I live in the world's smallest flat but I also own thousands of CDs which is a nightmare when trying to find shelf space for anything other than CDs. I came accross these CD wallets from Maplin that hold over 300 CDs each so I thought I'd purchase a few of those to store the CDs and inlays and chuck away those horrible cases, thus saving loads of space. You may ask why I'm relaying this boring story, well, after I placed my order online I waited and waited but nothing arrived so I decided to contact Maplin and ontop of their utter uselessness I discovered something quite sinister.
I logged in to my account and realised I could get 'live assistance' from their Customer Service Helpdesk which sounded handy so I clicked on it and a pop out box appeared like in a chat room, here's how it went:
Sara entered the room
Sara: Hi, how can I help.
you: my order number: YD086129 has been cancelled
you: but the money has been extracted from PayPal
you: just wondering what's going on?
Sara: bear with me i will just check for you
Sara: The order has not be cancelled we have not recieved it through to us. If the payment has been taken then it will get reverted back to your account.
you: So, it's PayPal's error?
Sara: i couldn't say whos part the error was on but we did not recieve the order. You will be receiving the funds back to your account shortly.
you: just checked my PayPal account and no funds have returned to it
you: will my funds be returned to PayPal or my bank?
you: if I have an order number and money came out of my account surely the order was received by Maplin?
Sara: we did not recieve the order here. The funds get reverted back to your paypal account. If paypal put this back into your bank account i am not to know. It does take a couple of days for this to show
you: why wasn't I informed before that my order had been cancelled? I just assumed that it was taking longer to arrive due to the postal strike.
you: I still would like to purchase the product
you: Is there any guarantee this won't happen again if I reorder it?
Sara: we did not inform you becasue we did not recieve the order through to us. If you want to insure the order goes through you may place this by phone on 0844 557 6000
you: I'm a bit confused here. I placed the order online and received an order number of YD086129, money came out of my account and yet you say you didn't receive the order? how?
Sara: no we did not you did not recieve a email confirmation therefore we have not confirmed we had the order.
Through my utter frustration I began to wonder if I was actually talking to a real person so did a bit of research and low and behold, their 'Customer Service Helpdesk' is in fact a TX5 Virtual Help Desk so I hadn't been talking to a 'person' called Sara at all but a virtual person and a virtual person who makes intentional human-like spelling mistakes! Science fiction is ALIVE! they'll be driving our busses next!
I started being a bit silly with my questioning and after a loooong gap between my next question and an answer I think a REAL person intervened:
you: are you a robot?
you: your replies don't sound very human to me.
Sara: well i can assure you sir that i am not a robot i am a person
you: money has come out of my account and all you can say is "we did not receive the order", an apology would be nice.
Sara: I am sorry for that sir but we have not got a order. As i stated previously you the money wil get reverted back into your account
you: what's your favourite film?
Sara: Sir it is not appropriate for me to answer personal questions about my self i am hear to help with queries you have about maplin
you: Well, seeing as I'm not getting any further with my order I thought I'd change the conversation.
Sara: Unfortunatley i cannot advise you any further sir the funds will appear in your account shortly. I cannot advsie any differently
you: have you read War of The Worlds?
Sara: Ok is there any thing else i can help you with? With reagsrd to Maplin?
you: I see you're not much of a conversationalist so I shall say goodbye.
you: Goodbye Ms Sara Robot
She IS a robot! ... and my flat is still full of jewel cases, the bastards!