Recently I was on an online shopping spree, stumbling over a store which offers great deals on designer furniture.
I spot a beautiful thing I urgently want (with a capital "W").
I browse the shop and notice the option to subscribe to the newsletter and be rewarded by a 10 Euro discount with my first order.
But of course!
So I do that and check my inbox for some sort of confirmation. And check, and check again. Nope, nothing there.
I send an e-mail to their service and - lo and behold - immediately receive a confirmation. They will get back to me ASAP.
Next day: No response.
I am afraid that my "thing" is no longer available because it is really a great bargain. The shop is based in France, btw. I am not sure why I am mentioning the fact at this point but in retrospect, it seems significant. I was never a great fan of PC.
I try and register with an alternative email address. I get all kinds of strange error messages. I try the "check in with your Facebook account" button and get "This option is not yet available - we are working on it."
I notice that they offer to chat with their service people, so there is still hope. By now I feel that I deserve a medal for "Determined Future Customer of the Year". I click on the "chat" button. The answer: "Waiting time is approx. 8 minutes." This is not what I would call chatting.
Then all of a sudden, someone is actually entering the chat: Marcel.
He asks if I speak English. I say that I do, indeed. As it turns out, he is the one who doesn't. And my French is not good enough for this kind of thing. I could say: "Salut Marcel, comment allez-vous?" But that would be misleading and he would be mad at me right from the start. So that's a no-go.
The following conversation is rather bizarre when you think of it in terms of ME being the customer and HIM the service person.
I find myself guessing what was going wrong with their data handling and making suggestions on how to solve the problem. He doesn't respond - and when he does, I see that he didn't get what I was saying.
The only thing he seems to be sure of is that I do have an account.
I loose all self-discipline and finally blurt out: "This is not really helpful".
The next message says: "Marcel has left the chat."
Sensitive soul, Marcel.
I guess he was already feeling terrorized for being forced to communicate in English. Or some sort of English.
PS. I placed the order anyway. I was not satisfied but I will be when the objcect of desire arrives in my living-room. Or should I say: "If"?