25 December 2019

Much ado about deliveries

In his comment yesterday, Diogenes was pretty close to right about what happened with the delivery of the video I ordered on December 8. The company selling it had turned out to be an outfit called The IT Buffs, located in Leigh, outside Manchester, in England. Four days after placing my order, I wrote to the IT Buffs and asked if they could to get package tracking information about the shipping and delivery. I wrote in English, since the company in in England, and this is the answer I got back:
Cet article n'a pas encore été expédié en France,
c'est à ce moment que vous recevrez un suivi.
Sincères amitiés,
By suivi, the person answering my message means "tracking information." The French is grammatically correct, but I had never before received a message from a vendor using the informal Salut greeting and especially with a closing of Sincères amitiés. I don't know who this person is, but some lessons in business French would be in order. I don't feel like we are friends. Also I don't understand why my message in English, sent to people in England, would get a response in French. Okay, because my address and the e-mail address I have on my Amazon are both in France. Oh well.

I wrote back, again in English, and asked when the display adapter was expected to arrive in France. I got this response:
Les livraisons internationales prennent plus de temps que les livraisons nationales. Ne vous inquiétez pas, votre article vous est dû avant le 18.
Sincères amitiés
To me, that answer sounded slightly patronizing. I wasn't worried; I just wanted to know when, approximately, I might know what shipping company was handling the package and how I would get tracking information. Anyway, our friendship was developing nicely, don't you think? On December 19, I got this message after writing, again in English, to tell the IT Buffs that December 18 had come and gone, but no package had arrived. The  answer, again in French:
il semble que DPD ait perdu ce colis sur son chemin vers vous.
nous pouvons renvoyer cela si vous le souhaitez?
Sincères amitiés,
The name of the shipping company mentioned in the response is one that makes Walt and me laugh every time we see one of their delivery vans. In French, DPD would be pronounced [dé-pé-dé], and when you say that you are might also be thought to be saying des pédés. As in: Tiens, voilà le camion des pédés ! I can explain more if you want, but never mind. In fact, des pédés avaient perdu ma carte graphique.

By then, I had decided I didn't really need to put a new display adapter in my old desktop PC, and I certainly didn't want the IT Buffs to try to re-send the item. I requested that the order be cancelled. This was the answer:
cela a été annulé pour vous,
Sincères amitiés,

Okay, I figured that was that. I checked my credit card account on line and didn't see anything that indicated the IT Buffs had put through a charge for the display adapter. So much the better — I didn't have to worry about requesting a refund of my $35.00.

A few days ago, on December 21 (Walt's birthday) I think it was, the two of us were at the table eating our steak au poivre when a truck pulled up to the front gate and a delivery man rang our bell. I went downstairs and was handed a huge box that weighed almost nothing. It was big, but too small and far too light to be the chest of drawers I had also ordered. That particular package seemed also to have been lost, but by another shipping company, France's Chronopost.

I came back upstairs, sat back down at the table, and we continued our lunch. When we'd finished the main course and I went back to the kitchen to dress the salad I'd made, Walt said he couldn't stand it, he had to open that big-but-lightweight box. Inside, this is what he found, buried in a pile of pieces of bubble wrap of different kinds and sizes. The adapters were not in boxes and not shrink-wrapped in any way.

No, you are not seeing double. There were two display adapters in the box, which carried a DPD label specifying that the package weighed 10 kilos! Ha! It didn't weigh much more than 10 ounces. After lunch, I came over to my computer here in the living room and checked my credit card account again. There was my refund in the amount of approximatel $35.00.

That was nice, since I'd never paid for the display adapter at all. So I'm way ahead of the game. Not only do I now have two display adapters, one of which is completely superfluous, and I also got a gift of $35.00 for all my trouble. Altogether, that makes for about $105.00 in cash and merchandise. I don't plan to keep it, of course, but I think I'll wait until next Monday before trying to straighten all this out. By then, I will have tried installing one of the adapters in my PC, and I'll see if I need to send both of them back. I'll also ask for the $35 "refund" to be taken back too.

By the way, yesterday afternoon I was informed that the other merchandise I had ordered, the chest of drawers, has been dropped off at the post office in Saint-Aignan. That's another whole saga. Walt and I will have to go pick the package up tomorrow (today being a public holiday). I hope the carton or cartons will fit in our little Peugeot. More in a future post.


  1. !?! That all sounds just crazy. I cannot believe this company will remain in business for long. But who knows...
    Good luck with the chest of drawers.

    1. I agree about the doubtful prospects of a company that is this confused by a simple order.

  2. What a great tale. You were paid for two items you bought. This happened to us once when we posted back interstate public transport cards for a deposit refund. We were refunded twice, but I think you did better. Yes, unless you know the foreign language nuances well, better to stick to English.

    1. I wasn't sure anybody at The IT Buffs would be able to read or write French, so I wrote in English.

    2. Ken, I don't think they can..... they use Gobble Translate!

    3. And by the way.... Chronopost is now part of DPD!

    4. I think both DPD (originally German) and Chronoposte are both owned by La Poste, the French postal service. Why didn't The IT Buffs just ship the video card by Royal Post in the first place? And what English letter closing could Google have translated as sincères amitiés? The rest of the French in those messages didn't seem to be the result oh machine/computer translation.

    5. I am wondering if the translation wasn't done by Amazon France if you contacted the IT Buffs via the Amazon "contact the seller"....?
      This is how Beckie writes:

      I am very sorry this has happened are you able to check the BIOS setting on this to see if the HDD is showing as plugged in?
      To check this
      Press F2 when the computer is booting up
      then go to drives on the left hand side select the next header drives again look under SATA 0 for a drive ID if this is unknown then please check the wires on the HDD are plugged in.
      If the drive id is showing please turn the HDD on in BOOT SEQUENCE this is another header on the left hand side

      Kind Regards

      Would the "Hi" translate as "Salut" and the "Kind Regards" translate as "Sincères amitiés"?

    6. "I think both DPD (originally German) and Chronopost are both owned by La Poste"
      That explains why they all get stuffed in the Post Box or I have to fetch from the van...
      "Why didn't The IT Buffs just ship the video card by Royal Post in the first place?"
      Very simple... The Post Office [still part of Royal Mail] no longer do parcels... that service is now Parcelforce who are expensive for overseas delivery.

  3. Was this the same outfit whhich sent you an Apple iphone two or three years ago?

  4. No, a different company. The one that sent the iPhone that I had not ordered is in Lyon, in France. This one is a smaller company in a small town the Greater Manchester area of England. I had ordered the display adapter through amazon.fr.

  5. Ken & Walt... Happy Christmas!!

    Ken, I know the IT Buffs very well.... at times like this CHAOS REIGNS!
    I am now on first name terms with their head of office, Beckie [actually, I think she is the office!]
    We have bought five refurbished computers from them over the years...
    one purchased end of March 2017 was DOA, needed to be returned... in begining of April... Beckie sent me a return slip...
    I duly went along to Intermarché at Descartes... left computer to be collected.... by DPD!
    Sent Beckie a photo of the signed slip. The replacement [of better spec!] was duly sent and received.
    In January, Beckie asked me if I'd sent it because they hadn't received it... reminded her that I'd sent her a photo of the slip... she began chasing it... it was in Tours!
    But, wait....
    It had done a grand tour of Europe... on leaving Descartes it went, as expected to Tours.......
    then to Swansea... then to Manchester...
    THEN back to Tours... via Luxembourg, Basle, Munich and Lyon......
    where it stayed until March. Beckie apparently sent fresh delivery instructions to the DPD office in Tours... the parcel duly left, reached Swansea.......
    and vanished!! [Again!]
    Then in March 2018 it appeared in their office!! Still all labelled up... for TOURS!
    I think that they are used to it... Beckie told me over the 'phone that they actually have half a room full of Amazon returns.... but not the property of IT Buffs... things like haircurlers, microwaves, kettles, TVs... apparently it is a long list... and as fast as they get rid of stuff back to Amazon Returns....
    more arrives!!
    So, your little saga is quite tame really... but why two in the box... lord alone knows... probably one became two on the picking slip??
    Would you like their 'phone number....................

  6. That's our brave new world working out for us: automated translation and warehouse slaves!

  7. It sounds like you are just asking for more trouble to try to right this wrong. Maybe just leave it alone?

  8. My daughter lives in a Hamlet, Le Pède.
    Google maps has decided it's with two é, and I've been notifying them for years that the correct spelling is pède. Apparently the name has something to do with being on a hill or at the top of the hill, which is where it is. Most hills in that area are either "pech" or "puech". We thought, at first, that it had to do with feet, maybe, as being quite a hike up the hill!

    1. Isn't there a town in Provence named Oppède-le-Vieux? Must be the same origin. Comes from Latin oppidum, which just means town or village.

  9. What a great Xmas story! As for the giant packaging, well everyone knows DPD prefer big packages!

    I suspect you will have as much trouble getting the system to charge you and return a single video card as you had getting the two. I, by the way, would have no clue what do do with one of those or how to install it! In closing: "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

    Hope you get everything you want from Mrs. Claus, the best Xmas ad ever:


  10. Oh my goodness! That company you ordered from is not to be trusted. I hope the chest of drawers fits in your car easily. Merry Christmas from Dixie where it's 68 degrees and sunny. I bet your turkey was delicious.

    1. Merry Christmas to you all too. It was sunny and about 50°F here this afternoon. That made for a pleasant walk with Tasha.

  11. Merry Christmas to all!



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