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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bills & Businesses

Posted by: Hammer / 9:17 PM

Paying some bills tonight. Menard's wants me to have a free EZ Socket. The EZ Socket "Makes changing bulbs easy. Just push in, pull out." Firstly, I don't think we need to eroticize the changing of a light bulb. Secondly, there are actual books -- entire books -- of jokes about light bulbs. The premise of each joke is that it is ridiculously easy to change a light bulb, yet some group of people still finds the job difficult. I expect the next Menard's coupon to be $10 off screen doors to fit any size submarine. Perhaps build-it-yourself plans for a very tall, narrow tower of house so that when I want to sit around the house I can sit around the house.

You know what else sucks? Best Buy. In order to avoid losing touch with what the "kids" are up to these days, Hammer forces himself to play a video game from time to time. Of course, I'd rather be reading a Gore Vidal criticism of French criticism of the new novel, preferably something at least 15 years old. That's not always an option: damn you Gore Vidal!

Best Buy advertised the sale of the Simpsons Hit and Run for the Game Cube two Sundays back. What a great product for a parent of young children. In the game, one controls a friendly cartoon character who drives over and through people and objects. Children, of course, are sucked in by the cartoonish violence and quickly learn to apply it to their daily lives. After all, if you don't drive on the sidewalk, you don't get to hear the one-liners voiced by the original Simpsons cast.

I went to my local Best Buy to purchase the game at the advertised price. My local Best Buy didn't have the game in stock. I should've learned my lesson, but didn't. I ordered the game online. During the order process I got sucked into ordering a second game at a deeply discounted price.

Best Buy sent an email saying they shipped the game on Feb. 15. On Feb. 22, I still hadn't received the game. The shipping information provided a clue, so I emailed Best Buy's customer service:

According to the order status, this shipped on 2/15/05, but I haven''t received the package yet. According to the tracking information: "PACKAGE SCHEDULED FOR APX DELIVERY BUT NOT RECEIVED - APX BOLINGBROOK DC". I''d like to know what''s actually happening with this order.
Best Buy replied:

Thank you for contacting Best Buy about the status of your order <***>. I'm Bonnie with Customer Care.

We appreciate your concern about receiving your order, and we're happy to let you know that it's on its way.

Here is the latest information that we have about your order: shipped your merchandise on 2/15/05 using standard ground shipping. Although most deliveries are usually made within 3 - 7 business days, we do allow a maximum of 15 calendar days for your order to arrive, according to the U.S. Postal Service guidelines. You can expect your order to be delivered by no later than 3/2/05.

I remained polite:
This email is not responsive to my question. If the order was shipped, please send me the tracking number.

According to the Order status on, my order was shipped via USPS MOE########. When I click that link, it reports: Tracking Number: No Packages Found

It has now been 9 days since I placed my order and it looks to me like the package has still not been shipped. I would like a explanation of the order status.

Best Buy responded:

Thank you for contacting Best Buy about your online order. This is Marcus with Customer Care.

We appreciate your enthusiasm to receive and to start using your purchase. We also apologize for any frustration this may have caused you.

If your UPS tracking information is causing frustration we suggest you contact them directly at Domestic Package Tracking. There phone number is: 1-800-222-1811 Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Again if you want us to reship you these products we would be glad to assist you. However, as stated in the previous email we will not be able to initiate that process for you until at 03/02/2005.

I asked for two things in my email: a tracking number and an explanation for the strange message. I got a phone number for "UPS". Best Buy doesn't ship UPS. They ship by USPS. But, I guess I can could call UPS and complain that the US Postal Service hasn't delivered the package I don't have any tracking information for. I'm done with Best Buy:
This will be my last transaction with Best Buy. I have been polite and clear about the problem, but I have yet to receive an appropriate response. I asked for an explanation of the strange message stating "PACKAGE SCHEDULED FOR APX DELIVERY BUT NOT RECEIVED". I asked for a tracking number, because the one previously provided indicates nothing has been shipped. Instead, I'm told to call UPS. Best Buy has utterly failed to respond to my concerns.

I eagerly await March 2 so that I can cancel this order and never have to deal with your company again.

On the other hand, 3WN heartily endorses Ikea and Netflix. Ikea advertised a sale on a wardrobe perfect for Little Sister Hammer. It's cheap as can be, but it's perfect for her room. The ad said that quantities were limited. At most stores, that's code for "we're out to screw you". Ikea had better than 100 wardrobes in stock Saturday morning. I would've bought two, but I'm afraid the Hammermobile couldn't handle the load.

3WN endorses Netflix for three reasons. One, they process DVDs incredibly quickly. I put two DVDs in the mail Tuesday and had two DVDs waiting for me Thursday. Netflix has a same day turn-around on most DVDs. Two, they have everything and everything is easy to find. Three, they are not Wal-Mart.

3WN now apologizes for this unpassionate, unprovocative, and unpolitical post.


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