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Wine.com


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Every year around holiday time I purchase bottles of wine as a "thank you" gift for my team at work. Usually I'm happy to go to one of the many excellent local wine stores and then have the bottles shipped to my office (usually arrives in about 3 days).

This year I was pressed for time so I ordered from Wine.com. They have a very good selection of wines, but rarely have I been so disappointed by the delivery and level of customer service. This happen to anyone else?

--No e-mail acknowledgement of my order until 3 days after I placed it.

--They promise delivery within 3 to 5 business days. It's 8 business days later, and I'm still waiting. I called to check on the order, and it hasn't even shipped yet. I deliberately placed my order ahead of the Xmas rush, but still I'm pushed to the deadline date.

--Rude customer service. When I called to check on why the order hadn't arrived in a timely fashion, the rep didn't even apologize for the delay or offer a reason for the late delivery, and implied that I was being impatient. I even heard the "click" and sudden silence on her end (there was lots of audible bustle in the background) as she placed me on mute -- twice. I can only assume it was for making a snide remark about me to another rep sitting nearby.

--If I cancel my order now, I am charged a 25% "restocking fee," even though they have violated their promises.

If anyone else is looking into using Wine.com to fill holiday gifts, I'd say turn your computer off now and RUN, don't walk, to your local wine merchant.

Edited by alacarte (log)
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This year I was pressed for time so I ordered from Wine.com...

Next time you might try Sherry Lehman as they've a fabulous collection and are NY based.

I live in N. NJ and still use 'em (freight kills me, tho'); also use Wine Access, a kind of buyers consortium where you can identify you local shop, select online, etc.

SL still has the better selection...

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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Thanks, waves, I wish I had thought of Sherry Lehman. They say hindsight is always 20-20. I've been to the SL store, and they do indeed have a great selection. They also are extraordinarily pleasant to deal with.

Maybe it's just their tony location but I always assumed they were too expensive -- do you find that the case?

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... but I always assumed they were too expensive -- do you find that the case?

As most folks on this board will attest, selection is critical; I am willing to pay nominally more, include shipping (lose tax) for breadth. Mouse around (unsung heroes, etc.) at their site and I think you'll find they are in acceptable range. Not Costco, but (donning suit; this may start flamewar)...

At least they have a capable French selection at compelling price points. American fondness for 'big wines' (higher alcohol %) and low prices have made places (er, mgmt, too...) like Wine Library cheerleaders for Aussie, Cali, etc. wines. Not that they can't be spectacular (pulled rack of pork (3 hrs) last night, pair w/ Norman's Cab Merlot; perfect) just I am firm believer in 'symphony of dining' modality.

Players need to work together for truly memorable meal, from beginning to end... {thud}

(falls off soapbox)

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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I used to be a regular customer of wine.com until they were bought out by eVinyard. The change was not for the better. I really miss the great service and reading Peter Granoff's "picks." Some of the best wines I have ever tried were a result of his recommendations.

"A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf

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Kara, I figure you could get your credit card company to cancel the purchase for cause if you choose to go that route. I'm sorry you've had such a lousy experience, and thanks for warning all of us.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Nine business days, and still counting. The order hasn't even shipped yet. When I check my account online, it says that the order has been "picked," but not shipped. What does "picked" mean?

Did I mention that they don't ship on weekends? So there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that the order would be here and waiting for me on Monday AM. (obviously not Tuesday AM either).

I e-mailed wine.com yesterday to let them know how disappointed I am, and to inquire about delivery date. It seemed only fair to at least notify them that there is a problem, and give them a chance to make things right. The e-mail hasn't even been acknowledged, not even by an automated message.

OK, enough "whining about Wine.com." Let's talk about the wine!

Here's what I ordered: Carlei - Green Vineyards 2001 Cardinia Hills Shiraz, from Australia. I hope I chose well. I usually prefer white wines like sauvignon blanc, and I have a tough time selecting reds.

Last year I selected merlot and cabernets from Coppola Vineyards. We have a team of film buffs, so I thought they might be amused by the Francis Ford Coppola connection. The wine merchant recommended the wines as well, so hopefully that worked out.

The year before I went with Chateau St. Michelle champagnes.

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This has unintentionally turned into a blog.

The wine has arrived. It's business day number nine. Not that unreasonably late, after all, although they still missed their promised deadline date. However, I would have been willing to forgive that with even a minute amount of customer service, and I probably would not have posted a public tirade against them. Never underestimate the value of customer service.

Haven't yet opened the box.

However, I can report that the box proclaims on the outside: "THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS ALCOHOL." Way to spoil the surprise! I wonder how that packaging goes over at more conservative companies...not really an issue for me, however.

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I received a gift certificate for Wine.Com last Christmas. After seeking guidance on how to spend my $50 from the eGullet community, I was urged to just order wine accessories. :blink: I finally did manage to buy one bottle of wine and one bottle opener without going over the $50. Even though the web site says that someone over 21 must sign for the deliveries in NJ, they were both left at my door. The wine came from somewhere in NJ and the bottle opener came from CA. The wine selection was limited due to whatever arrangements they have within NJ. I don't think it's a good deal for anyone who has access to a large number of liquor stores in their area. Just my opinion. :rolleyes:

KathyM

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However, I can report that the box proclaims on the outside:  "THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS ALCOHOL." Way to spoil the surprise!  I wonder how that packaging goes over at more conservative companies...not really an issue for me, however.

Well, you see, there is this law..... Gotta put the notification that the box contains alcohol because it legally can't be signed for unless the person recieving it is over 21.

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Wine.com is great for ordering wine shipped to other people in states that aren't "reciprocal," meaning they don't allow wine shipments. Since wine.com works through distributors in each state, they can ship many more places than your average wine store. However, if you are buying for yourself, they are almost useless if you have access to a local wine store.

Walt

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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So: postscript.

I finally got around to opening the boxes from wine.com. The wine was exactly what I ordered, and they arrived already within the gold fabric gift bags I had ordered, which was a nice touch. They look great, although at about $1 a bag, it's no bargain. Most wine stores throw in foil bags and ribbon for free.

In summary, the merchandise itself is fine. The delivery time was late, but within a reasonable timeframe. But the shopping experience rates a BIG thumbs-down. All they had to do was communicate with me about the shipping time, and it would have saved me from seething for four days about whether the (^*&&^$&%#)*(%# wine was ever going to make it.

This time next year, it's back to the local wine shop for me.

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  • 7 months later...

From this week's San Francisco Chronicle:

To keep Wine.com operating, Garrick hopes to raise up to $20 million in financing. Selling the Web site is also being discussed, he said.

Industry experts said possible buyers include Barry Diller's HSN television shopping channel, 1-800-Flowers and a private investment firm.

So does this mean I can expect flowers, wine, and an all-purpose mandeline that chops, dices and has AM/FM reception for Mother's Day?

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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From this week's San Francisco Chronicle:
To keep Wine.com operating, Garrick hopes to raise up to $20 million in financing. Selling the Web site is also being discussed, he said.

Industry experts said possible buyers include Barry Diller's HSN television shopping channel, 1-800-Flowers and a private investment firm.

This is company in apparent distres, perhaps severe. It is no wonder that telephone and online customer service are so bad. It isn't just surliness, or the wrong people on the job, but a genuine fear that the job may soon be gone.

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