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The day everything went wrong

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On Friday evening, I placed an order with eBuyer, the contents of which will be detailed in a subsequent post. eBuyer is a supplier I’ve bought from a couple of times in the past, always with no complaints. However, as I always say, the real measure of a retailer’s quality becomes apparent not when everything goes according to plan but when something goes wrong.

On Friday night, something went wrong with a vengeance. I’m talking a “Your credit card has been declined” sort of wrong. At first, I wondered if perhaps the credit card company suspected foul play and, believing the transaction to be fraudulent, had put a stop on my card. (This has happened in the past, often when doing crazy things like buying DVDs from - gasp! - non-UK web sites.) Logging into my account, however, proved that this wasn’t the case, and that I was a long, long way from reaching my credit limit. I then, not unreasonably, assumed that I’d simply made a mistake when entering my credit card details, so I logged into my eBuyer account and re-entered them. Ten minutes later, I got another message telling me that my card had been declined again.

By this time, it was 6:30 PM, and eBuyer’s next day delivery service has an 8 PM cut-off. Rather than spend ages going round in circles, therefore, and miss the cut-off, I decided to simply go with a different payment method, in this case my debit card. The only problem with that is the eBuyer only allows you to change your payment details once for a single order before locking it. No problem, I thought, I’ll just give them a call, explain the situation and get them to change my details. After a commendably brief wait, sullied only by some incredibly annoying music and an irritatingly cheery pre-recorded announcement about all the over-priced gold-plated USB cables I could buy, I was greeted by a snippy and extremely bored-sounding woman, who listened to my problem and then, making it readily apparent via her tone of voice that this was a great inconvenience to her, took the details for my debit card and told me to expect the order to be processed within the next half-hour.

Needless to say, an hour later, nothing had changed. My order was still flagged as having a payment issue, at which point I got on the phone to eBuyer again. I ended up speaking to the same bored woman, explained the problem to her once again, and was treated to more sighs and (I would assume) eye-rolling, as this ray of sunshine then attempted to “push my order through again”, or something along those lines. Nope, she drawled, it’s been declined. “But this is a different card,” I told her, “from a different bank.” “Not working,” was the reply. At this point, with 8 o’clock rapidly approaching, I decided to call it quits, cancel the order and place it again. “You want me to cancel it or are you going to do it yourself?” she asked me. I decided that, rather than tempt fate, I’d handle this tricky task myself, and rang off. A few moments later, order #1 was cancelled and order #2 was placed, this time using my brother’s credit card, just in case, by some bizarre twist of fate, both my credit card and my debit card were up the creek.

Ten minutes later, I decided to log into my eBuyer account to check the status of the order. Sorry, the on-screen message informed me, your account has been suspended. Erm, what? By this stage, I was beginning to wonder if someone had it in for me. Yet another phone call to eBuyer once again connected me to Miss I-don’t-give-a-shit, who listened to my predicament without a care in the world, before opining “I don’t know why that happened.” Growing increasingly exasperated by the minute, I asked if there was anything she could do about it. “Don’t know,” she replied. The conversation continued like this for a couple of minutes, before she finally clicked some buttons and told me that my account had been re-activated. Just under an hour later, I finally received notification that my order had been dispatched for delivery at some point on Saturday. Hallelujah!

The next morning, I was out at work and my parents were out walking the dogs when ParcelForce tried to deliver the package. For me, the face-palm moment of the year so far. They re-delivered it on Monday. This time, thankfully, I was in.

PS. On Saturday, I successfully withdrew some cash from my bank account. So much for there being a problem with it.

 
Posted: Monday, February 09, 2009 at 10:40 PM
Categories: General | Technology | Web

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