Posted by: zephaniah317 | February 14, 2008

Mail Order Madness

Those who know me know I am the (self-proclaimed) king of sending mail order items back to the sender.  Reasons include wrong product or damaged in shipment, or damaged at factory and shipped to me anyway.  So, here are some stories from my sendbacks (or attempted sendbacks), concluding with the latest.

Movies:  I recently bought The Last Samurai on eBay.  (sidenote:  this story aside, eBay is the BEST place, in my opinion, to purchase movies, especially those semi-out of date or a few years old, you know, like you see it on TBS some weekend and think, “hey, I’d like to have that movie and see it without commercials!”  I’m just sayin’…).  The movie arrives in my mailbox, and I open it to find that (a) it’s in a Playstation 2 game box, complete with a little memory card clip-thingy on the inside, only with the cover replaced with The Last Samurai cover, and (b) the guy only sent me the “Special Features” DVD.  No movie!  I emailed him immediately.  He said no problem, it’d be there in a week.  Two weeks went by, more excuses.  I gave him a negative feedback, and he returned the favor claiming he had shipped me the movie twice, that he had “lost money” and I was “still complaining”.  (another side note:  as you will see next, screw around with feedback to buyers/sellers on eBay at your peril.  Some of these people take this stuff way dang seriously)

Music Equipment:  Back a few years ago, I was in search of a digital interface with which I could record music on my PC.  One fateful Sunday night, I placed a bid on such an interface, the M-Audio 10/10, and left for church.  When I returned, I found that I had won the item.  Great!  Good price, too.  Now, you have to understand, in order for the interface to work, it has to…wait for it…interface with my PC, right?  Well, the interface arrives at my humble abode, sans (that’s without in case your wondering) PC card and cable to connect the interface/box to the card, and thus sans the ability to interface with my PC!  I then read the fine print on the auction, and sure enough, it says, “this does not have the PC card or cable.”  To quote Bill the Cat, “ACK!”  So, I contact the guy, no dice.  He doesn’t have any cards or cables.  I contact the company that MAKES the thing (M-Audio).  They’ve even heard about this guy.  Still no dice, they don’t sell the cable or card separately.  ACK!  Then, the coup-de-resistance, I notice the guy selling a card and cable on eBay a few days later.  I bid on it, it disappears!  ACK!  I tried going through the third-party moderation thing on eBay, no dice!  ACK!  I give this guy a negative feedback, he returns the favor, life moves on.  I put the thing on eBay and try to scrounge some bling and dignity out of the whole mess.  I put in BIG LETTERS:  “THIS UNIT DOES NOT HAVE THE PC CARD OR CABLE NECESSARY FOR IT TO INTERFACE TO YOUR PC.”  I receive a couple of emails from this guy about it, I answer them, he wins it.  A few days later, he gives me a negative feedback, saying it doesn’t have the card or the cable and doesn’t work (and his spelling wasn’t too good, either).  I give him a negative feedback, he returns the favor, we move on.  ACK!

More Music Equipment:  Back in the day, I bought a sound system for Goldtop, the Christian band I was in at the time (good times, really good times).  Two 15″ mains, two 18″ subs, power amps, the works.  First gig with the new sound system.  Tone (his real name is Tony, but how can you not call your sound man “Tone” when you have the opportunity?  I’m just sayin’…) calls me over during the sound check.  “Hear that?” he says.  “Hear what?” I say.  “That rattle in the low end.”  Yep.  Hear it.  One of the 18″ subs sounded like Godzilla was blowing us raspberries.  Sheesh.  I call the company, the guy tells me to take the screws off the grill in the front of the sub and promises that it won’t void the warranty.  About 4 screws into the process, I find the problem:  one of the screws’ threads is stripped, I can’t even get it out of the grill.  If anyone has ever sent something back to the company that’s bigger than a three foot tall subwoofer with an 18″ speaker enclosure, I’m all ears.  THAT was fun.  (side note:  LivingPalm’s offspring’s band, Dot Rama, is now the owner of said sound system…don’t take it for granted, guys, there’s some sweat went into that rig)  🙂

Music:  Don’t even get me started on the whole Music Club craze in the 90’s.  You know, the one where if you didn’t send in the card, you automatically got the Selection of the Month?  There’s a couple of CD’s in my collection that I didn’t really want, but was too stubborn to send back.  True.  Sad but true.

More Music Equipment (yeah, I know, there’s a trend here):  Back in ’99 or so I bought a bass guitar from the same company I later bought that sound system from.  6 to 8 week delivery time, custom made, transparent red (which means you can see the wood grain through the paint) with black hardware.  So I wait…and wait…and the glorious day arrives!  I open the case, and voila’!  There’s wood chips laying in the case near the headstock, where a hunk of wood has broken off and the bare, ugly underneath is showing.  I look at the “hardshell” case, and sure enough, it’s dented on the headstock end.  Which means that someone sent this thing down a slide or something with enough force that the bass slid inside the case, also with enough force, to damage the headstock.  I call the company, I send it back, and 4 long weeks later, I get it back, in good shape.  THAT was a HARD one.

And finally…I recently ordered another sound system for my current band, InsideOut.  (yes, there’s definitely a trend in what I order online)  I ordered it from, yes, the same company that I ordered the bass guitar and sound system previously noted above (hey, it sounded good, I just had to send some stuff back first!)  In this order, I asked for a snake.  Now, before you jump to any conclusions, we’re not that kind of band, and I don’t go to that kind of church.  :o)  A snake, for the tech-illiterate out there, is a neatly-bundled group of mic-cables that is used to connect the mixer to the instruments and speakers in a sound system.  I got home Monday to find some boxes on my porch.  In one box (a LARGE box) was the 18″ powered subwoofer I ordered.  No screw problems this time, it just blew the 10 amp breaker in my house!  Impressive!  Zeph likes!  (but we’re gonna need dedicated 20 amp outlets wherever we play!)  In another box, the mic cables I ordered.  I open the last box, hoping to find the snake, and voila’!  There before my eyes sits…a small 16-channel mixer!  Snake part number:  SK16.  Mixer part number:  S16.  Amazing how a small thing like the letter “K” can (a) make you want to pull your hair out, and (b) eventually drag you down to the UPS Store to return unwanted merchandise (free of charge, but sheesh…my patience is awful thin with these guys).

And all this is why, when my new paintball gun showed up on my porch this week (after chasing the UPS guy around via phone because the @##%$^@ company required my ^#%$@& signature for drop-off), and part of it was dinged up to the point where I had to use pliers to get it to fit together, I didn’t send it back…


(I can’t wait for spring…hee hee!)

Have a great weekend!


  1. I had one of these situations quite recently…a company shipped me the wrong color of something, which I saw when I got the order confirmation. (I had ordered 2 in different colors, but they had 2 of the same color down.) I tried to call the company to change/cancel the order and they said it was not in the customer service system yet and to call back tomorrow. They said the same thing the next day. The next day when I called they said it had already shipped. They told me to refuse the package when it came so I wouldn’t have to pay for return shipping. I refused the package. Two weeks later it came back to me all ripped up. The post office won’t return it like that anyway, so I opened it so I make sure the merchandise was not damaged as well before I called the company. When I opened it, there was only ONE thing in there at all. So, I paid for two and I didn’t even get two in the wrong color…just one total. So, I call. They say they will send the second one to me, and even in the proper color. I have yet to receive it. We’ll see how that goes.

  2. Looks like you need spring to get here so you can vent some of this pent up anger through stinging flying balls of paint with your buds. 🙂

  3. Wow…what is your Feedback rating nowadays?!?

    It would have been quite the twist of event in that whenyou ordered the snake for Inside Out that they sent you an actual snake. Would have been suspicious if the box the cable came in had air holes cut into it.

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