It’s Just Not App-ening

, , , , , | Working | July 27, 2018

I’ve heard a lot recently about a clothing buy/sell app that is supposed to have a decent track record and strict rules to protect buyers and sellers. I decide to try it out, mainly because my husband’s favorite style of jeans was discontinued by the manufacturer, and now the only place I can find them is online or occasionally in thrift or second-hand stores. I’ll just call them “Bootcut” jeans for the story.

Almost immediately, I find a good condition pair of Bootcut jeans with the matching [Brand] style number in his size. They’re for sale for only $20.00. With shipping and whatnot, let’s say the total comes to $26.00. This is a steal, considering when they were new these jeans were usually $60 and up.

The package arrives a few days later, but to my surprise, the seller sent the wrong pair of jeans. She did, in fact, have two pairs of [Brand] jeans for sale on her page: the Bootcut pair and a pair of light-washed Dungarees. Not only are these jeans a style my husband doesn’t prefer, but they are two sizes smaller than the ones I ordered. I think to myself that she sent me the wrong pair by accident. These things happen; we can just exchange them. No problem, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong.

This kicks off a two-week long battle to convince this woman she sent me the wrong jeans. I have to get the app support team involved, because she is adamant that she never even had those jeans in her “stock” to start with. She never even addresses the fact that I never received the ones I paid for, and flat-out calls me a liar on the group message window we have to initiate with the support team. It isn’t even about the money at this point; it is the principle of the matter. Also, considering how rambling and odd some of her comments are, I question whether she is totally “all there” or not.

I go to her seller’s page, take a screenshot of both pairs of jeans still side-by-side for sale, with the ones I purchased marked as “SOLD,” and the others still marked as “FOR SALE.” I put this next to a screenshot of my “Purchase History” screen, which includes a photo and description of the item I bought, plus pictures I took of the jeans I received showing they were the wrong ones. I send everything to both her and the support agent helping us.

After that, I will say the app team acts pretty quickly. They give me a refund, and say I can keep the wrong jeans as a “gift,” since the seller doesn’t want them back. By the end of it, my theory is that she was having a hard time selling those Dungarees and sent them to me on purpose to get rid of them. That still doesn’t make that much sense, because the app team took my money back from her, anyway.

I’m sure there are plenty of sellers on the app who aren’t like this woman, but the experience turned me off on the whole thing. The wrong jeans went into a box of clothing I’m taking to a local shelter, so hopefully someone will get some use out of them, and I’m sticking with thrift stores from now on.

Lost Consciousness From Too Much Irony

, , , | Working | June 20, 2018

(I’m watching an air crash investigation documentary on YouTube:)

Narrator: “The force of the explosion ripped the plane apart, throwing many of the passengers free of the cabin. Most would have lost consciousness soon after from the violent G-forces and lack of oxygen.”

Interrupting Ad: “At [Volunteer Travel Organization], our goal is to take you beyond your comfort zone, because we believe that life only begins when you experience things out of your control.”

A Large Number Of Number Calls

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2018

(I own a used auto parts store, primarily operating off of eBay. On the top of every listing in the “Condition” area, there is a disclaimer telling the customer that the only way to get the correct unit is if they match their part number off their unit with the one I am selling. There is another disclaimer in the “Description” area. There is another disclaimer on the very bottom in an area marked “Compatibility,” and there is a giant button on the right of the screen saying, “Will This Unit Fit My Car,” which takes you to a page telling you that you have to match the part number in order to make sure the part is correct for your car. I get this phone call more than once a day:)

Me: “Hello, [Store].”

Caller: “Yes, I see your listing you have on eBay for [part].”

Me: “Okay.”

Caller: “I want to know if it will match [Car].”

Me: “Does the part number match with the number off your original unit?”

Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Well, that will be your first step; you need to match it up in order to make sure it will fit your car.”

Caller: “What I have is a [year, Make, and Model].”

Me: “Sure, but you still have to match the number. This unit might be for a car with different options than yours.”

Caller: “Mine is a [transmission option] with [trim].”

Me: “You still have to match the number to know if it will work.”

Caller: “Well, my VIN is [a thousand letters and numbers].”

Me: “You would have to match the number on the part.”

Caller: “Which number is that?”

Me: “The manufacturer’s part number… of the part.”

Caller: “And where is that located?”

Me: “On the part in your car that you’re looking to replace.”

Caller: “So, this part here you’re selling online will not match my car?”

Me: “It might, or it might not. The only way to know would be to match the number.”

Caller: *incredulously* “All righty… Bye-bye.” *click*


Worth Checking Out This Checking In

, , , , , | Working | May 30, 2018

(Our particular chain of gas stations developed an app that, in addition to sending you discounts for certain items, allows you to “check in” whenever you are at one of their locations. After a certain number of “check-ins,” you get a code for $2 off a purchase of gas. It works via the GPS on your phone, so you don’t have to actually be AT the store to check in just nearby. Furthermore, while you can only use one discount per transaction, there is no limit to the number of discounted purchases you can make in a day, and no minimum purchase required. We have one customer who is some sort of delivery driver, just driving around all day. He comes in several times a day and asks for $2 in gas, presents his $2 discount code, and drives off with free gas. I ask him about it; he isn’t doing anything technically wrong, but I am curious. He says as he drives around, any time he passes one of our stores, he hits the check-in button, and racks up the $2 discount codes. When he has time to stop, he gets another free $2 worth of gas. This gets me thinking. I live pretty close to another of our stores. I discover I can “check in” from my living room. So, sitting at home at night, watching TV, I check in every 30 minutes or so. Next day, I stop and ask for $2 in gas, pump it, then go back in and ask for another $2, repeat, repeat… As long as they are separate transactions, I’m not breaking any rules. I admit, I am taking advantage of the poor design of the app; somebody didn’t think it through very well. One day I go into work and the manager approaches me.)

Manager: “Are you the one who’s been abusing the app?”

Me: “I’m not abusing it; I’m using the discounts it’s offering me.”

Manager: “Well, you’re not supposed to do that.”

Me: “Why not? The rules, restrictions, and limitations are clearly stated in the user agreement. I’m not violating a single one.”

Manager: “That’s just not how it’s supposed to work.”

Me: “Then the problem is with your app, not your customers.”

(It didn’t take long for the app to be changed to limit the number of discounts and frequency of use… and ultimately they scrapped the whole thing altogether. But at one point, I did go an entire month without paying for gas.)

Branching Into Ridiculousness

, , , , | Working | May 13, 2018

(I’m working on a programming project with my uncle, and we’re using a program which neither of us is very familiar with. The details of how the program works aren’t important, but it involves creating and editing “branches” with different versions of a project.)

Uncle: “Were you able to make that new branch I asked you about?”

Me: “No, I got an error message saying I didn’t have permission. I think you need to invite me to join.”

Uncle: “But then you’d be able to change my branches, too, and I don’t want you to do that. Do you know how to make it so you can only edit certain branches?”

Me: “No, but I’ll research permissions and see what I find out.”

(The next day, he calls back and I walk him through protecting a branch so only he can edit it.)

Me: *after hanging up, to my stepdad* “Did he just delegate, to me, the job of protecting his branches from me?

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