IS TW Slipping?

1stVolley

Professional
I've been a long time customer of TW and, until recently, a very satisfied customer. Unfortunately, in the last year or so I've experienced a variety of issues with order fulfillment and customer service which is troubling. So was the new website rollout.

For instance, a racket order that was supposed to be fulfilled from the Georgia warehouse needed fulfillment from the California one. No problem--except that no one handling the order saw the requested switch by the Georgia folks and my order sat in limbo until I realized something was wrong and alerted TW. It was clear that no one was tracking the order.

With demo orders, I realize that requesting multiple rackets may greatly delay shipment (if one is out of stock), so I'm careful to request rackets that are marked "in stock". I did just this recently and, even though the two rackets were marked "in stock" and the order showed that they would be shipped today, that didn't happen. I called TW and the customer service person fumbled around, switched phones, forgot my order number, and basically said that one racket was on backorder. If it really was a backorder situation, that should have been reflected in the demo ordering pages and the estimated ship date should have reflected this. This isn't a major catastrophe but it is a sign of sloppy execution. If the website says something is in stock, it should be in stock. With a limited time to demo a racket, a delay in shipment can reduce that time for various reasons (a forecasted stretch of bad weather, other commitments, etc.).

I had to wait about 10 minutes to hear the news about my demo delay because I never get a person on the other line in less time than that. Given that caller activity is so high you'd think TW would put out a message saying what the anticipated caller wait time would be. Instead, they play the same "Your call is important to us" message every 10 or 15 seconds. I've tried emailing them and that has proven to be a lost cause. Other busy companies provide a call back option.

Then there are the ever more frequent announcements about new racket order delays because of increased volume. These have gone now to a "healthy" 3-4 days. Not enough stringers?

The new website rollout was, in my professional opinion (I was an IT manager for years), poorly executed. Did I miss an announcement about the rollout? Was any user input solicited? And the design violates some basic web construction principles, like text and graphics layout that should guide the eye down the page. Some functional placements defy common sense.

I hope management reads this post and takes corrective action. It's a shame to see this creeping lack of good business execution.
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
During the last year we’ve had a pandemic and major shipping lines disrupted, so that could be a part of it.
So,

While everyone was sitting around twiddling their thumbs management said, "Hey, let's implement a website overhaul no one asked for by a design firm with (obviously) zero skill in the subject domain—what can go wrong?"

I understand the supply chain issues, I think we all do, but many of the elements the OP hinted at lie beyond the scope of those effects.

And the Return Policy change—which truly set TW apart from the crowd—is now Just Like All The Other Shops.

I don't know if owners and managers are one and the same in their org charts but if not and I was an owner I'd be looking for new management.

My 2¢.
 
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Babolast

Legend
I have been a supporter and customer of this site for over 15 years. I asked a simple question but was denied a answer.

My disappointment is exceptional. I really feel undervalued.

Not a good feeling.
 

sportmac

Hall of Fame
There's very little difference in prices between the tennis sites. The pluses of TW was the returns and the reviews. Love the reviews.

Now that they have this ridiculous website and have changed their return policy why stay here? Reviews are useful no matter where we buy from.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
Sorry, but to the people complaining that their new return policy sucks, you're probably part of the reason they had to change it. 3 months isn't long enough for you to decide if you want to return a new, unused item or not? 3 months free return shipping with no qualifiers or conditions is still far better than other shops. A full year as it was before was just ridiculously generous and prone to customer abuse, and was never going to last. I mean, how many online retailers will ship you a bunch of shoes for free, and let you return as many as you want for free? That's insane, they must lose a lot of money every year just shipping shoes and other crap out to people to try who end up not keeping much or anything at all. Other shops require your initial purchase value or minimum purchase value to still be above a certain $$ to ensure the transaction is still profitable.

Website overhauls are always going to be bumpy; no website is perfect, and naturally new flaws will stand out. There will be initial complaints purely because it's different, then the actual things that need to be fixed will hopefully get addressed. So far it's a lot better for mobile, but for desktop it's a lot more unnecessary scrolling and navigation compared to how it was before, I agree there are some issues there. But honestly, why are people complaining that TW didn't announce to its users they were going to change the website? It's not like it's standard practice for any website to put a huge banner to warn users "hey our website is about to change, just letting you know so you don't freak out". since when is companies pre-announcing a website overhaul a thing?
 

1stVolley

Professional
....
Website overhauls are always going to be bumpy; no website is perfect, and naturally new flaws will stand out. There will be initial complaints purely because it's different, then the actual things that need to be fixed will hopefully get addressed. So far it's a lot better for mobile, but for desktop it's a lot more unnecessary scrolling and navigation compared to how it was before, I agree there are some issues there. But honestly, why are people complaining that TW didn't announce to its users they were going to change the website? It's not like it's standard practice for any website to put a huge banner to warn users "hey our website is about to change, just letting you know so you don't freak out". since when is companies pre-announcing a website overhaul a thing?
As an IT programmer and manager, I've been a part of numerous software and website rollouts. An announcement PLUS a heads up on how to do the basic things under the new system is an essential requirement if you don't want egg on your face. The best strategy is to put up a demo website and ask for feedback. This not only catches embarrassing errors and oversights but increases customer satisfaction because they've been involved in the design rather than being the victims of it. As far as correcting things after the fact, the old carpenter's maxim had it right: measure twice, cut once. In this case "measuring" involves user testing and feedback.
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
Well,

I'm ready to spend over $900 on a gear refresh ... but I can't get anyone on the phone without waiting my a** off.

We'll see if my email is answered by morning (Pacific). Things are not boding well, I say clearly.

/Acey
 

Curtennis

Semi-Pro
The new website is absolute rubbish but I think you’re being a little too Whiney with the other subjects. One order fell through the cracks. Yeah it’s sucks, it got fixed.
The demos are of course tricky for them to manage. Perhaps it turned out the one you wanted was found damaged, needed restrung, etc maybe that’s why it’s on back order
 

1stVolley

Professional
The new website is absolute rubbish but I think you’re being a little too Whiney with the other subjects. One order fell through the cracks. Yeah it’s sucks, it got fixed.
The demos are of course tricky for them to manage. Perhaps it turned out the one you wanted was found damaged, needed restrung, etc maybe that’s why it’s on back order
Well, at least a half dozen times I've waited a good 10 min on hold for a customer service rep. Lots of heads up internet firms will tell you how many callers are ahead of you, what the estimated wait time is, and give you the chance to get a call back from the vendor without losing your place in line.

The demo process could be improved in a number of ways. One big improvement would be to ship you what demo rackets in your order they do have ready to ship and give you the opportunity to get the missing one(s) with an extra charge or to just scratch these missing ones. Right now, any of the demos requested that are in house are released to others if they requested them before your missing racket(s) come back in house.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
As an IT programmer and manager, I've been a part of numerous software and website rollouts. An announcement PLUS a heads up on how to do the basic things under the new system is an essential requirement if you don't want egg on your face. The best strategy is to put up a demo website and ask for feedback. This not only catches embarrassing errors and oversights but increases customer satisfaction because they've been involved in the design rather than being the victims of it. As far as correcting things after the fact, the old carpenter's maxim had it right: measure twice, cut once. In this case "measuring" involves user testing and feedback.
Nahhhhhh it's easier to just do QA in prod with real end users :)
 

TennisManiac

Hall of Fame
"Is TW slipping"

Well... the last two questions I posted in this forum were never answered. So I'd say yes, they're either slipping or becoming very ignorant.
 

Yamin

Professional
TW is one of the greatest companies. Employees are always respectful, they go above and beyond to give us great customer service, provide additional data, opportunities, a forum, and insights that no other company does.

They have some issues with old systems which they are trying to improve (it is clear they are trying to improve / modernize their process and site) but people are immediately jumping down their throats when they're trying to make these changes....

I've never had an issue with TW that they didn't make right. Relax and give it time.
 
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Your issue is a tennis racquet demo that did not go to plan… have you asked for the manager?

by the way, the company you’re whining about is the company that is providing you with a free platform to express this garbage.
 

srvnvly

Hall of Fame
TW is one of the greatest companies. Employees are always respectful, they go above and beyond to give us great customer service, provide additional data, opportunities, a forum, and insights that no other company does.

They have some issues with old systems which they are trying to improve (it is clear they are trying to improve their process and become more modern) but people are immediately jumping down their throats when they're trying to make these improvements....

I've never had an issue with TW that they didn't make right. Relax and give it time.
This. TW has set such a high standard that when we experience things we don’t like - longer wait times on calls, new website rollout that has left many of us scratching our heads. Yamin is right: It will get better. There is a separate thread for bugs for the new site that they are addressing, and I have faith they will address other customer service issues. But we have to have patience, and offer real suggestions instead of complaining and threatening to leave on their (as PaddyDutch nailed it) their free discussion platform.
 

1stVolley

Professional
Your issue is a tennis racquet demo that did not go to plan… have you asked for the manager?

by the way, the company you’re whining about is the company that is providing you with a free platform to express this garbage.
If you took the 10 seconds to read all of my OP you'd see I was talking about more than just a demo. BTW do you like waiting 5 days for a strung racket as the latest TW advisory states?
 
If you took the 10 seconds to read all of my OP you'd see I was talking about more than just a demo. BTW do you like waiting 5 days for a strung racket as the latest TW advisory states?
Sometimes stuff goes wrong.

I agree with the website comments, not that it’s bad, but with the beta testing etc. The rest is first world problems.

I have no problem with 5 days. It’s not like going without food. It’s a racquet….
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
I am disappointed with the website changes for sure. Less information is displayed at once for your eyes so you have to scroll more and click to expand stuff that should already be visible. Also, the demoing system is very much a mess now (in design and function). The site is more annoying to navigate than it was.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Website is a pain to navigate, especially for things like written TW reviews. That said, TW would have to really blow things with orders for me to look at another tennis retailer. There's nothing in town where I live, TW maintains TT, and I can't remember a bad experience with TW. If they're slipping, I haven't noticed. I'm not a very "high maintenance" customer, though. Pleasing me is perhaps easier than people complaining in this thread. To each his own.
 

1stVolley

Professional
Sometimes stuff goes wrong.

I agree with the website comments, not that it’s bad, but with the beta testing etc. The rest is first world problems.

I have no problem with 5 days. It’s not like going without food. It’s a racquet….
If you're willing to wait 5 days for a racket, I think you are more mature than I am. I am a racketaholic and every day more I have to wait for that promise of a better tennis game for a few $$ is a day with tennis indigestion.
 
If you're willing to wait 5 days for a racket, I think you are more mature than I am. I am a racketaholic and every day more I have to wait for that promise of a better tennis game for a few $$ is a day with tennis indigestion.
For a moment I was going to tell you this is pathetic. But I’m not going to lie, “Tennis indigestion” had me LOL :-D

all good mate
 

Turbo-87

Legend
I placed a racquet order on 9/5 and still no updates from them. I understand there are delays with stringing, but 10 days and not even a hint of it being shipped is disappointing. I'll be patient.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
If you're willing to wait 5 days for a racket, I think you are more mature than I am.
I buy most of my rackets, and I have and have had a bunch, off of E B A Y and the few I have purchased from TW always arrive faster than those off of E B A Y so racket shipping times are relatively meaningless to me. However, strings are different. The only places that sell tennis strings in this town are Dick's and Academy Sports, and as far as tennis string choices they are both "dick's." So I have to deal with mail order strings. I am somewhat shocked that OGSM 18g reels can only be purchased through TW. Not that that is an issue but I am just surprised that no one else sells that string in that gauge by the reel on-line in the US. Although I have no clue whether Gosen markets that string in colors other "natural," Natural is the only color available in that gauge thru TW. I would like a reel each of black and white 18g OGSM but have no clue if I could purchase them or how much they would cost.

One of my local buddies has some small deal with Babolat in the USA. He has significant wait times now for rackets. He can't get bulk shipments of tennis balls any faster than I can.
 

1stVolley

Professional
I placed a racquet order on 9/5 and still no updates from them. I understand there are delays with stringing, but 10 days and not even a hint of it being shipped is disappointing. I'll be patient.
Perhaps you should contact TW customer service. It sounds like your order ran into some problem.
 

Turbo-87

Legend
Funny thing is, I did call and there was no indication of what was going on. Just that I would have it by the end of the week yet I still haven't gotten a shipping confirmation and the order is still open. If there was a problem, that was a good time to tell me that.
 
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Johnny505

Rookie
If I don't like the service I've received from a retailer or any shop, I go to a different one that deserves my $$$, simple.
Same goes for using tradesman for doing work on my house, they do a sxxx job, I tell my friends, families and social media followers with evidence and don't use them again.

They think they are untouchable and losing one or 2 customer won't affect them, just they wait until they need favours and help from outside. What goes around comes around.
 

Djokovicfan

Semi-Pro
Op im guessing that they have designated demo racquets they ship out to customers.
I doubt they would send you a brand new racquet to demo so u can scrape it up and not end up buying it so tw is in the hole for 150$ trying to sell a 250$ stick for 100 bucks as a demo racquet for sale.
 

1stVolley

Professional
Op im guessing that they have designated demo racquets they ship out to customers.
I doubt they would send you a brand new racquet to demo so u can scrape it up and not end up buying it so tw is in the hole for 150$ trying to sell a 250$ stick for 100 bucks as a demo racquet for sale.
Yes, of course, they have designated demos (which, I bet, they get free from the mfr). The way demos work now--if you request 3 rackets and 2 are in but 1 isn't, your order is put on hold AND the 2 rackets in your order are released for anyone who requests them. If someone does request that one and the one that wasn't available to you now comes in your order is still put on hold. If you were unfortunate enough to request popular rackets your order might take a long time, maybe weeks, to ship.

You can avoid this situation (it's called a "race" condition in computer theory) by just requesting a single demo racket but then you can't compare rackets at the same time. For me, that's a pretty big disadvantage. Of course, you could just demo 2 rackets and reduce the chance for this "race" condition to happen. But at least give the customer who requested 3 rackets to have to choice of taking just what is available or wait until all 3 are free. You can call customer service and do this manually (I've had to do this to expedite my order). Another option would be to keep reserved for you the 2 rackets that are in for a couple of days if the 3rd racket will come in by then. This wouldn't seriously delay others from getting the demos they requested.

Currently, when a demo racket is shown as "available" it might not actually be available so you're not safe requesting, say, 3 demos that are all marked "available." This has happened to me because I won't request multiple demo rackets if any are marked not back in house.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
Funny thing is, I did call and there was no indication of what was going on. Just that I would have it by the end of the week yet I still haven't gotten a shipping confirmation and the order is still open. If there was a problem, that was a good time to tell me that.
Hi Turbo-87 -

We apologize for your order delay, and are happy to take a look into your account to determine the order status. If you send us your order number to discussadmin@tennis-warehouse.com, we can look further into it for you.

Thank you,
TW Staff
 
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