Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just Rewards?

I think the world is paying me back (in a good way) for my honesty in the Tracfone-extra-minutes incident of last month. Or, the world is messing with my head. If you recall, I bought 900 minutes but was credited with like 1,800, and told the guy on the phone that it was more than I paid for. Which then resulted in me having to sit on the phone for 40 minutes of Darcey's nap while they tried to fix it. I know I did the right thing, but I was totally punished for it.

This week, I think I might be getting rewarded for my honesty. Or, I'm being given another chance to prove my integrity - not sure which one. I ordered an 8x8 photobook from Shutterfly scrapbooking our trip to California in February, using a coupon for a free book that they had sent. Of course I waited until the last possible day to order the book, and then when I did, the coupon wouldn't work. I was completely frustrated, and worse, felt that my honor was being called into question because I swear I had followed all of the coupon's rules in order to qualify for the free book. The audacity! (I mean that tongue-in-cheek.)

I sent an email to customer service, assuming that they'd reply the next day after the deal was over, and as such, I was out of luck. But here's where the karmic world started to smile on me: Customer service replied within an hour, telling me that because I had uploaded my own digital scrapbook pages into an album instead of putting my photos into one of their pre-made books, my album didn't qualify for the coupon. (Which is a load of baloney, because there was not one single word of exclusion referring to that.) But, the rep said that she'd put a new coupon on my account that would work with the album I had made, plus she'd give me another week to use it. How awesome was that! I didn't even have to complain, or argue about the technicalities, or whatever, she just gave me the free book that I was expecting.

Wait, it gets worse, and then better.

So on Friday I got my book in the mail. It's the first time I've ever made a digital scrapbook and had it printed, so I was excited to see how it was going to look. Turns out, a California road trip was too boring a vacation subject for them to handle - instead, they sent me an album from a trip to Kauai! It had loads of beautiful pictures, and some people who looked like they were having fun, but none of it was my kids at Legoland.

I called Shutterfly's customer service, gave the woman my order number and the order number than was on the Hawaii vacationer's book. The rep apologized profusely, promised to reorder both books and send it with expedited shipping. Then I Googled the person's name in the album, found some contact info, and sent her an email explaining that I've got her book and would ship it to her so she could have two copies if she wanted. She replied right away and said that she'd love to have me mail it to her, and she'd keep her eye out for my book, if she gets it.

The next day, my book came in the mail. The original one, the first one that they shipped. Apparently, they didn't switch the two books, they just shipped hers to me by mistake. But we both have two new albums on their way to us.

I feel no less guilty than if I hadn't told the Tracfone guy about the extra 900 minutes, but I'm reticent to correct this error. First of all, they only give a 30 minute window for cancellation, and then the album is on it's way to being printed. So, 32 hours later when I get the album in the mail, it's too late to stop the presses. And by now it's a full 48 hours since I called customer service. But even if they have already printed the new book, I could at least save them the shipping cost on my book if I tell them that I got the first book. Second, and this one's important, how badly will they screw up these orders if I call again? Will the hawaiian not get hers, too? I feel like it might be safer to let well enough alone.

But then I'm wondering if I'm trying to justify this decision because, really, I want two copies of my book. I want to send one to Ryan's sister Shauna, who came with us on our trip. As with the Tracfone incident, I want to prove my honesty by telling them about the error, but I want them to say, "Oh, go ahead and keep it. It'll teach us a lesson to have to absorb this cost!" Maybe the world is saying to me, "You were honest once, but let's see if you'll do it again now that you know the cost that might be involved." Maybe I just like making a relatively simple situation into an overly complicated moral issue, when it doesn't have to be.

World, you are one tricky son of a gun. Make sure you vote in the poll and let me know what you think.


rachel said...

I am sure they have already printed and sent your book, so I don't think they would make you send it back or anything. If it would clear your conscience, you could call and see what they say, but chances are they would just say, "hey, it was our mistake, enjoy the book".

SaraH G said...

I've had similar things with customer service - and they have told me to just keep the extra, it's how they fix things on their end, what are they going to do with 2 special items, they shouldn't have messed it up, etc.
So... while i'd keep it and feel guilty. or call when it's too late so i can relieve the guilt. .... i can honestly say that the business doesn't want your second album, you do. and they know they're doing it twice, so they should learn from it.
(yup, i'm windy when i get going...)

by the way, way to go on making the album! i love those books and have been thinking i should do them. hope you love it!