Thursday, December 25, 2008
'Tis the season
Oh yes 'tis.
So I thought it would only be fitting to share a story about one of my Christmas shopping experiences.
Before I begin, let me hit you with a little background:
A friend of mine (Garrett) and I have a tradition of exchanging gifts on Christmas/Chanukah and our birthdays.
You're probably thinking, Yeah, you and every other friend in the world.
Well you're wrong.
Most of the guys you know don't give gifts to their friends on holidays. (They/We)'re too lazy.
But Garrett and I decided three or four years ago that we would exchange gifts. Sometimes, your friends know you (and what you really want) better than your family does.
And that makes for good gifts.
A few weeks ago while we were watching TV, an infomercial for Snuggies came on. Garrett idly mentioned that he wanted one of the ridiculous blanket-robes.
Being the good friend that I am, I made a mental note of Garrett's desire and chuckled at how horrible he would look wearing a robe-lanket.
A few days ago, I saw the infomercial on TV and remembered my mental note (is that redundant?).
I picked up the phone, and dialed the 1-800 number. I've never ordered something off an infomercial so I had no idea what to expect.
The Snuggie is listed on the commercial as "Buy one, get one free for $19.95."
Well guess what, it's not that simple.
I have to say, the automated operator was very polite and sounded sweet...
...but she's a sneaky b*&ch.
Let's call her Kelli.
And I should've known because I never trust girls that substitute an 'i' for a 'y' in their name. But like I said, she sounded sweet.
The first thing she did was ask how many Snuggies I wanted. So I sat there, staring at my phone thinking...
Well I want two. But the second one is supposed to be free. So do I order one Snuggie or two...?
Realizing that I may be in for more than I bargained, I cautiously pressed 'one'.
Kelli informed me that I'd ordered one Snuggie and that my second one would be included free.
Nice, I thought. (Pomer - 1, Kelli - 0).
Then, Kelli went on to offer me a bunch of "limited time special offers."
I sidestepped most of them but couldn't resist upgrading to the Deluxe Snuggie which is 50% thicker and has pockets for only $5.
What's a Snuggie without pockets? I thought.
Finally, after giving them my credit card number, name and billing address, Kelli informed me:
"Thank you your order will arrive in 2-6 weeks."
No total cost. No conformation email. Nothing.
And by the way, it's not getting here by Christmas...
I thought that was a little fishy so I got online and did some research to find some other people's experiences. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- "You call the customer service number on their site and it rings once and then they hang up on you."
- "I placed an order of two blankets... Guess what, the total is $132.55. They charged $47.70 for shipping."
- "They ask if you would like to upgrade to a more plush Snuggie (the Deluxe one). When you say yes you end up buying 2 getting 2 free."
I quickly realized that something was not right. In fact, it might even be wrong.
I did some mental calculations (on my calculator) and figured out that I'd actually ordered:
- 1 Basic Snuggie: $27.90 ($19.95 + $7.95 S/H)
- 1 'Free' Basic Snuggie: $7.95 S/H
- 1 Deluxe Snuggie: $32.90 ($19.95 + $5.00 pockets + $7.95 S/H)
- 1 'Free' Deluxe Snuggie: $12.95 ($5.00 pockets + $7.95 S/H)
For those of you keeping track, I think that brings the score to something like...
Pomer - 1, Kelli - 81.70
I'll be giving Garrett his gift as planned and I decided to keep the second deluxe one...
But I don't really have the kind of money to spend $80 on a blanket with sleeves so if any of you do and are interested in the pocket-less variety, let me know.
It would make a great Valentine's or Easter gift. I'm not sure exactly when it's going to arrive but I'll be sure to let you all know when it does.
I think there's a lesson in here somewhere and since it's Christmas, I'll try to break it down...
Anne Frank once said, "No one has ever become poor by giving."
She was wrong.
UPDATE: A friend, Eric, just sent me this relevant article by Time on Snuggies.