Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I think I'm in trouble...

Personally, I blame Chapters.

I've been blaming Chapters for stuff for awhile. When one of my favourite bookstores in St. John's closed (the late, lamented Braeyn (sp?) Books). I blamed Chapters. I have occasionally blamed Chapters for being broke when looking at my Visa bill (after the closing of the favourite bookstore, of course).

And I blame them now because my wife's Christmas and birthday gifts are late. But no, I didn't order from them.

I get ahead of myself here, let me explain.

Chapters has a ridiculous, carefree, money-be-damned sort of shipping policy. I mean, how many places give 45 per cent discounts on stuff? And then there's their shipping policy. If you spend more than $39, free shipping. No matter how heavy the book - free shipping. Cathy got me The Complete Far Side for Valentine's Day this year. She ordered it from Rankin Inlet and had it sent to me in St. John's. It weighs about 20 pounds. Free shipping.

At one time I ordered six books and they all arrived expedited post in six different boxes. I have no idea why. It seems kind of silly, really. Why not hold back the books and send them all at once? Why not say free shipping over $39, but if the books are over 20 pounds, there might be a slight fee.

But hey, who am I to complain? Like any good person living in the North, you quickly find the suckers when it comes to shipping and ruthlessly exploit them. One of my co-workers told me she's convinced a friend of hers bankrupt a pet supply store down South when they offered free shipping on dog food.

It's also why when going into the Post Office these days it seems like every third box is from Chapters, Amazon or Future Shop.

My mistake was thinking that most businesses were this kind of crazy with getting things to you promptly. I order the Special Edition of Sin City from Chapters (been wanting that bad boy for awhile). It shipped last Wednesday. It arrived today. Crazy. But hey, it keeps me buying things.

Alas, not everyone does this. I thought they did. I'm very wrong. And I'm about three days away from possibly being very dead.

Because that's how many days the Post Office is left open. That's how many days the last three packages I ordered for Cathy have to arrive.

I ordered these things in November. We've had a bunch of stuff that we ordered after I ordered her gifts arrive from Chapters and Future Shop. I am not happy. The thought of being dead does not make me happy. It's also a toss up as to whether or not she will kill me or if her mom will make a special trip north to do the job.

The far worse option is not death, by the way. It's her having a brave face and making jokes, but being hurt.

And yes, I can buy other things in town. And I have. But, you know, she wanted these things. I ordered them nearly a month ago. C'mon....

I may have to resort to a call to Santa Claus to see if he can figure out what the heck happened to my packages. Because really, Christmas miracles are starting to look really, really good right about now.

Last 5 on iPod
1. Pretty boy heaven - Drive (Blink)
2. North American for life - Matthew Good (White Light Rock and Roll Review)
3. I'm only sleeping - The Beatles (Revolver)
4. Man by the door - The Novaks (The Novaks)
5. I don't want to grow up - Tom Waits (Beautiful Malodies)


Anonymous said...

Just checked the Chapters website - since you ordered in November, you should be fine. 3-9 business days, they said, on 'free shipping over $39' if they have it in inventory.
Check your account to see if it has been shipped, and if so, the date.
Also check to make sure your shipping info is correct.
If everything seems okay, then start hassling. Serious hassling. 'Cause I don't want to have to fly up there to take your body back to the island. :)


Anonymous said...

Here is the help center from their web site:


It lets you access your account, and submit a help form. Don't do that. After checking, phone them.

"You can reach our Online Customer Service Team by calling 905-789-2600 in the Greater Toronto Area, or 1-800-832-7569, Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 7:00pm Eastern Time."

It was hidden away in a deep dark corner on their web site. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

ho ho ho

towniebastard said...

I thought for a second I didn't explain things properly. I did, but perhaps in a more convuleted way than necessary.

Everything I ordered from Chapters or Future Shop is here. The things I ordered from another company (I'm not saying which because Cathy reads the blog sometimes) hasn't arrived yet.

My problem isn't with Chapters. It's that other businesses don't have the same kind of reckless, yet efficient, shipping policies. I actually paid for the shipping on the stuff I'm waiting for. And it's taking longer to get here than the free shipping stuff from Chapters and Future Shop.

Helmut said...

This happened to me on my husband's birthday.

I had ordered the Red Sox World series DVD box set from A&E. It took almost two months to get here.

In September the day of his birthday arrived, and I had to resort to printing a copy of the picture of the thing to put in his card.

Hey, it builds anticipation!

Good luck.

Heather Patey said...

Oh man, I have stuff coming Priority Post from Toronto that only shipped yesterday at 5 pm after I called and nagged them, ordered last Tuesday with three-day shipping. It's the FRIGGIN' HUGE BOX that makes Christmas so special for kids five to eight, two of which I have. The pile of smaller stuff - even if more expensive - could reach the sky, but the FRIGGIN' HUGE BOX is what they remember. Come on, postal elves, I know you're hustlin', but keep it up. Four days and we can all relax.

Vickyth said...

This year I learned not to use Fed Ex ground service. I ordered some stuff for our daughter from a company in Barrie, Ontario. I asked them to send it Express Post - I've had good luck with Expresspost and I love how you can track a package online and make sure you'll be around when it comes. On the day it's sent out to you, the tracker reads, "package sent out for delivery to customer", which is great as I know it's in the same province and heading my way.

Fed Ex doesn't actually deliver their own stuff here. They subcontract out to Eastern Express. Fed Ex's hand on the parcel ends in Moncton. So my package, which the compant in Barrie decided to send Fed Ex to save me two dollars, appeared to have vanished in Moncton. Not only that, the anticipated arrival date that they calculated was for its arrival in Moncton. It still had to make the North Sydney ferry to get here.

After a couple of hours on the phone, they assured me that I would have it within two more days. Three days later, I was on the phone again. Still no parcel.

As it turns out, I got it yesterday, but I really don't like the feeling that things are hovering somewhere out there, possibly en route, possibly not.

Craig, if you ordered more than one something and not all were in stock at that time, they may have held your order until they could fill it in its entirety. Have you checked with them?

Here's hoping it gets here soon!

Heather - if your package arrives while no one is home and you need help in picking it up from somewhere, give me a buzz.

towniebastard said...

Apparently I'm not alone in going through some Christmas gift anxiety. It's small comfort to have companions in woe, but still, at least we're in it together.

Btw, I'm not really griping at Canada Post. My father is a letter carrier and I know the hours he works at this time of the year. I've seen him work 6-7 days a week, up to 13 hours a day during the Christmas season trying to get mail and packages delivered. And I think we can all appreciate the volume of mail that's being delivered.

My main beef in this case was that I ordered three items from the same company at the same time. I got three separate shipping notices scattered over three days. And the first of those notices was, I think, about 5 days after I first ordered the product.

So, lesson learned. Order ridiculously early (next year, late October) and not deal with this specific company anymore.

Heather Patey said...

Got my FHB yesterday afternoon (whew!) - best of luck with the packages, Craig.