Well, this is vexing…

Last week, I ordered from an unfamiliar web site some novelty items to be used as props at the upcoming Shore Leave roast of Michael Jan Friedman. As of today, more than a week later, having received no confirmation of my order being shipped, and unable to reach the vendor through its customer-service phone line or e-mail, I contacted my credit card company and filed a billing dispute, after which I canceled my order with the vendor.

A few hours later, well after the vendor’s stated business hours, I receive a flurry of responses from the vendor informing me that my order shipped yesterday via USPS priority mail. Using the tracking number, I confirmed that to be true.

Adding to my frustration, I’d already ordered the items from another more reliable vendor, and that order is now officially too far along to be canceled.

The first vendor tells me that I can cancel the original order by refusing delivery, but then I am subject to a “restocking fee” equal to 25% of the original purchase. However, I now feel that I have an obligation to contact my credit card company and rescind the claim of fraud and my request for a billing dispute.

So now I face the prospect of being stuck with four of these otherwise useless items when I really needed only two (one plus a backup). Not to mention I’ll now be out twice as much money. I can probably think of uses for these ridiculous items, but man this is just annoying. And it all could have been avoided if only the original vendor had bothered to provide even rudimentary customer service.

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