It's always particularly upsetting to have a bad experience with a brand you really love because then your desire for more things from that brand starts to battle with your bad experience. This is doubly so when the customer service and experience is so bad that any other brand would have lost your custom permanently.
I still don't know whether I will order from OMOCAT again. I know this was a unique situation - I managed to catch them during the perfect storm - and I daresay no one will have quite as terrible of an experience as I did (and I'm sure they will not miss my custom).
But it still sucks, having intended to be a repeat customer, to be here questioning whether I want to risk another purchase experience.
First the positives - I love the Fishboy crewneck design, I love the cute little OMOCAT tag and I really love the fleece lining on the inside. It insulates the crewneck to actually provide some warmth, makes it very comfortable to wear but it's very light so it can be worn in warmer months as well.
I ordered the M size, which was very roomy and is long enough that I can just wear it with leggings. The only problem with wearing it as a shirt-dress is that the bottom is slightly elastic so it creates a bit of a balloon effect from the side.
The design, as beautiful as it is, is pretty stiff on the crewneck (I think it was ironed on or stuck on afterwards but I'm not sure) and has the smooth texture of dried acrylic paint. There was a little bit of roughness at the hemline due to the extra bits of 'print'. I'm a little nervous about washing it because it feels like the design can very easily chip off after multiple washes (or even if you fold the shirt the wrong way). We'll have to see how long it lasts.
Now the sad thing is... I ordered this in November 2013.
This literally took almost eight months to get to me and it's not even the edition I ordered. I ordered the Fishboy Bloody Limited Edition crewneck that was being sold around Christmas 2013. Shipping was around 2 - 4 weeks so it should have been waiting for me when I came from from Japan in mid-December.
It wasn't. OMOCAT does not ship their items with tracking numbers so even if it was some problem with customs on my end, I had no way of checking what had happened.
- December: I emailed their customer service mid-December and was told on December 21 that I could get a refund or be put on priority restock. I chose priority restock and asked about sizing. That email went unanswered but it was Christmas period so I let it slide, assuming they would contact me when it was restocked.
- January: I emailed again and they apologised, saying they would send the crewneck 'by this week'. No sweater arrived
- February & March: I sent another email to customer service and to OMOCAT herself on Twitter and Tumblr. OMOCAT had a great attitude every time I contacted her (though I was also being as courteous and understanding as possible) but, inevitably, two or three message exchanges later, she would stop replying until I contacted her again.I admit I let it slip my mind those months - it didn't affect my daily life and it was not a huge purchase and I felt petty getting all up-in-arms about it. I also admit that I was very patient because of my love for OMOCAT's work and also because I could see that it was a small business clearly in the middle of going through huge changes
- But late April rolled around and it was getting beyond ridiculous. This time, no letting up. I contacted OMOCAT repeatedly on Tumblr, sent LONG detailed emails through their new customer service form, explaining the whole story and asking them to get back to me ASAP. I had to keep chasing OMOCAT for updates every few days on Tumblr. As I understand it, she's not actually managing her shop so she had to chase it up with the shop staff. It was like playing phone tag.
Frankly, it was appalling - I got no reply from the 'official' customer service until mid-June for an email I sent in April. Even as a person, radio silence is a hugely invalidating thing but you would expect a store that's rising in popularity to only get better at its customer service. Especially for a customer who had already been waiting around half a year.
When the first girl contacted me on June 13, she apologised, explaining they had changed management for customer service. She said they would send the sweater with upgraded shipping to UPS Worldwide (with a tracking number) that arrive in '9 business days'. I replied, thanking them and saying I hoped a speedy treatment would be a mitigating factor to this review.
3 days later, the shipping confirmation email was still missing. I knew better than to wait it out. I immediately emailed them and got a stock reply saying cheerfully that it was shipped via the 'International/Worldwide Standard' and 'orders take approximately 2 - 5 weeks to arrive'.
I replied to this, showing them the promise to upgrade the shipping and finally, another employee (Jennifer M, thank you!) replied to my email, apologised for the entire situation and said she would personally monitor the new package sent via express post. After another 6 days' wait, I finally got it.
Unfortunately, not even the Bloody Edition I ordered. But, at this point, I'll take what I can get.
I want to reiterate that it brings me no joy to write about this but I can't be honest about this product without including what happened. A business is built on how it treats its customers and having an eye for detail is particularly important if you already have an unhappy customer.
If anything, I really hope my experience highlights how, sometimes, you can't be too patient and need to fight persistently for yourself - or else the title of this post might have been 'the never-delivered Fishboy'.