Monday, 7 December 2015

Just A Number

Live in very cold climate and have never invested in super warm coat.

Discussing this very fact with Husband over almond milk lattes and Saturday paper.

Flyer for local manufacturer's half price coat sale falls out of paper as though invited to breakfast.

Husband and I plan to go to sale that very afternoon and finally get me the super warm coat of my dreams.

Store and coat as advertised.

Sale is not.

Sale doesn't start until Tuesday.

(Fine print.)

Can we put coat away and come back Tuesday?


Can we buy coat today and return with receipt on Tuesday?


Can we speak to a manager?

C'est moi le gérant.

Oh. So you're saying there's nothing we can do to get this coat for half price?

Well. There is one thing you can do. Sale is online as well. Starts Tuesday at midnight.

And this very coat, in this size, will part of the sale?

Yes. I mean, Oui.

How many of these coats will be part of the sale?

8 or 9 of these.

We decide to leave and take our chances. After all, I was successful in getting rezzies at what was at the time the #1 restaurant in the world by waking up at 3am and clicking the right boxes. Although at that point I had the support of friends in several different cities who were trying along with me. I doubt I can generate the same excitement about a coat.

Go on web site in advance and create user ID and shipping address so that at midnight clicking for coat will be a breeze.

Practice clicking on coat to make sure I know where in website it's hiding. Every second counts.

Set alarm for 11:45pm (I'm old), put coat in basket and wait for pricing to change.

Pricing changes. Half-price coat available, go to check out, Visa refused.

Try again.

Same story.

Realize it's not my Visa but the credit card processing because too many people are clicking at the same time. Maybe thinking they are getting restaurant reservations in addition to a new coat.

Try PayPal.


It is now 12:15am.

This is not going to happen to me.

I am going to get this coat. And I am going to pay half price.

Start clicking back and forth through windows of web site hoping that something will work.

Oh finally there it is.

I am the proud owner of a half-price, super warm, locally made, no animal by-product coat.

12:45am and back to sleep.

Next morning have e-mail confirmation from PayPal.

Also have e-mail confirmation directly from Visa.

Hmmm that's strange.

Guess have extra security due to holiday season.

Husband is getting gas on his way to the office.

Visa refused.

Luckily he already has a super warm coat. And another credit card in his pocket.

Calls Visa.

Apparently someone was clicking too many times on an online shopping site and it looked really suspicious.

Oops. Sorry about that. But at least I have my coat. Thanks, Honey.

Couple of days later, Husband gets Visa bill.

How many winter coats did you buy?

Oh. Oops again.  Looks like I may have possibly been a better online shopper than I realized and let's just say I am now the proud owner of more than one (details irrelevant) super warm, locally made coat.

Now have to call coat place and tell them to only ship one coat and to please refund all additional (who cares how many) coats.

Bonjour. I think I got carried away with your coat sale. I got so excited that I may have possibly ordered more than one coat.

Un moment s'il vous plait. I will connect you to the manager directly so you can explain this most unusual circumstance. What is your first name please?


Transferred to manager.

He answers the phone: Is this Amy Fish?  I thought I already provided you with a refund for your - wait a second, Madame, how many coats did you buy?

Complaint Tie-Ins

1. Sale flyers that arrive days before the actual sale only serve to confuse people.

2. Online sales that are not prepared for the associated web traffic also make things unnecessarily difficult for  shoppers.

3. If sales are going to start at midnight, maybe retailers can consider holding them on the weekend.

4. Original Canadian settlers may have been on to something with all that fur trapping and coat trading. Probably would have been simpler than this transaction.

5. No complaints about warm winter coat, gracious Husband and exceedingly mild temperatures which are not pointing at all to use of said coat.

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