Non Sequitur: The RCA 8-Device Backlit Learning Universal Remote

RCA 8-Device Backlit LCD Learning Universal Remote ControlDate: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 08:36:42
From: Woot
To: KJToo
Subject: Woot Order Tracking Number

Kris Johnson,

Your order for 1 RCA 8 Device Backlit LCD Learning Universal Remote on 06/08/2006 has been recently shipped via FEDEX Ground.

Your tracking number is: xxxxxxxxxxx1385.

Your order may contain multiple packages that arrive on different days. If you don’t receive your entire order at the same time, please wait a couple of days after you receive your first package before contacting us at service@woot.com.

For future reference, your order number is: xxxxx759.

Please check out the Product Forum at the following link:
[Link Removed]

From,
Your friendly neighborhood Wootbot


Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 14:44:45
To: Woot Customer Service
From: Kris Johnson
Subject: Order No. xxxxx759

Hello,

I have been checking the FedEx website to track my recent Woot order (#xxxxx759) for almost a week, and the status has not changed from “Package data transmitted to FedEx” since 13 June. The package was estimated to arrive on Friday, 16 June, but it has not arrived and the FedEx status has not changed.

Please advise me as to the actual status of my order.

Thank you.

Kris Johnson


Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 16:17:02
From: Kris Johnson
To: Woot Customer Service
Subject: Fwd: Order No. xxxxx759

Hello,

Two long days have passed since my initial inquiry as to the status of my order (xxxxx759), and the FedEx website – which I checked only moments ago – still indicates that my RCA 8-device remote control is in Carrollton, TX. During those two days, my wife and I have had little choice but to rely on separate remote controls to wirelessly bend the various audio/video components that comprise our home theater system (which resides not in Carrollton, TX but Willoughby, OH) to our whims.

I had hoped that my initial inquiry would at least have resulted in a response, even if it was simply to say, “We are listening and concerned about your experience as a Woot.com customer.” Alas, I have received no such communication, so I must assume that no one is listening and/or concerned.

It will be most unfortunate if I have to post a lengthy (yet eloquent and amusing) rant in my personal blog, detailing my very one-sided experience thus far with your organization. I can assure you that at least three people – one of whom is not related to me by blood or marriage – read said blog on a regular basis, so you must ask yourself if you are prepared to deal with that kind of negative publicity. I suspect that you can ill-afford to be painted as the heartless, uncaring, monolithic corporation in this case, so you may wish to at least acknowledge that my attempts at electronic communication are being received.

Yours in eroding patience,

Kris Johnson


Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 16:20:40
From: “Woot : Service”
To: Kris Johnson
Subject: RE: Order No. xxxxx759

I can go ahead and refund you for that order if you like, as im not sure what is going on with it. Im sorry that i have no good info for you, just being random cs employee #3, i really wish i had more to tell you : /


Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 16:33:21
From: Kris Johnson
To: Woot Customer Service
Subject: RE: Order No. xxxxx759

Random CS Employee #3,

Although a refund would certainly resolve the issue of me paying for a remote control that I have not yet received, I would much rather actually receive the remote. Perhaps you could make a call to Random Shipping Employee #7 to inquire as to whether they can provide you with information about the remote beyond what is available on the FedEx website (which seems to indicate that the package containing the remote was never actually picked up by FedEx). Perhaps, to stretch the hypothetical even further, Random Shipping Employee #7 could contact FedEx on behalf of Woot.com and a customer whose satisfaction can still be salvaged.

If such extreme measures are beyond your capacity, then by all means refund my order.

Yours in potential gratitude,

Kris Johnson


Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 16:49:56
From: Woot Customer Service
To: KJToo
Subject: Your order for RCA 8 Device Backlit LCD Learning Universal Remote

KJToo,

Order number xxxxx759

Our records show that you ordered the RCA 8 Device Backlit LCD Learning Universal Remote during the woot-off on June 8. After shipping other woot-off orders, we discovered that we were missing a large part of the shipment from RCA . Unfortunately, your order was one of the last ones that was processed and we don’t have any more remotes to ship. We are crediting your credit card for the purchase price and are issuing a free shipping coupon code “[Code Withheld]” for use on a future order. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your continued patronage.

Woot.com

Non Sequitur: Magic Wigglee, or The 33-year-old Sucker

Last night, Miscellaneous G™ and I took a trip to Hobby Town USA before commencing our console gaming activities. I wandered through the aisles of the store, practically drooling at the model rockets, slot car racers, remote control aircraft and model trains, dreaming of bringing each home to my young apprentice. Despite my innate ability to rationalize almost anything, even I was unable to conjure a justification for dropping three hundred dollars on a toy boat before Kyle can roll over without adult intervention.

Miscellaneous G™, having recently seen one of the kids on my cul-de-sac playing with a remote control airplane, was in search of something simple, stylish and relatively inexpensive that he could fly around the vast fields surrounding his dojo in the country. As I explored the Star Wars models—recalling that I have an unassembled model of the Millennium Falcon in the closet at home—Miscellaneous G™ solicited the help of a friendly sales person, who apparently tried to sell him remote control aircraft that cost more than many European sports cars.

Magic WiggleeWe were about to admit defeat and leave the store when I spotted two things: a thirty-dollar, battery-powered remote control biplane and the Magic Wigglee. The plane was just the sort of thing Miscellaneous G™ had been looking for, so he made his way to the checkout while I watched the jittery, jumping video on the Magic Wigglee endcap.

Amazing! The fuzzy, googly-eyed little worm climbed out of a glass, then crawled over a little girl’s hands and between her fingers! In the video, children laughed and clapped at the antics of this mischievous little artificial annelid as it wiggled to and fro, seemingly of its own accord.

I’ve got to give the proprietor of Hobby Town USA a lot of credit; he didn’t even crack a knowing smile as I loudly declared, “I have to know how the hell this things works,” and then plunked down not one, but two of the four-dollar wiggling wonders on the counter. He didn’t chuckle to himself, recalling the immortal words of P.T. Barnum as he swiped my debit card. The guy’s face was an immobile slab of granite as I signed away $7.98-plus-tax of my hard-earned money; nary the faintest tremor or twitch tugged at the corners of his mouth.

After fastening my seatbelt in Optimus Prius Supercar, I eagerly tore open the package. A small, folded piece of paper labeled “Top Secret” promised to reveal the mystery behind the Magic Wigglee’s hidden means of locomotion. “It’s probably a string,” Miscellaneous G™ muttered as I prepared to peek behind the curtain to look upon the wizard’s true face.

Of course it was a string. Tucked into the folded paper was a small piece of cardboard, around which was wrapped about eighteen inches of not-so-invisible thread. Immediately, I knew just how Ralphie Parker felt when he decoded Little Orphan Annie’s secret radio message in A Christmas Story. If Ralphie’s mom had heard the next few words I uttered, she would have crammed a bar of Lifebuoy so far down my throat I’d be farting bubbles for a month.