October 4, 2006

I swear to Christ...

by Chris Randall

I don't know if you watch Deadwood on HBO (and I'm fairly certain most of the foreign readers of this site will say "nope" to that) but the second to last episode of last season, there was occasion for one of the main characters to complain about a customer, and one of the other main characters says the following:

"Commerce. Every fucking hump above ground is your enemy."

Now, I'm not going to vent here about any Audio Damage customer in particular, except to say that I've just had a two-week long brawl with stupidity that boggles the imagination. Someone purchased a plugin, thinking that it does one thing, and in fairness, it does sort of do that one thing, but not really, you know? So he complains mightily, and I resist the urge to point out that if he wasn't so fucking stupid, he'd know what he was buying in the first place and not have these problems.

A metaphor wouldn't be out of place here. I'd liken it to purchasing a new car, because you need to keep your beer cold. A car _will_ keep your beer cold, to a certain extent, but it isn't very fucking good at it. It is, on the other hand, good for driving. You see where I'm going with that?

(That entire concept springs from the fact that my new car has a little refrigerator sort of thing in the glove compartment, but it only works when you're blasting the AC.) In any case, after an exchange of a dozen odd emails on this subject, the substance of which I won't bore you with here, I finally say "okay, fuck it." I offer a refund. Then comes another long go-round because the customer can't remember how he purchased the product, and can't manage to give me any information that I could possibly use to determine the fact on my own. Today, I got to the bottom of it, when I discovered that the customer in fact purchased the plugin almost exactly one year ago.

Like I said, I swear to Christ.

I mean, we're so liberal in our return policy it's almost ludicrous. But that's neither here nor there. At what point do you say "okay, enough. You're taking advantage of us?"



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Oct.04.2006 @ 11:40 AM
start a support forum for audio damage. one of the categories would be "refunds, returns, and exchanges". the customer will be required to begin any return request here, complete with supporting reasons why they have a problem. in this way you're more supportive customers can give the idiot a once over while you remain calm and collected.

Oct.04.2006 @ 11:55 AM
It has been a year, there is no way he can bring his credit card company into the fray (even if he remembered who the credit card company was). If he knew his payment info, you might as well give him the refund just to shut him up, but if you don't, who cares? Best thing to do is tell him you can no longer help him, and ignore him from now on (don't send him anything nasty, that can cause problems).

I can remember a case with an ecommerce site that I set up, where a customer in England ordered a bunch of stuff via overnight shipping (It was in the U.S., this was about $1000 worth of merchandise, needless to say overnight shipping was quite expensive... more so than you expect, because we also tagged on a pretty heavy handling fee, so the European distributors wouldn't feel that we were trying to undercut them). After giving the items he purchased to his kid as a gift, he then demanded a full refund because shipping was too high (he wanted a refund not only for the shipping, but for the items). The store actually agreed to give him a 100% refund, if he would simply return the items (which had been used, opened, etc.) to us (at our expense). The guy, of course refused, demanding he be allowed to keep the stuff, and get a full refund, so the stuff and the shipping was free! Insane, absolutly insane. But the funniest thing was he got his MP to write a letter DEMANDING that the guy get a refund! As awesome as it was to get a letter from his MP, it didn't get him his refund.

I am really, really shocked at what people expect from buisnesses some times. I mean, people have to know they are being unreasonable, right? They just figure if they make enough fuss, they will get what they want? They don't actually think they are making reasonable requests, do they? Maybe they were screwed over by a buisness in the past, and now they feel they have a right to screw all buisnesses?

I was thinking of purchasing Deadwood on DVD. I heard Deadwood was really good, but I heard from several people who's opinions I don't respect that Deadwood is really good (I heard "It was the best show since West Wing"). Is it worth it the purchase? I admit that I just shared the information above with you so I wouldn't be totally off-topic by just asking about Deadwood. :)


Oct.04.2006 @ 1:05 PM
Chris Randall
Normally, the whole 30 days thing is soft; I don't pay much attention to it, and usually I don't even check the date, unless I get the vibe that something is hinky. We _had_ to put time limits; it's part of the credit card fulfillment company's rules that there are hard time limits listed on our web page. However, I have yet to actually enforce them. When we started out, we had a different credit card company, and we had no time limit at all.

Now, that said, there's a lot more to this story, and the refund issue isn't actually a big deal; I can't post the customer's emails, because that would be incredibly unfair to him, and without seeing them, you guys can't really know how frustrating it was dealing with this dude. So just suffice it to say that it was a big pain in the ass.

As for Deadwood, it is far better than West Wing. I'm a big fan of both shows, and have seen every episode of both, but Deadwood is well worth the purchase. It is the single most hard-core television series ever made, without a doubt, with the possible exception of The Wire, which is really coming in to its own this season.



Oct.04.2006 @ 1:25 PM
i'll bet it was ratshack reverb.,.. err... echo... err...... i wan't my money back!



Oct.04.2006 @ 1:26 PM
oh and re: Deadwood.
i own series 1 and 2 dvd's.
can't wait for 3.

in all honesty, i paid so damn much for the DVD's i should have just got HBO but hindsight is always less expensive.

great show, IMO. Fantastic dialogue and characters.


Oct.04.2006 @ 4:03 PM
Not to jump off topic again (though you brought it up), The Wire *just* coming into its own? Come on, that show has been staggeringly good right out of the gate. Yeah, occasionally it can be a little numbing with the procedural details, but, from what I understand, so is actual police work. But rarely have I seen better casting & acting. Really, I can't watch any other police show with out gawfawing and rolling my eyes. CSI? Please.

But, Deadwood. Absolutely the most hard-edged TV shows ever. Hands down.


Oct.04.2006 @ 5:42 PM
Chris Randall
I fully agree with you. My point, which I don't think I accurately expressed, is that The Wire is easily one of the best shows on television. With the new season (which is only 3 episodes deep, currently) I might be thinking that it is _the_ Best show on television. My only complaint is that it's the only show in the HBO Sunday lineup to not be in HD. I mean, fuck, that miserable Mike Epps on Def Comedy Jam comes out in glorious 1080, and you can see all the pits from exploding crack rocks on his nose. Why the fuck can't they front HD equipment to The Wire?

I'll tell you what, though: The Wire, Deadwood, and Rome make HBO worth having, never mind the other shit. In fact, they make a television worth having. The only network show that even came close in writing, casting, and photography to those three was West Wing. I have high hopes for Studio 60, and have no complaints with the first three episodes, but I have to give it a season to see if it makes my Pantheon.

The thing is this, though: in among all the bullshit "reality" contests is some thought-provoking television drama for smart people. You just have to hunt for it.



Oct.05.2006 @ 10:07 AM
"The thing is this, though: in among all the bullshit "reality" contests is some thought-provoking television drama for smart people. You just have to hunt for it"

This is definitely true, even on network and basic cable. Not only that, but it seems like there are a hell of a lot of talented actors/actresses showing up on T.V.


Oct.05.2006 @ 12:38 PM
Chris Randall
Lest I lose my Riot Nrrrd credentials, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Battlestar Galactica.

My bad.



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