. 700-800 emails per day, the owners called me into their office and told me that they were cutting my salary, that they were not going to pay me what they promised first they threatened to cut my pay by as much as $8000 but then decided $5000 would be ok for them. Remember, this was after I had been on the job for less than TWO WEEKS. They claimed that I needed to prove myself. That I wasn't doing as well as the other management employees. Here is the kicker: I wasn't aware I was a management employee...nobody had ever mentioned this to me, nor had they mentioned what was expected of me. Also, and not to knock the people who work there, but the other "managers" in my department were all about 21-25 years old, with little to no work experience and some of them still in school, and not graduate school. A large number of them only had two years degrees, and once specifically was not even finished with his two yeard degree. Now, I have nothing against any of the employees there, and I am sure they are intelligent, capable people. However, I highly doubt that my performance at sending emails was not what it should be. And, even if my performance was not as good, it was my 8th day of work! What employer cuts a brand new employees pay on the 8th day of employment when that employee is working hard completing the tasks asked of them. This news of my pay being cut and my performance came out of nowehere. I can understand if I had been a bad eomployee, laying around in my cubicle, painting my nails and smacking my gum...but I was doing all I was told to do and working as hard as I possibly could, given the fact that when I started they gave me no job title, no job description, and didn't tell me what they expected from me...They simplu sat me down in front of a computer with another person and told me what to click and what to send. I truly feel like they suckered me into this place by telling me I would receive a high salary then decided they could screw me over by cutting my pay on my 8th day of employment b/c they thought I was desperate for work. Additionally, the CFO, the owners wife, proceeded to insult me by stating that I can't just come to work and look pretty and drink coffee while sitting at my desk, and fly inder the radar. She also told me, condescendingly, in reference to replying to emails, "Use your gut, and your instincts when replying, YOUR FAIRLY INTELLIGENT". At this point
I was in complete shock. I may not be a genius, and don't pretend to be, but I am teachable, smart, and hard working. This company is B.S. They use fake names when they correspond with customers, and they basically lie about a lot of the things they do. One of these things is telling customers that they are putting a tracer on a lost package, when in fact they don't, they just tell people that and then do nothing. They are under scrutiny by the Attorney General and the BBB, and it seems like every email I read from customers was about a product that was broken or not the product they ordered. I can see this happening a few times, but not 8 out of 10 times. Don't buy from them or work for them. They are scammers, and rip-off artists, who want to keep their millions while screwing other people at any cost to those other people. After all of the strange events that went on while I was employeed with them, I resigned on my 10th day of working there.