My US readers may be familiar with the TV ads for a product called the Perfect Meatloaf Pan. It consists of an inner "drainage tray" which is removable from the outer meatloaf pan, the idea being that, as the meatloaf cooks in the pan, the fat will drain into the bottom of the pan, and then you can use the handles on the "drainage tray" to remove the meatloaf from the pan, leaving the fats behind.
The TV advertisement indicated that customers would receive a two-for-one deal--two meatloaf pans, two cookbooks and two "perfect slicers" for $19.99 plus shipping and handling. Hubby and I were at my inlaws' one evening, saw the ad, and decided to split the cost so we could each have one full set. Seems simple enough, right?
Not so much.
I went to asseenontv.com, found the pan, and ordered a set. At that point a message popped up asking me if I wanted another one. I assumed they were asking me if I wanted the second set, or just one pan. I said yes, I wanted a second set, and proceeded with my order, credit card info and everything.
Imagine my surprise when the confirmation email I received quoted me a total price of $107.00! Apparently they charged me for two complete sets (four pans), at a price of $39.99 per set (double the price I saw on TV), plus S&H. I responded to the email immediately, since it appeared to come from the company's customer service department, and there was no message in the body of the email stating "this email address cannot receive replies, contact us at (email) for further correspondence". I never heard anything more about it, so I assumed (yeah, yeah, I know) they'd cancelled my order as I requested.
Last week (almost a full month since I'd originally placed/cancelled the order), I looked at my online bank balance and realized that the charge for $107 had gone through. I contacted my bank, explained the problem, and disputed the charge.
In the meantime, I'd managed to find the correct website to order the pans at the correct price, and the pans had been delivered to me. Murphy must hate me, because the day after I'd received *those* pans, the $107 pans showed up on my doorstep!
I finally decide that maybe I need to talk to a real live person, so I call their customer service line to explain the problem. The woman I spoke to told me that all I had to do was write "return to sender" and the order number on the outside of the box, take it to the post office and mail it back--they'd credit me a refund as soon as they received the package.
So I write "return to sender/order number blahblah" with permanent black marker on several spots on the outside of the box. I took the box to the post office this morning to return the package, and I decided I was better off dealing with a real live person just in case I had to pay a shipping fee or something.
I walk up to the counter, and explain the situation to the woman behind the counter. In a very rude tone of voice, she tells me that they "can't do it like that", I have to write my name/address and the company's name/address on the outside of the box, *then* she can take it. However, the original mailing label was still on the outside of the unopened box. I politely pointed this out to her, at which point she rudely told me to "fix it myself or they wouldn't take the package", motioned for the people behind me to come forward, and told me I'd have to move out of the way so she could wait on them.
I got out of line, went over to the counter in the middle of the room, and wrote "Return to" and an arrow next to the company name, and circled it. I wrote "Ship from" next to my name address, drew an arrow to my address and circled my address. I got back in line and asked the same woman if that would be sufficient. Again, in a rude and condescending tone of voice, she tells me it's not, I'll have to talk to a supervisor. She then turns her head towards the back of where she was standing, and shouts loud enough for the whole post office to hear, "Hey, this lady needs a supervisor to explain to her how to address a package!"
The supervisor comes out. I explain the situation. We go around in circles for a minute or two, then as part of his spiel he says to me ..."since the package has been opened...". I cut him off midsentence and told him the package had *never* been opened, and that's why I was confused about the original clerk's inability to process the return. The supervisor looks confused himself, says "It hasn't (been opened)?", then regains his composure and very snidely tells me "Well, then, all you have to do is write 'refused' on the outside of the box!" I looked him in the eye and said "What do you think 'return to sender' means?" He immediately starts to scribble out my own "return to sender/order number" so that he can write "refused" on the box himself. I told him if he wrote through the order number so that the package got returned, I wasn't going to be very happy.
Then I left. Wish me luck!