Four weeks prior to Christmas, 2015, I ordered a t-shirt for my son from the NFL Shop Online – the only gift he specifically requested, as he’s pretty easy to please. I was happy to receive an email within 24 hours confirming it would ship on December 7, well in advance of the Holiday. Two weeks later the t-shirt had yet to arrive.
On December 11, I received an email from NFL Shop Online, apologizing for a delay in shipping; and on December 18, I received another email which stated “we think we’ve shipped it… check your inbox to see if you have a tracking link from UPS”. I received the same email mysteriously on December 21. Surely they knew if they’d shipped their product, from their warehouse? Apparently not.
Within the email on December 21 was a link, “should you wish to cancel the order, due to the delay” – which I clicked on, canceling the order as it would not arrive before December 24. It was pretty obvious that they were overwhelmed with orders – despite sending me new emails promoting delivery by December 24 every day from December 8 through December 20; and I had zero confidence that it would arrive in time, or, that they knew what they were doing.
On December 21, I sent copies of every email to Roger Goodell at the NFL, cc several contacts at the Carolina Panthers, including the owner, and quarterback, Cam Newton. As the Commissioner and a guy that earns $44 million a year on the back of running the organization that creaming millions of dollars in profits from NFL Shop Online, I thought he’d be interested in fixing the issue. I sent packages via FedEx, to ensure delivery.
Ten days later, the shirt arrived! Ten days after canceling, and to ensure the NFL squeezed those last few dollars of revenue into fiscal year, 2015. Hey, maybe that sale even helped Mr. Goodell get his end of year bonus, to complement his $44 million salary. Even the Commissioner must need a couple of extra bucks to help with gifts under the tree on Christmas morning…
Needless to say, I returned the t-shirt.
Two weeks passed, before two amazing things happened:
- The NFL Store finally credited my card
- I received a call from the owner’s office at the Carolina Panthers. Disappointed to hear that the NFL Shop Online did not know how to execute on a simple T-shirt purchase, they would be sending a small package of gratitude to my son to thank him for supporting the team. Three days later it arrived! A Cam Newton jersey, a signed photo, and a poster of the team. Amazing.
A month after my FedEx package arrived on his desk, Mr. Goodell has yet to even have someone in his office pick up the phone. Not surprised. One thing I do have to say is that my experience dealing with him and his NFL staff has been consistent. Consistently poor at best.
So if you’re considering buying anything for a loved one from the NFL Shop Online for Christmas, 2016 – order TODAY to ensure delivery before the Holidays! You’ll thank me for this advice when you eventually receive the goodies! And hey, maybe I’ll even hear from Roger by then… but I doubt it!
Have you had a similar experience? We would love to hear it. Feel free to comment below or drop me a line directly.
-David Sly, President