Top online retailers for customer service, shipping, returns, and more

I know when I call a company, I’m usually trying to get the bottom of an issue. If I don’t get a person on the line quickly, I get pretty frustrated. It’s a game whether you are calling your credit card company, a retailer, or your doctor’s office. Today, I had to call my doctor three times to get to the voicemail box that would allow me to leave a message that could take care of my basic needs. Who knows if I’ll ever get a call back.

STELLAService conducted a test to see which top retailer has the best customer service.  STELLAService made 1200 calls, emails, and mystery shopping interactions with 100 top retailers. Six phone calls and emails were placed to each retailer during different parts of the day and on different days of the week. The company looked at online tools, shipping, delivery, returns, and customer service to find the best online retailer.

Sierra Trading Post had the shortest hold time at just six seconds. YOOX, Disney Store, and Urban Outfitters also did exceptionally well with wait times below 20 seconds. The average wait time for the top 100 retailers was one minute and 41 seconds. According to STELLAService, Barnes and Noble fared the worst with an average wait time over eight minutes.

When it comes to emails, two companies responded within an hour including Office Depot and Musicians Friend. The average wait time was 17 hours, but it took Crate and Barrel nearly four days to respond in the email test.

Most customers won’t need to call for help, or at least shouldn’t need to call for help when they buy a product, but customer service is an important component to consider when purchasing a product. This is especially important when the purchase is through a lesser known company. Check reviews to see if customers got what they ordered, and if they had any problems with customer service.

Call hold times and email reply times are just two of the 350 measurements used to determine a company’s rating. Elite, excellent, approved, and not approved ratings can be found next to a list of companies. 1-800-FLOWERS and 1-800 Contacts, American Eagle and others earned Elite awards. When you select a company, you can read about the company, its policies, and its response.

Click here to see how how your favorite retailer was rated