Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Going postal

Buying stuff off the internet is great because when it arrives it's a bit like getting a present (especially so if you click the 'gift wrap' option when purchasing from Amazon). Admittedly it's a present from yourself and at the end of the day you are paying for it, but because you don't actually hand over any cash it's all a bit of a case of out of sight, out of mind.


Unless something goes a bit wrong.

Since buying my new front door I've been trying to save money. As a result, I've just been buying more stuff off the internet and avoiding looking at my bank balance. This is working brilliantly.

In the last few weeks I've been reading the book Youth in Revolt, which is waaaaay better than the movie starring everyone's favourite progeria-poster boy, Michael Cera. I'm enjoying it so much, in fact, that I ordered the other three books (volumes 4-6; the first book contains volumes 1-3 if you give a damn) in the series (I can't remember what they're called - it's all some variation on the words 'young' and 'revolting') from Amazon. I also finally found the perfect bag to lug my iPad around in, so I ordered that too. Unfortunately you can't get that from Amazon, so I had to order it direct from the supplier in the States. The bag was 35 quid plus another testicle-retracting 20-odd pounds for postage.

Still, I needed it, and I wanted it, so I threw caution to the wind and bought it.

This is what life must feel like for Emily Gilmore. If she wasn't, y'know, a FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

Anyway, annoyingly books five and six of Youth in Revolt arrived exceedingly promptly, but about a week or so later there was still no sign of book four, despite the fact that it had apparently been sent. So I emailed Amazon and received a very long, very automated reply basically telling me to shut the hell up and wait another two weeks to see if it turned up in the interim.

(I'm pretty sure they just used to send you a replacement item straight away - didn't they?)

So, although I'm seething about this, on the plus side I'm WELL EXCITED about my iPad bag.

Until I get a letter from Parcel Force telling me that they won't let me have it until I pay customs duty on it. This, the letter informs me, is about a tenner, which isn't too bad, I think. Then I read on and discover that on top of customs, Parcel Force are charging me an outrageous £13 handling fee! £13! That's 13 quid for the privilege of them picking up the box, hoofing it into the back of a van, and delivering it into my by now destitute hands!

Of course, I have no option but to pay it, so I do. By this point my bargain £35 iPad bag has now cost me around £85, but on the plus side it looks awesome, and I'm still refusing to check my bank balance.

And because I've not posted in a couple of weeks, here's a pic with some gratuitous arse.

And yesterday, finally, was the day when the two week waiting period was up and I could hassle Amazon about sending out a replacement book, which I was incredibly relieved about because although I've been rationing myself to just 10 or so pages of Youth in Revolt per day I am nudging perilously close to the end. So I emailed them and almost immediately received a reply that was clearly from an actual human, albeit one with a flare for the dramatic because it said:

"It does indeed appear as if something has gone awry!"

Seriously, do people even still use 'awry?'

Anyway, he's sending out a replacement, and even sending it first class at their expense to make amends, meaning it'll arrive on Thursday. Which is, y'know, great, except for the fact that it's going to the office and I'm off this week.



CyberPete said...

Nice arse!

You could have not picked up the bag and told your bank you haven't received it so they call back the transfer. That's almost what I did with Play.com when I was faced with duty fees.

PS. I'll have you know that Emily Gilmore doesn't do online shopping. She likes going to the shops and the way the shoes are lined up. Saw the episode today where she explained. Rory wrote a review of a ballerina comparing her to a hippo, Digger unwired Richard and got himself invited for dinner.

Copper boom!

Tim said...


No. Parcel Force wouldn't release it until I'd paid the cash. There was no way out of it.

HA! I was thinking of the episode where Emily is considering buying a plane and she's shrieking "if I want to buy a damn plane, I'll buy a damn plane - I'M EMILY GILMORE!"

Tara said...

Nice iPad case! That sucks about Parcel Force adding more charges onto it, though. :(

I'm sorry about the door expense, too. I am going through a bit of financial strain myself. Will probably have to give my credit card company one of my kidneys to pay for the new computer I bought this past weekend! But the purchase has proven to be very worth it. Maybe even worth my appendix.

CyberPete said...

Oh yes, I love that episode!

That's the one with the ceramic apples and Lorelai and Rory go window shopping "like Ava Gardner" or something like that. Right?

Tim said...

Tara - Yes, I've seen your lovely new computer … hoping there's a post about it soon…!

Cyberpete - No, no, no, no - it's the one where Rory and Lorelai reunite after their argument in Season Six!

CyberPete said...

Clearly I have to watch it again ALL the way from the first episode. Again.

I think Gilmore Girls is the show I've watched the most times on DVD. Can't express how fabulous it is when Rory drives the jeep to school for the test and she gets hit by a deer

Tim said...

D'ya know, I realised just yesterday that it's around this time two years ago that I discovered it for the first time - and I'm now on what must be my third time watching it in that period.

Awesome, awesome show.

CyberPete said...

I don't know how many times I've watched it. Probably twice on tv. Of course I caught on around season 4-5.

Tim said...

A good time to catch on! I think I was … season three?

CyberPete said...

Then of course they started from the beginning on another channel so I moved to there (and started buying the DVDs).

The episodes with Madeline Albright and the real Paul Anka were stand outs for sure.

Had a massive crush on first Jess, then rediscovered Tristan and then of course Logan (who moved to The Good Wife with that Julianne Margolis woman)

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Less bag and jeans, more arse, please.

Tim said...