Thursday, March 29, 2007
Today, I received two shipments from one of my book clubs. I had ordered one because they told me that I had a credit. The book I ordered cost about $4 more than my credit, so I expected to be billed for that amount plus S&H.
The other parcel included two books which I did not order intentionally. I simply forgot to send back the no-thank-you card on time.
I was billed the full amount for both shipments, so I called customer service. They explained that my credit had been applied to the larger shipment, the one I didn't order, because that charge came in sooner than my actual order, but oops! They had "forgotten" to deduct the credit from my bill.
The customer disservice person seemed surprised that I had noticed I didn't get my credit. Actually, I hadn't known I was entitled to one until they informed me of it.
I asked her what would happen to the credit if I returned the unordered shipment. She said it would revert to the book I actually ordered and I would owe the difference, as I anticipated in the first place.
She did not apologize for charging me full price for both shipments. I wondered if she expected an apology from me for noticing. We'll call it a draw.
With a billing system like that, it's no wonder I had a credit. They apparently bill more than is owed, so if you pay it, you end up with a credit which seduces you into buying another book.
It takes a truly evil genius to come up with a modus operandi like that.
Bait and switch, you say? Nay, me pretty. More like rape and disembowel, methinks.
Meanwhile, I have perused the books and decided to return them. I will have to pay for shipping because I opened the box. I usually avoid this expense by prying the invoice off the outside without disturbing the box itself; then I use rubber cement to replace the envelope, write "Return to sender" on the box, and drop it at the Post Office.
It's only fair that I should pay for not responding to the catalog offerings in time. But I don't always play fair. Since they don't, either, I think that lets me off the hook.
Two wrongs may not make a right, but the second one sure makes me feel better about the first.