R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson


Listen, my children, to a tale of bureaucratic woe.

My husband has just taken over the role of Sunday School superintendent at our church, and so it fell to us to order the curricula for the coming quarter. I therefore went to Anonymous Christian Publisher (hereafter known as ACP)'s web site and saw there a link for "Webstore". Aha, says I, I shall place the order online and save myself the hassle of typing it all into an e-mail!

However, when I got to the very end of the long point-and-click process, I found that there was no option to have the order invoiced, only to pay immediately by credit card. Oops. Cancel order, go to Plan B. I blocked and copied the table of info from the web order and pasted it into an e-mail. The totals were in US funds, but since I was asking them to invoice and ship to a Canadian address, I figured they'd just do the conversion on their end.

Next day I get a phone call from a baffled customer service person, worried that for some bizarre reason I would like this Canadian order billed in US funds. Not at all, I reassure her. Sorry, my bad, should have put a line in the e-mail about disregarding the totals, please convert to Canadian and bill. So all is well, though it does puzzle me a little that they couldn't have figured that out on their own... but hey, it's a good thing they're so careful, right?

Now today we get the invoice... and I happen to glance at the Ship-To address, only to discover to my horror that ACP has for some inexplicable reason dredged up an ancient address from some order we placed five years ago, and shipped the whole order there.

So I phone them, and say, "Please don't send the order to that address, we haven't lived in that apartment building for five years and whoever's now living there will have absolutely no clue who we are. I don't even know how you got that address in the first place -- it wasn't the one I gave you with my order." In fact, I had said in the e-mail that the order was for Smalltown Bible Chapel in care of our current address. But even if it wasn't clear to them that the mailing address was also the valid ship-to address, why did they not phone us again and ask?

"Oh," says Customer Service Lady -- ironically the same one who was so concerned about getting the US/Canadian funds thing right. "Well, it's too late -- we shipped the order two days ago."

Fortunately, she said they would box up another order and send it to the right address this time, and that if by some chance the original order made it over to us as well, we should just turn it around unopened and send it back to ACP. So all is not lost... but I am still completely mystified as to why anyone would want to ignore the address on the actual order, look up an address that hasn't been used in years and ship everything to it willy-nilly. That's just weird.

Oh, well. In the meantime, there are snickerdoodles. *munches*
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