Saturday, June 19

(near) instant gratification

Okay, either I've been caught in a rip of the space-time continuum (explained in various Star Trek episodes) or has become psychic. They shipped my recent order before I ordered it. Well, kinda.

On Monday I ordered 2 books from (who have warehouses of books ready throughout the country to fill my every literary whim). My order was over $25, allowing me to opt for FREE Super Saver Shipping (5-9 business days). The confirming email said:
Shipping estimate for these items:  June 18, 2004

Delivery estimate: June 22, 2004 - June 24, 2004
So, I was mildly amused to see Thursday's (one day early) email saying that it had shipped, with delivery estimated "via UPS (5-9 business days)". Imagine my surprise when The Nice UPS Man showed up on Friday afternoon (2:21pm) with my order! It was shipped from Coffeyville, Kansas at 12:39pm Thursday, and arrived on my doorstep less than 26 hours later. Undoubtedly, and UPS knew that I'd be blogging this, and they wanted to make a great impression.

But .. the story doesn't end! Lo and behold, another email went out at 3:34am today, saying that my order shipped (same tracking number, same order number. I can only assume a Computer Burp [technical term] caused the duplicate email.

Being in such a literary mood, at 9:24am I spotted yet another book on that I Simply Must Have, but I noticed a curious "Available for in-store pickup now" line. Huh? I plugged in my ZIP code, and it said "no stores in your area" to which I bleated "bah!" and plugged in my old ZIP code* and it found 2 Borders locations within a short drive. Ah, good. After all, I live in Dallas (a large city) and not in some outback like Lucas, Texas.

But, it advised I must wait for confirmation! (How long would that take? Hopefully less than the 26 hours it took to ship my last book?) Voila! .. at 9:47am (yes, 23 minutes later) I got an email advising that my book would be available for pickup when the store opened at 10am. I hopped in the car and made the rendezvous, allowing for near instant gratification. Ah, life is goooood.

* I've blogged about this before .. turns out most merchants don't upgrade their ZIP code software until theirs becomes hopelessly out of date.

By the way .. I used that (otherwise useless) $25 SBC Gift Card (aka Visa Debit) as partial payment, and forked over the other $4.23 from my Discover Card. Due to the way companies allow for tips, a $25 gift card gets rejected for a $25 purchase, in most cases. After getting about 3 or 4 rejections, I got around this annoyance by using the gift card to purchase an gift certificate, which I knew I'd use Real Soon Now.

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