Taebo Troubles

The events about to unfold are true. The names were NOT changed to protect the innocent.

Background/Friday 3/30/07
I’ve done Taebo for years. I love the Billy Blanks Taebo workouts and do Billy’s Cardio BootCamp DVD three times a week fairly religiously. Back when I ordered it, it was part of a complete BootCamp set that came with these “Billy Bands” used for the resistance training portion of the DVDs. Mine became defective and during the Cardio DVD Billy says right in the video “If your bands break, that’s ok, just call us and we’ll get you new bands.” … so why would there be a problem, right? Since it was the start of the weekend and Customer Service wasn’t open on the weekend, I went ahead and sent an email to Customer Service to ask about how I would go about getting my defective Billy Bands replaced and figured they’d get back to me on Monday. Then I started browsing the website to see what new products they had. Wow! They had a new set called AMPED that looked really great. I decided that I wanted to order that as well, but I had problems ordering on the website because my VISA is U.S. based even though I am living in Canada now. Since my addresses didn’t match, I wasn’t able to proceed online. With it being late on a Friday, I decided I’d just wait until Monday and call and place the order all together over the phone where I could explain why my VISA address didn’t match my shipping address and order the replacement bands. I figured if I could talk to a human being it’d be ten times easier to place the order. WRONG.

Monday 4/2/07
I got up Monday morning and remembered that I wanted to order the new Taebo set, AMPED, and that I also wanted to get my defective Billy Bands replaced. Because of the order complications I’d had with the website, I called Customer Service to place the order.

I go to call and try to order AMPED. I tried to place the order using my existing account so I could get the Billy Bands replaced and order the new AMPED set, but because I’ve moved out of the country, the Customer Service agent I talked to was having problems. She could see my account, but it seemed to be too difficult a task for her to update my address and whatnot. I could barely understand her, and I’m not sure she totally understood me. I was unable to complete the order on the phone. Frustrated, I messaged Lucas at work about how retarded just placing a simple order was. He said he’d place the order online with his card instead, and so I gave him the link.

A few minutes later, Lucas asks me if I want the “extra bonus pack” of stuff for AMPED. I didn’t, but by the time I had a chance to tell him that he said nevermind, because he was unable to remove the items and felt tricked into adding the bonus materials with no way to remove them or see a shopping cart before placing the order. He clicked through, thinking that he’d get a way to see his cart and make the adjustments, but it flipped to a “thank you” page with an order number and that was it. Instead of being a $40 set with S&H, it turned into some $100 order, which was NOT what we wanted.

Because Lucas was at work, I offered to call Customer Service right away and adjust the order. I called within an hour of him placing the order and talked to a very unfriendly woman who quickly cut me off (and ignored my complaint about the website set up) and told me that I would have to call back on Thursday or early on Friday before the order would even be seen in their system. 3-4 DAYS before an order placed would even show up on their computers? That seemed stupid to me, but I made a note to myself to call back on Thursday to cancel the bonus stuff. Lucas also sent an email to Customer Service that said he did not want the bonus stuff and to remove it from his order and confirm by phone or email before processing the order. So we wait.

Wednesday 4/4/07
Lucas comes home from work and checks his email. What do you know? There is an email from Taebo/Billy Blanks that says “Thanks for your order!” blah blah blah…. that his order was being processed. No reply to his email that said NOT to process the order until they had removed the bonus stuff and confirmed with him. This was around 6:20pm MST. Worried that we’d not be able to adjust the order properly, I checked the website, which says their Customer Service department was open until 9pm EST. My parents are in EST, so I’m very familiar with the fact that’s 2 hours ahead of us. At 6:20pm MST it was 8:20pm EST. I had 40 minutes to call Customer Service. I grabbed my phone and called. Guess what I got? A voice mail recording of Billy Blanks saying “Our Customer Service is currently closed. Call back during normal business hours.” … you’ve gotta be kidding me? I grumble some MORE and decide that when I do finally get ahold of someone the next day, as originally planned, that I would completely cancel the ENTIRE order. Screw this. Their horrid Customer Service lost them a customer and we weren’t paying a dime to them after how complicated they’d made all of this.

Taebo Customer Service Contact InfoOn top of this I checked my email and I finally had a reply from Customer Service about the email I’d sent back on Friday the 30th. In the email I had asked about how I would go about replacing my defective Billy Bands. The email said:“Dear Lesley,
Thank you for your email. We only warranty the bands for one year as they are rubber and can break. In order to find your account I would need the zip code you used to place the order. If you email me that information and you are within one year, please email me the address to send a replacement to.”


What? Only a 1 year replacement? I don’t remember anything about that back in 2005, nor does Billy say on his videos that there is only a 1 year warranty. I mean, he does say right in the middle of the video I do all the time that if my bands break I can just call and get new ones. No fine print, no “oh ya, but only for 1 year.” … what the hell? Fine. Just one more frustration to add to my list for this company. False advertising, anyone? Or at the very least… SNEAKY. I mean… if you’re going to tell your loyal customers and followers that you’ll replace their bands, you should probably include ALL of the information, you know, like how there’s a limited time warranty on that.

Thursday 4/5/07
Bright and early I called Customer Service. I got another woman who was hard to understand, and she spent a good 10 minutes going over our account information because she wasn’t finding the account at all. Then she told me that it was time for her break. She said “It’s my break now, so I will forward all of your information to my supervisor in 15 minutes when my break is over and he will call Colorado and find out what’s going on.” … what? Ya. I mean, I hate to interrupt your 15 minute break and all, but it’s your Customer Service that’s been yanking our chains and making this so difficult in the first place. She tells me to call back in the afternoon and to ask to speak to a supervisor when I called back to confirm that things were “taken care of with Colorado.” Whatever that means. So angrily I hang up and wait several hours.Around 1pm I call Customer Service again. This time answered by Ivan. I started by telling him I was instructed to ask for a supervisor. He was like “um ya” but didn’t give me to one. He started asking for my account information. As he, too, was clarifying name, order number, postal code, etc. he started acting as though he was not able to find my account. I sighed heavily and said “This is why I was told to ask to speak to a supervisor… I’ve already talked with Customer Service today and was told to call back and ask for a supervisor who was supposed to handle my issue this morning.” Ivan refused to give me to a supervisor, and instead futzed around with the system some more. Then he decided to check ANOTHER system. Ah ha! There was our information. Unfortunately, the information had to be showing up on HIS system in order for him to cancel it. I was fuming by now. He asked why I wanted to cancel the order, and I gave it to him. He didn’t seem too concerned with my frustrations with the company or the trouble I’ve dealt with each and every time I’ve had an interaction with someone about this issue. He then told me that I would have to call back on Monday. I flipped out. “So you mean on Monday I was told to call back today, I called this morning and then I was then told to call back again this afternoon, and NOW you’re talling me I have to call back AGAIN on MONDAY?!”, to which he said yes. I told him “That’s ridiculous” and he laughed at me and said “No, that’s not ridiculous.” … Let’s just say that Ivan was lucky that he was nowhere near me at that moment. I was so angry at the complete lack of organization and professionalism by this company that I couldn’t see straight. He said “This isn’t the first time that this scenario has happened.” It was MY turn to laugh as I said “I’m not surprised, I can see why.” I was very angry. I hung up. And now I am supposed to call on Monday to cancel the order. Oh, and by the way… it MAY not even be available to cancel then, either, according to Ivan.

Lucas suggested that the Billy Blanks/Taebo Customer Service must be outsourced to other countries. I think he’s right; I couldn’t understand anyone that I spoke to each time I called, and they all had another common theme: they didn’t care. They could care less about customer frustrations and they didn’t seem to care at all that they’ve messed up every step of the way and turned what should’ve been incredibly simple into such a shitfest that it’s caused Billy Blanks to lose a customer. And according to Ivan, I’m not the first to be in this scenario, and I’m positive I won’t be the last. I truly want to believe that this Customer Service is outsourced and that the Taebo company would never treat their customers this way, but I don’t know. I’ve been an avid Taebo fan for years now, and it’s really disappointing to be treated this way and to have to go through all of this over what should’ve been a simple order of their product.

I know you’ll be hanging on to the edge of your seats waiting for the next chapter to unfold on Monday, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait like me. Oh, make that Tuesday since they’ll probably be closed on Monday due to Easter. Maybe, maybe not. Guess it depends on where I’m calling since Monday is I think technically a holiday here, too. We’ll see. Have a Happy Easter weekend. :)