Saturday, January 20, 2007

Catalogue of Errors.

A few days ago I returned home from work to find two very large catalogues on the doorstep. So I picked them up and took them inside. On the doormat were two letters from the catalogue company addressed to the lady who lived here before us. She had obviously forgotten to inform them that she had moved.

So being the nice bod that I am I thought that I would call the catalogue company and inform them that she no longer lives here. One minor point, I don't have a forwarding address or telephone number for her. Oh well, at least they can have their catalogues back, from the size of them there must be at least half a tree in each one. So I called the company;

The disembodied voice on the other end of the line kicked in on the third ring, "Thank you for calling Big Fat Catalogues, if you are calling to order a cataloge please press one on your telephone pad? If you are calling to place an order from your catalogue please press two on your keypad" and so it went on. Why is there never an option that simply asks do you want to talk to a real person? After several attempts to actually speak to someone and bypass the automaton, I finally got through.

"Good evening, may I take your account number please?"

"Oh I don't have an account with your company," I replied

"Please dial again and press button one on your telephone keypad to set up a new account, thank you," Click...

Excuse me! She had hung up on me. Alrighty, let's try again.

After navigating through the myriad of options once more I was through to a 'real' person.

"Good evening, may I take your account number please?"

"Oh I don't, (no don't do it), actually I'm calling to let you know that I have recieved a catalogue, but it isn't mine, the person you sent it to has moved."

"What's the account number?" I reeled off the account number on the letter they had sent. "Ok Mrs B, what's your new address?"

"I'm not Mrs B, I've already told you that I am calling to let you know that Mrs B has moved. I'm sorry but I don't have her new address,"

"We will need proof," she demanded.

"Proof!" I asked

"We'll need proof that you are not Mrs B and that she has moved."

"No you don't, I am telling you that I am not Mrs B that should be enough, I'm merely calling to let you know that your catalogue is here, it's not mine, and if you want it you can come and collect it, ok!"

"Yes Madam, but we will need proof that you not Mrs B and that she has moved," she repeated

"Hello, hello, is there an echo in here. Look I don't want to get into an argument about this dear, but I am happy to keep them until someone collects them, ok."

"I'm sorry but we don't collect. You need to take it to your post office and send it back to us."

"I don't think so, there's half a tree each in those tomes do you know how much it is going to cost to post them?"

"I'm sorry but you do need to return it. The catalogue does not belong to you it is still our property, which you must return,"

"I didn't ask you to leave them on MY doorstep, and I am certainly NOT going to pay the costs of returning them to you." I said calmly in my most assertive of voices. "If you would like to collect them then I will keep them for five days, however if you have not collected them by then, I will put them into the recycling bin."

"You can't do that, it's not your property," there was a distinct note of panic in her voice.

"Then make sure that they are collected within the next five days." Click...

So the catalogues have sat in my hallway waiting for their 'owner' to collect them. They waited and waited but alas no one came. So as promised the two half trees were deposited into my recycling bin. Who should turn up this morning? Yes you've guessed it, the catalogue delivery / collection bod. I did feel a slight tinge of guilt as she rooted through my recycling bin, but hey ho, it wasn't a full on pang, don't be ridiculous!

3 at confession:

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

One of the perils of modern living, I'm afraid. No, make that half a dozen (in no particular order): call centres, call centre staff, oversized catalogues, the pressure to recycle, wasted journeys, customer databases.

You dealt with it all admirably!

Attila The Mom said...

Hahaha! While you were on hiatus over the holidays, I had something similar happen with a package that mistakenly delivered to me!


Gonzo said...

Ah! And I thought those nerve-wrecking phonecalls were only possible in The Netherlands...!

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