Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Infamous Light Shade

This is one of the photos from the auction, by the way. If anyone has a 24" version of this pattern lying around, I can take it off your hands for you. As long as you PACK IT properly and ship UPS.

Screw FedEx

This is completely off the topic of most of my posts here, but I gotta get this off my chest (and into the public).

I've been in the unfortunate throes of a small bath remodel which has become a monster. After many problems and disappointments, one thing I splurged on was a pair of vintage channel glass light fixtures which I found as new old stock on ebay. They are big and beautiful and in a great color for my (overwhelmingly) green new bath, and there were TWO of them, which was significant. I was so enthusiastic (for once) that I went the Buy It Now route and paid the full asking price, because I wanted to make sure I got the pair.

After about a week and a half, I was delivered a big box of shattered glass. I was heartbroken. I had already been convinced that this project was cursed, and this certainly didn't help. My only comfort was that the shipper had insured the package for the full amount. Because of this, I went ahead and had my contractor move the electrical boxes from their over-the-mirror position to the lower side spots appropriate for the new fixtures. Because I knew this was going to be resolved. It was INSURED after all.

I called FedEx to put my claim in motion. The recipient of the package can't make the claim. It doesn't matter that I'm the one who paid for the broken item. Or that I received it. The only thing they could do for me was allow me to make an appointment for FedEx to come and pick up the box of shattered glass to confirm that it was, indeed, a box of shattered glass. Which they picked up, inspected, confirmed and REDELIVERED to me.

The seller is being uncooperative. He is now not answering the phone. The insurance on the package apparently makes no difference, except that the SELLER can make a claim against it and get my money twice, I guess. FedEx is doing nothing on the claim. As far as they are concerned, it's "closed" since the seller/shipper is not responding to their requests for contact.

Long story short (too late!) I will never voluntarily use FedEx. Not that I did THIS time either, and not that I can say that UPS would behave any differently.

Oh also? Ebay and PayPal have been equally useless. Ebay's dispute policy is apparently to send a finger-shaking email to the seller exhorting him to get in touch with me. PayPal? They give you 45 days to file a dispute, and when you do, they say "make sure you give it enough time!" Not only did I do that, I gave him additional time because, in the early days of this dispute, he claimed to be looking in his stock for another glass shade, which he was going to send as a replacement. (What he did send me was another box of shattered glass -- of the wrong size -- which I received last week. How stupid of me not to jump to the immediate conclusion and call out the dogs IMMEDIATELY.) It has now been 55 days since I paid.

Now it escalates to my credit card company. Two years ago when my wallet was stolen, Chase handled it like professionals. We'll see what they do with this. (I'd have called THEM today, too, but, uh, my wallet is in my other jacket. Seriously. And yes, Jim, I'll have that $6 tomorrow, I promise.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

And then the tentacles come.

Sometimes everything just seems to be going wrong.

And then you make a squid. :)

Then you take a kind of terrible picture of it on your poor cat, vow you'll take a better picture of it tomorrow, accidentally blow the levels out in Photoshop, decide it looks kind of cool, then post it anyway.

Yay squid!

In case you're wondering, the body is giant-inspired, but the fins are more Humboldt. I also realize that the eyes should be oriented 90° around the collar, but I like it this way, so thanks for not mentioning it.
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