Thursday, 20 December 2007

Whine tasting


Warning - whining ahead. And if you keep reading, you're most certainly going to get a taste of it.

I love Christmas. I love the shopping, the decorating, the wrapping, the tree-ing, the whole festive lot. BUT...

There is much crappiness afoot during the holidays as well. Even something as simple as a stick of deodourant is almost impossible to pick up five days before Christmas. Stock up on your toiletries in November, otherwise you'll fritter your December away waiting in line to buy the damned Degree.

Not that I totally mind waiting in line. Yes, there are lots of people doing a substantially increased amount of shopping in a condensed period of time. I get that. I'm okay with that. I expect that. But I hate how it turns so many normally decent people into raging thunderwhores.

Rudeness abounds today and every day, but at this time of year when we're all supposed to be in good holiday spirits, why are people so god damned ornery? Seriously, what does it take to say thank you when I hold the door for you? Not bloody much, I suspect. I can do it, and do do it, on a regular basis. Get with the program, kids! Thank you won't kill you! Sheesh.

I got off on quite a good rant there, and that wasn't even the point of my whole post today. I have very specific things I'd like to whine about. Let's get to it, shall we?

My big pet peeve right now is customer service. I won't go off on another in store rant - we've all now been there and done that.

No, my whining today is thanks to the good people at calendars.com that just can't seem to get their freaking act together. And even though I have done everything right - I still lose in the long run.

The backstory - my mom has a french bulldog. She loves this dog. Last year I found, in some fluke planets-aligning type way, a french bulldog calendar for her, which she loved. When it was mentioned in passing a few weeks ago, she said she really hoped that someone had found it for her again this year because she was counting on it and hadn't purchased a 2008 calendar yet as a result.

Coming from one of the universe's most challenging people to buy for, I grabbed the hint and made it my mission to find this calendar for her yet again. I stumbled upon it last year - how hard can it be?

Silly diva.

It's danged near impossible to find a fucking french bulldog calendar in my neck of the woods. Believe me - I looked. Everywhere. And nothing. Now I know that as you're reading this post you may be thinking, "but diva! I saw one of those calendars at x store in x mall just last week!"

Yeah, if that's true, don't tell me, okay? Sometimes ignorance is bliss. This is one of those times.

So. I know that my mom really wants this and I can't find it anywhere. So I go online, look it up and can't find the one I want on calendars.ca. The gods have not favoured me so highly to actually grant me what I'm looking for north of the 49th parallel.

So I surf over to calendars.com and lo and behold, there's what I want. I hmmmed and hawed but finally resolved myself to purchasing it from our southern neighbours because mom wants it that badly. I order on December 11, and because my last day in the office (where I have everything shipped) is December 21, I elect to spend a small fortune, $32.96 to be exact, for expedited shipping.

That's supposed to get it here in two to three business days. I expect it will take a day or two longer at minimum thanks to customs, but I figure that will still be plenty o time to get that flipping calendar into my hot little hands.

Everything starts out okay. Order goes through and is actually shipped on the same day. Fantastic. I look online for a tracking number and can't find one, so I call their customer service.

And thus begins the whining. Why can't customer service people be competent human beings?

Now I realize that is a very sweeping generalization and that there are some fantastic customer service reps out there but come on. This was unreal.

First, the guy can't get me a tracking number. I ask why not? All packages have tracking numbers - that's kinda the point. Nope, we don't assign tracking numbers to packages going to Canada.

Sigh....diva says whut? Why not?

I don't know mam, we just don't.

I feel so much better now.

They can't give me any information at all on the whereabouts of my package. I'm told that it's only been four business days since my package shipped, so wait a bit and call back if it still hasn't arrived. Grrrr.....but okay. I still have time.

Tuesday rolls around. It's been a week and no package. I call back. I can't track my package, but I'm concerned. This is a Christmas present, and guess what - Christmas is coming and I ain't got no stinkin calendar! That, and I paid an extra $32.96 to have shipped here fast.

So he says he'll send me a new one. But there's no way it'll make it to my office by Friday, so we agree to ship it to my house on the off chance that it will get here on Monday, aka Christmas eve, aka just in time for mommy to unwrap it the next day. And this time, they even manage to get me a tracking number after I freaking well beg for one.

I'm waiting for my email confirmation of the items having been shipped and nothing. Nothing all day yesterday. So I go online to get the customer service number - which should be committed to memory by now - to find out what's going on. I look for an order number and hazzah! The items were shipped not long after I had the conversation with the customer service guy. And best of all - there was a tracking number! Woot woot!

So I fly over to the UPS website (don't even get me started on UPS - had I known they did the shipping I would have scrapped the whole thing before I began) as fast as my fingers can get me there. I enter the tracking number, and through the miracles of modern technology I can see the progress my package has made!

Too bad it was shipped to Suburbia, NY and not where I live, Suburbia, ON.

I kid you not. Order number two was a great mystery to UPS, 'cause when I called THEM and asked what happened, they told me there was no Suburbia, NY. No shit. And to make matters even worse, they couldn't figure out why delivery was being attempted in Dallas. And then Louisville, Kentucky. WTF?

I asked Mr. UPS if they could re-route the package to the correct address. He said he could if I was in the US, but because it had to come through customs the package was simply going to be returned to the sender.

In the immortal words of Nancy Kerrigan, 'why me?' I just want the stupid calendar.

Since UPS couldn't help me, I had to call calendars.com back. Again. If only I had frequent caller miles with these guys. I mean really.

I get a lovely lady on the phone who's new to her job (lucky me!) and tells me that it's such a challenge with the border now. Can you believe you need a passport to get into Canada, she says. Here, we can just walk across the border to Mexico. That's where my family goes to get the gold. For their teeth.

I seriously couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Anyway, I explain my situation. She apologizes, and says that the guy that placed my order didn't change the country to Canada so it defaulted to NY or something like that. Lucky me. So they decide to send it out to me for a third time - and she promises that the address is correct.

I beg her to work hard to get me a tracking number again for this order. I want to be on top of where the package is so I know if I need to stick around the house all day on Christmas eve. I tell her that it's apparently not their policy to give tracking numbers with Canadian packages but to please, please do what she can to get one for me. Please!

Well you'll never guess what....

I've been watching my online account like a hawk and the order finally showed up as shipped...with no tracking number.

I swear, I give up! I've done everything right. I paid a premium for shipping to get it here in time. I've stayed on top of the orders and where they are, when I can. And I've been nice to all the people on the phone 'cause with the exception of the idiot who placed order number two, it's not their fault that their company can't get their stupid act together.

So now I have the joy of calling them for a fifth time tomorrow morning to see if I can get any additional information from them. I get to explain my situation to yet another poor shmo who would rather be doing their Christmas shopping than dealing with my french bulldog calendar.

Which begs the question, who wants to be me!?

I keep hoping upon hope that the first package, the one that has disappeared into the abyss, will magically appear tomorrow before the office closes at 1pm. I'm not holding my breath, but it is Christmas. Maybe this will be my Christmas miracle.

Yeah, right. But a girl can still dream.

Okay, end whine. Hope it didn't leave too bad a taste in your mouth!

And that's your daily dash. How's your diva doin'?

8 comments on "Whine tasting"

Wannabefrenchie on 20 December 2007 at 23:03 said...

omg! while i feel sorry for your situation must say i loved the kerrigan reference-well played, well played indeed.

my advice? let the holiday gods take it from here and get your mom a cheap but tasteful vase from winners as a backup.

take care

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but Calendars.com is the US site, CalendarClub.ca is the Canadian site. Ordering from the canadian site, it only costs appriximately $11 for express shipping and they do send a tracking number. I believe my hubby ordered from them one year and that's how it worked. Maybe this could save you some stess next year? God knows you don't need anymore BS!!!

divajen on 21 December 2007 at 10:33 said...

You're totally right, there is a .ca version. Trouble is, that one didn't stock the calendar I wanted. Same company, but not the same merchandise. Boggled my mind too.

To get what I wanted I had to order through the US site. Really ticked me off, but it was the only way. Grrrr....

Fortunately I have a few other small things for her so that's a relief. But it would still be great to actually have this to add to the mix. Le sigh...

Janny on 21 December 2007 at 15:03 said...

Oh, I do hope it came in time today!! Definitely crappy!

I am not a fan of ordering US stuff anymore either (well, except Sephora and Victoria Secret, cause they actually have Canadian Warehouses, so that ROCKS!)! Ordered a stupid Nintendo DS replacement cover, finally came in yesterday, but they don't tell you that there's special screws, and you need to buy the stupid screwdriver!!!! So now, we're stuck with a case we'll probably never use!

Anywho, hope you get it!!

Kevinsgurl said...

So Diva - did you ever receive the calendar!!??

Anonymous said...

hello....tap, tap, tap...is this thing on????

No new posts for a while, I know it was the holidays, but c'mon I feel the need....the need to read.

Did you get anything pink for the holidays??? We need pics.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the previous commenter - Are you coming back.......
Did you get the calendar in time?
Talk to me!

Anonymous said...

Hehe, I too have come here a few times looking for some new diva dash :) Previous comments pretty funny..

Gina

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