So we're back from our trip into the Catskills, which was wonderful.
And THIS was a brilliant thing to find in my inbox when I got back to New York an hour ago.
I've won a copy of Halo 3!
*** 1843hrs Z U L U - DUSK IS FALLING ***
***SOMEWHERE IN TUNISIA***
***THE YEAR IS 1943***
***PITCHED BATTLES BETWEEN MONTY'S DESERT RATS AND ROMMEL'S AFRIKA KORPS RAGE BACK AND FORTH ACROSS AN ABANDONED DESERT TOWN***
PLAYERS TIPS killed by PISSTOFFDRUNK1
JACHEL killed by Pisseddudejim
PLAYERSTIPS: DUUUUDE! These pissed off guys are ON FIRE.
JACHEL: I know, right?
***GUNFIRE TO THE WEST***
Kidsturk killed by PISSTOFFDRUNK1
JACHEL killed by Pisseddudejim
PLAYERSTIPS: I need to like, call my girlfriend and get pissed so I can play like these guys.
JACHEL: I hear ya
***ALLIED TROOPS, 3 IN NUMBER, ONE OF THEM ROLLING HIS EYES, ADVANCE ALONG THE TOWN'S MAIN STREET***
Kidsturk: There! They're sniping from up on the roof!
JACHEL: Dude, don't call out.
PLAYERSTIPS: Yeah, man. Never do that.
***A BRIEF BATTLE FOR THE ROOFTOP ENSUES***
PLAYERSTIPS: Dum dadada dum dumdumdum, Da dadadada dumdumdum BA DA! DADAADUMMM!
***THE DUSTY DESERT BATTLEFIELD RESOUNDS TO THE VICTORIOUS SOUND OF SOMEONE SINGING THE JAMES BOND THEME***
And just like the Norse sagas of old, there might be a long journey and a death at the end
Day Zero: Tuesday
Me: Hey! Woo! I won my first eBay auction. I've already paid so we're all sorted, yes? How long do you reckon it will take to get here from where you are (Canada)?
Him: Yes, I'll send it this afternoon, you should have it by Friday
Day Six: Monday
Me: Awesome, thanks. I'll give feedback once it arrives - I expect Labor Day here in the US messed up the mail a little.
Day Nine: Thursday
Me: Do you have a tracking number or anything for this item? It has not arrived. Let me know if there were delays mailing it, or any other reason why it is delayed. Many thanks, Stuart
Day Eleven: Saturday(This is where my waffling legalese begins. Sorry)
Me: Hi again.
I am contacting you again regarding the Microsoft OEM XBOX 360 Wireless Adapter I paid SNIP! for (including shipping) on the 28th of August. Please inform me if there has been any delay in sending this item to me at the following address:
...as it has now been 11 days since the purchase. If I do not hear from you by Tuesday September 11th, I shall initiate proceedings through eBay and PayPal's buyer protection program, and give eBay site feedback on the purchase indicating that I made payment and the item was not mailed to me. I shall send this email from another address in case for some reason I am being caught by your spam filters.
I hope we manage to sort this out.
(threats = RESULTS!)
Him: I am very sorry for the delay. There was a mistake with the shipping address. It has been corrected and sent. I will have a tracking number on Monday.
This is where it starts to get fishy (or fisher) who sends something and doesn't get a tracking number?
Me: All right, great, and thank you for getting in touch. I'm really sorry for being such a pest, but it was my first ever eBay purchase, and I was a bit edgy about it all.
Day Fourteen: Tuesday
Me: Any joy with the tracking number?
Day Fifteen: Wednesday
Him: Yes. I do have it. I iwll send it off first thing tomorrow morning
Uh...this is where I was VERY ALARMED. He clearly hasn't sent it yet, but said he'd sent it before. And I asked him if he had THE TRACKING NUMBER, not the item itself. To which he replied yes. Er...right.
Me: You said you'd sent it already, four days ago. It's been over two weeks since the end of the auction and it seems you haven't mailed it yet. If it's proving difficult to getting around to mailing this, just refund me and I'll get one somewhere else.
(More bumpf and fishy-smelling stuff follows...)
Him: Hi. The difficult time was not in mailing it. It was dealing with my Shipping company. They picked up the items a week ago and it took them forever to get back to me. It was sent, but I dont know when PakMail sent it out. I am online checking the tracking numbers and will send one over to you tonight so you can find out where it is.
(Note: PAKMAIL. The blame is with a 3rd Party Shipper. At this point I had had enough so I opened a dispute through PayPal. To my surprise this guy refunded me $10 of shipping. The shipping cost $12, but hey, not bad. I'm thinking maybe this guy isn't so bad after all. I've had nightmares with the mail myself.)
Day Seventeen: Friday
Me: Thanks for the $10 shipping refund. That was a really great gesture. How's it all going? We're coming up on 3 weeks and I am itching to get my 360 online. I can't believe this shipping company is giving you such a huge runaround. You should file a complaint or something - try and get your shipping costs back from them.
Him:Yes. I am asking for my money back. I am very sorry about all this. I promise I will have a tracking number out to you so you know where it is.
Me: Hey, it's cool. I'm resigned to it taking a while, and it seems you've done all you can. I just wanted to check in.
(Then I lost my patience)
Me: Don't you get a tracking number with the paperwork when you mail it?
Him: Funny thing you asked. I just got it now. SNIP! Its with canada post.
(OH, it's CANADA POST NOW? What happened to Pakmail?)
Me: Thanks ever so much. Hopefully it will have worked its way into the system by tomorrow, because it's not showing up right now. (Oh, Jesus)
Him: Hey, I recomend you play Call of Duty 2. Please get that game and let me know when you are online.
Day Eighteen: Saturday
Me: I've tried the tracking number at Canadapost.com several times, both yesterday and today with no luck (give it a go yourself!) - it does say that if only recently shipped the number might not be in the system for a while, but that doesn't seem to make sense - hopefully it'll work by Monday.
Day NINETEEN: Sunday
Him: Very odd. I guess I will be checking monday morning. Thank you for your patience.
So! It's Monday morning.
Why not try tracking the package yourself?
Here's the link to the site: Canada Post.
Difficult to believe, isn't it?
(edit, later: The Canada Post website is now back up and running, but on Monday morning it was kaput)
When I am trying to illustrate displeasure in an email to someone I don't know very well, I get this sort of pseudo-legalese disease. I state shit over and again in different ways, trying to make it perfectly clear what's wrong, while moderating what I'm saying with 'It looks like' and 'So it's sort of' so it doesn't come across as someone metaphorically raging at the screen. I also hastily edit what I'm writing and find it unpleasant to read back, so what I eventually send is a garbled, repetitive, moderated mess that comes across like a mild-mannered middle aged parson with a stammer trying to rebuke a punk for her hairstyle while still trying to seem like a nice guy who's all right really.
So it doesn't help that I'm locked in a dispute with an eBay seller who writes in half English, half l33t, and most of the time seems to be lying through his t33th when he does.
It's all-singing and all-dancing, but has a very simple and instinctive layout.
I'm a bit of an eBay novice to be honest - I only made my first purchase last week - the wireless adapter for the Xbox 360 ($100 new? No way!).
I'll be setting up my first eBay sale soon, and there's some tricky information that I think only video can easily demonstrate. My iMac G3 might have a bit of a greenish screen but because it's souped up with maximum RAM can still run some serious programs....try doing that with just photos.
Go check it out, and use it!
There's even a launch competition where you can win a stonkingly brilliant digital camera and goodies.
To top it all off, our very own Adrian is vzaar's Chief Geek or something. Chief something. Of something. Anyway.