Cool Company of the Week: Gilt Groupe

As much fun as it is to call out the bad guys, I also like to give props when they’re well-deserved.

Gilt Groupe is taking care of filing a claim with UPS for the missing merchandise. They are crediting back my account and offering me a pass on the first reshipping since only one of the items I ordered is in stock at the moment. I’ll have to pay normal shipping on the second, but since the order’s now split in two, they don’t want me to have to pay twice. I also have the option of changing my mind altogether and just keeping the credit for future use.

The customer service rep was extremely sweet, and at no moment did she hesitate to do all she could to make good.

With that, I’d recommend you check out Gilt if you haven’t already. They’ve got great prices on some really interesting stuff, and now they’ve proven they appreciate the importance of keeping their customers happy.

The Case of the Missing Merchandise

What happens when UPS says it delivered something, but I never got it? Who’s responsible? UPS? The retailer? Me? (I really hope it’s not me). I just sent an email to the seller, and I’ll try calling during business hours tomorrow.

I’m not upset so much as baffled. Nothing’s ever disappeared from my doorstep before. UPS says it left the package at 1:30pm on Friday. I was gone from about 12:30pm to 4pm, and there was definitely nothing here when I got back. What are the chances someone snagged the delivery off my stoop in broad daylight?

Intriguing. To be continued, I suppose.

Relapse

Last night, I started stripping again.

Kitchen 101

My inability to cook is legendary amongst my friends and family, but I’m proud to announce I’ve just launched operation “teach myself to cook” which we could also call operation “spend less money” or operation “know what’s in my food” or even operation “cheese is not a meal.”

Last night. I tried to make two baked potatoes in the oven as opposed to the microwave. I took the first out a touch too soon, and it wasn’t as smushy on the inside as I would have liked. The second baked a little longer and was much better. The recipe (yes, I used a recipe for baked potatoes) called for an hour at 350 degrees, but I think it should have been more like an hour and twenty minutes. As instructed, I rubbed them with olive oil and sea salt which gave the skin a nice flavor boost.

Tonight’s adventure: fish. Mom sent me home from Florida with a recipe for bourbon-glazed salmon so that’s what I tried. It’s really easy. 1/4 cup chicken broth. 1/4 cup bourbon. 3 tbsp of tomato paste and 3 tbsp of honey. It also calls for salt and pepper but doesn’t say how much. I sprinkled.

I simmered all the ingredients in a pan and then added the salmon. I cooked it about 4 minutes on both sides, and along with the second potato and a small salad, I had myself a homemade dinner.

Verdict?

Eh.

The salmon was cooked but not really hot all the way through, and the sauce was bland. I like my food with heat – both in temperature and spice – and this didn’t do much for me. But that said, I’m proud of myself for trying, and I think the miss was in the recipe rather than the execution. Rare in my case, I know, but possible.

The other recipe Mom gave me to try was for key lime pie. I’m working up the nerve to go there next.

Vent(i)

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Spilled His Coffee On Me This Morning:

Dude,

Seriously?

It’d be one thing if I were running and barreled into you. It’d be another if I wasn’t looking where I was going. But I was walking straight ahead, and you backed into me. So when you spilled your entire cup o’ joe down my right arm and then stared at me as if it were my fault for being in your way, the least you could have done was say you’re sorry. Instead, your girlfriend (wife?) had to remind you that an apology was in order, and even then, you were clearly more annoyed by the loss of your beverage than concerned that maybe you’d scorched a stranger.

You’re lucky that coffee was only lukewarm. And it’s a good thing your friends still appreciate that a little common courtesy was in order.

I know that if the tables were turned, I would have been incredibly apologetic and waited until you came out of the nearby salon which was gracious enough to lend its sink to ask again if you were okay. Instead, you chose to bail and only felt compelled to say something from a distance once you accidentally caught my eye as you turned back from where you’d already sauntered ahead.

Where was I the day decency died? Because I certainly would have had something to say about it.

Yours with disdain,
Jacki

Remember When

Yesterday I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years. She looked terrific, and her kids were adorable and fabulously entertaining. We caught up in between chasing the little ones through the Air and Space Museum, and it was shockingly easy and comfortable. It also got me thinking. There’s something to be said for spending time with the people who knew you when.

“When” may be a shadow of the person you are today. “When” may be completely unrecognizable when viewed through the lens of your current life. But the “when” is in there somewhere, and I think it can be healthy to revisit it from time to time.

I didn’t know what to expect when my friend and I met up, but for some reason, I just knew it would be alright. Her when has made her a terrific parent as she was always warm and open and generous with her affection. She even mentioned that she works hard now to recall the when as she communicates with her little girl. Remembering how the world looked to her as a five-year-old helps her stay patient as a mom.

As I suspect was the case with many teenage girls, my most prominent when memories are peppered with the struggles of figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be. But now I know better than I would have without that challenge, and in retrospect, I’m pretty proud of my when.

Thank you, friend. It’s great fun being reminded.

Friday Foto

A friend working down in the Gulf region sent this through yesterday. It reads “Home of Jax Beer,” but as she noted in her email, “the important thing is that it’s your name up in lights.”

Happy Friday.

Oh, the Irony

Mom and I both bought the same bag when I was down in Florida. It’s a soft, smushy thing and the perfect size, but they only had it in brown. Since we both love it and Mom’s birthday is coming up, I thought I’d try to hunt it down online in white. Guess who sells it?

No, guess.

Yup.

Sears.

It is not lost on me that the $50 gift certificate would have covered the cost, but frankly, I love my Mom too much to put her through the aggravation of having to track down her own birthday present.

Postscript

I know I promised no more Sears, but I just wanted to share this last bit of correspondence. The following is the email I got from Dave – the Sears Care manager who decided $25 was just too much to pay to say sorry. Note the tone deaf inclusion of an “in case you change your mind” and the last ditch pitch to get me to shop again. In this instance, a form letter was probably the wrong way to go (emphases mine):

Dear Jacki S.,

Thank you for contacting Sears.com regarding the merchandise for order XXXXXXXXX. We truly apologize for any inconvenience this delivery problem has caused. UPS has been contacted regarding the issuance of your call tag for the damaged merchandise as of 06/08/10.

Once the call tag has been issued by UPS, UPS will pick up your package within 5 business days. Please make sure that the product is in the original packing and in an accessible area, if you will not be at home.

Additionally, credit will be issued for your purchase once UPS has returned the merchandise to our warehouse. However, if you are still interested in purchasing please place a new rder on sears.com or contact us at 1-800-283-6940 for further assistance.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience and we appreciate your patronage.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok.

Shop sears.com now to pick up great products for the season.
http://www.sears.com

Sincerely,
Dave G.
Sears Customer Care
order@customerservice.sears.com
1-800-283-6940

And here is my response:

Dave –

I find it fascinating that Sears couldn’t get it together and blamed UPS at every turn when the TV was coming my way, but as soon as the TV needs to come back to Sears, you’re all over it.

Not only will I not change my mind about purchasing this product, but neither I nor any of the people who follow me online will be patronizing your store anytime soon.

I am astonished at how you and your colleagues failed to acknowledge the tremendous aggravation and inconvenience you created over the past three weeks. From the dishonesty and disregard when this fiasco first came to a head on the 24th to the complete abuse of access in trying to come to a reasonable solution. When someone says to me, “I will call you back in 10 minutes,” I expect to hear back in 10 minutes, not 6 hours. When someone says, “Give me 24-48 hours,” I expect 2 days, not more than three. This was never about the money. It was about Sears acknowledging it made mistake after mistake after mistake, and frankly, 25% off and a coupon for a future purchase that will never happen because why would I want to expose myself to this aggravation again is absurd.

I’ve made it extremely clear to those who read my work that your company is a farce. The concessions you could have made in good faith would have gone a long way, and instead, you bought yourself some first class bad publicity. Had you even budged and counter-offered with something other than that ridiculous gift certificate – and done it in a reasonable timeframe – we may have been able to find a fair solution. But you wasted weeks of my time and came back with nothing more than what you wanted to concede in the first place.

Excellent customer disservice.

Jacki

Ok, now we’re done.

Truth Be Told

Actual email exchange. Names omitted to protect the not-so-innocent.

After seeing a photo from my Saturday night dinner at a friend’s in the ‘burbs:

Guy Friend 1: “Just think – someday 20 years from now you’ll be able to come over for dinner with my and (Guy Friend 2)’s wives…”

Guy Friend 2: “Lol. And to think – those future wives are likely in high school, right now!”

Me: “At the rate I’m going, my future husband is still trying to ‘make it work’ with his first wife.”

*sigh*