It all began back in December when my daughter told me about her iPod Touch and how amazing it was. I decided to join the technophiles and get me one. I had no intention of paying for it, though. I was going to get a FREE iPod with my RBC Rewards points.
At the time an iPod Touch was available for a mere 30,000 points. Unfortunately, I waffled. I didn’t need an iPod – free or otherwise – and once the points were spent, they were spent. So I waited. But the call of the iPod was more than I could resist and so I decided to take the plunge and order it. Well, darned if they didn’t double the points needed to get one. I took it as a sign and resolved to put iPod ownership out of my mind.
Then my daughter suggested that I get a Future Shop gift card with my points instead and order it that way. Hmmm....
I logged into my RBC account and filled out all the necessary stuff like my name and address and what I wanted to spend my points on and clicked on the Submit Order button. A little pop-up window announced that the function was not working and apologized for any inconvenience.
For the next few days, I logged into my account and went through the motions of ordering (practice makes perfect) only to have the pop-up apology repeatedly remind me that it wasn’t working. Okay. That’s it. No iPod for me.
But, of course, I got stubborn. My resolve dissolved and I went back after a few days and tried again.
My points were spent and a confirmation e-mail landed in my in-box announcing that a Future Shop gift card was on its way. Whoot!
The card arrived two weeks before I expected it to on Friday the 13th. This may have been another sign, but I ignored it, not being superstitious about Friday the 13th, and Googled Future Shop. I found the iPod I wanted and dropped it into a shopping cart. Before I could find anything else to buy, I went to complete my order.
Again with the filling out of on-line forms. At the bottom of the order page, I was asked to enter my gift card number and security PIN. The page changed and I noticed that the balance on my gift card was zero. That wasn’t right, so I cancelled my order and called Customer Service. A very nice man told me not to worry, that, yes, there was a problem with the gift card balances not showing up, but that my order would be processed and the gift card would be applied and I could rest assured that my credit card would not be charged.
Okay! Back to the Future Shop web site. Back to placing my order. I did hesitate for just a moment, but finally clicked on Submit Order and then went happily on with my day with complete faith in the system.
On Wednesday, the iPod arrived at the post office and I picked it up. Oh, happy day. I had a new toy to play with. And what a fun little gadget it is!
A short hour after picking up the iPod, my happy bubble was unceremoniously popped when I happened to log into my on-line banking and saw – much to my horror – that my credit card had been charged the full amount of the iPod. I know I swore. What else does one do when a charge appears on one’s credit card that should not have appeared?
I re-Googled Future Shop and found the customer service contact page. I opted to send an e-mail in which I detailed the circumstances and politely asked that the charges be reversed and the gift card be applied. A short while later I got a reply saying that this could not be done. The e-mail suggested that I did not follow the instructions and that it basically sucked to be me. Not acceptable!
I shot back another e-mail, insisting that Future Shop fix this. I argued that their web site had a glitch and that I should not be punished for their functionality failure. Again, I received a reply that was not to my satisfaction. I was told to take the iPod down to my local Future Shop store and return it and then buy it again with the gift card. The closed Future Shop store is 200 miles away. Not gonna happen.
I explained my dilemma in a third e-mail. This time the reply was an offer to send me a mailing label so I could send the iPod back.
Oh, for pity sake!
I abandoned e-mail communication and picked up the phone. I dialled the toll-free number for Customer Service and spoke to a kindly lady named Fay. I gave her my order number and explained the whole sordid affair to her. She was sympathetic – at least – but said that she could not reverse the charges or apply the gift card. She did, however, say that she would pass my problem on to another department where there were people who could. Awesome!
She re-capped my story so I knew she understood and asked me to give them 48 hours to respond.
It’s been 72 hours and no one has gotten back to me...
But that’s not all. Yesterday I went to charge the iPod and nothing happened. Strange! I checked to make sure that the cord was properly connected to both the iPod and the computer. Nothing seemed amiss. I unplugged the iPod and plugged in my camera. Nothing happened. My first thought was that my USB ports were fried again.
I got out the library laptop and plugged the iPod into it. Nothing. So I tried the camera. It was fine.
One of my staff members plugged the iPod into her computer. Nothing.
To say that my gorge rose is very nearly an understatement. I was physically nauseous. First a charge on my credit card and then the damn thing doesn’t work after only two days. This couldn’t be happening.
The staff member, also an iPod owner and enthusiast, brought her cord in to see if that was the problem. As it turned out, it was. The iPod charged as it should and all was well.
Well, except for now I had a charge cord that was screwed.
Another staff member came to my rescue and brought me an old charge cord from an iPod that doesn’t work anymore. I haven’t tried it, but I am hopeful that it will see me through until I can get a new one.
If the silly thing wasn’t so darned cool, I think I would just return it and be done with the whole mess. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to bring myself to do that. This little gadget really is amazing. The apps are a riot and an addiction to Angry Birds is already taking hold of my psyche.
I can use Facebook and Skype with it. I can check the weather, which is updated hourly. I can take photos and videos. And the camera is reversible – front or back. I can watch TV on it and enjoy Youtube videos. It has an excellent calendar on which I can record events and appointments. I can read e-books and listen to audio books. There’s a dictionary with Word of the Day, a thesaurus and a voice-activated look-up, which is a hoot when it doesn’t understand what I’m saying. Sky View lets me see the planets and stars even inside. Epic Win is a to-do list that rewards me when I complete any given task.
It’s a computer in the palm of my hand.
I’m determined to get the credit card charges reversed. But that’s a Monday problem. For now I’m going to just have fun with my new toy. But maybe in the future, when I want something and all the signs are against me, I’ll listen!