Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Card Purgatory

This year, as I have for the past few years, I vowed to "get it all together", to "be on top of things", to "be ahead of the game" for the holiday season. Ever since the year we moved on December 7 with a six month old baby and had to forgo most of the usual holiday festivities, I have endeavored to be "organized" and "with it" for Christmas.

I usually try to buy Christmas presents throughout the year, to spread the costs out over a few months. I managed to do some of that this year. I ordered my Christmas cards unusually early this year, so as to have more leisurely time to address them and send them. Ha. Ha. Bleeping Ha.

This is the unfinished story of my Epic Christmas Card screw-up.

I ordered them on November 10 - along with some prints. The prints came, but not the cards. I assumed they took a bit longer to process, so I waited. Then we left for a weeks trip to San Diego, and I wasn't able to check on my cards' progress until late November. Because I was unusually lame that day, I wasn't able to find the phone number of customer service for Shutterfly (NEVER USE SHUTTERFLY), so I emailed my enquiry.

Days passed. I emailed again. Finally got a response; "We show that that order was cancelled and the amount of $&*^ was returned to you." Arg! I emailed back in the requisite all caps screaming mode - NO! I WANT MY CHRISTMAS CARDS! SEND THEM TO ME ASAP!

More days passed. When I checked my account on Shutterfly, it showed that my screaming email had been labelled "No Reply Needed". Apparently Jayashree my excellent customer service rep. didn't quite get it.

Finally I managed to find the actual customer service phone number through byzantine mazes within their site. I believe it was Gupta who helped me that day. I explained the situation calmly and politely and said,

"Gupta, here's what you need to do. You need to reorder my Christmas cards, at a reduced cost and send them to me overnight with no shipping fee."

"OK, we can do that." she replied reasonable.

There. That was done civilly. I would get my cards at a reduced rate, just later than I had hoped.

Each day I eagerly tracked my package through UPS, anticipating the moment when I could rip it open and beam adoringly at my gorgeous children. Then, I was a bit confused when the UPS tracker claimed the package had been delivered to my front door yesterday. NooooooOOOO...

So today I have become Sherlock Holmes, ruthlessly tracking down my Christmas cards:

2:00pm Me to Montara post office lady (who was very nice): is there any chance my package is in the back somewhere? (we have PO boxes) - No luck

4:00pm Me to Shutterfly: WTF? - after waiting about 10 minutes on hold, I'm told that my
package was delivered to my front door....the front door of the condo we lived in ten
years ago.

4:40pm Me to lady who currently lives in that condo: um.......did my package come to
you? - As a matter of fact, MANY of our packages go to her and she is sick of it. But
today she returned this package to the HMB UPS store.

4:45pm Me to the UPS store: do YOU have my package? - well, they did have it, but the
driver just left to take it back to the South SF Hub for return to sender.

5:00pm Me to Ebony, the UPS rep: me save my Christmas cards....sob!

The end result of hours and hours or emails, phone calls, angst and hair pulling is that there is now a UPS "investigation" about what happened to my package which could take 8 - 10 days. Uh huh. That would be Dec. 20 - 22nd. This is not very helpful.

On the semi-bright side, Shutterfly did agree to reprint the cards and overnight them to me again. But since processing takes at least two days, and "overnight" apparently has a different definition than the one I know, I am told not to expect the cards until at least Dec. 18. sigh.

The sad thing is that I am so attached to these blasted cards. Why? Why do I care? What is the magic in these things that makes me go to such lengths? I don't know. I just love them.

I'll let you know if and when I ever get them.


Mike said...

Next year is totally your year.

freind from the smoking section said...

i will frame this on and i think you should send one to c.s. at shutterfly

Sue said...

mike - is sure HOPE so!

smoking - do you think I could get the address in India for Jayashree?