The $80 Screwup

The Modern Love Machine and I happened into a couple of well-timed but unrelated financial windfalls this month (quitting a job sure can pay well! buying a new car does wonders for your tax return!) And because my new job requires me to have an intimate relationship with iPads and the App Store, I gave myself permission to purchase a new iPad rather than continue to share one with the MLM.

Like so many of you, I’m brutal when it comes to my electronics. Amazingly I’ve never busted an iPhone, but my iPhones have never been without their heavy-duty cases. My computer has hit the floor more times than I’m willing to admit. So there was no way Apple’s flimsy iPad covers were going to cut it for me. I needed a bona fide case.

Because of the aforementioned windfalls, I felt it would be quite alright to purchase the best iPad case out there, the DODOcase. They’re handmade. They’re sturdy. They’re beautiful. They’re coveted by all design-loving tech nerds. The most boring one costs $60.

Because of the aforementioned windfalls, I also gave myself permission to purchase one of the DODOcases designed by J. Crew.** I mean, half my wardrobe is J. Crew (ok, J. Crew outlet/final sale bin), the iPad is the reason I have this job and I work for a company where design is a big deal, so it’s OK to invest in a stylish iPad case, right?

So after hemming and hawing over it for a week, I broke down and bought the $80 chambray case, speeding through the order process before I could change my mind. Chambray is like denim, it goes with everything. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. And mentioned to the MLM, ‘I thought my iPad case would be here by now.’

And then I checked the UPS tracking on it. And it had been delivered. To the condo where I lived THREE YEARS AGO.

You know how companies try to offer convenience by storing all your shipping and payment information? Well, apparently J. Crew does that, and it had been three years since I ordered anything from there. Clearly it was my mistake for not paying attention during the ordering process, but in my defense I never saw any mention of my old shipping address.

I panicked. I nearly burst into tears (at work). I felt sick to my stomach. I phoned the condo complex managers to see if by chance the box had been dropped off at their office or returned to them or something. No, no box there, but they promised to call me if they discovered it. Neither J. Crew nor UPS can do anything once it’s been delivered unless the person on the receiving end returns the box.

So I stopped by my old condo and knocked on the door after work on Monday. Cold-knocking on doors was something I had to do from time to time as a reporter. Sometimes it was to ask about a crazy neighbor who had just murdered someone. Sometimes it was to ask about tornado damage. It was always uncomfortable and I hated doing it. It’s amazing how much motivation an $80 shipping mistake can provide.

No one answered. The UPS guy just happened to be in the lot while I was there, so I explained what happened and asked him if anyone had returned a packaged to him. No, no returned packages he said with a sympathetic look. I went back on Tuesday at lunch and knocked again. No answer. I checked at the office again. No package.

So I gave up and ordered another one this morning, chalking this up to an $80 lesson on a mistake I will never, ever again make and being thankful that this was a mistake I can afford to make just this once. I paid far closer attention this time. In my defense, the spot that displays shipping information is extremely easy to miss, and the shipping information is not prominently displayed on the confirmation either. I’m willing to bet this mistake happens a lot. I’m not blaming J. Crew, but when I was asked to fill out a survey about my experience I did attempt to offer some feedback on their order form design. Except the survey crashed midway — and I tried going through it twice — saying I had a broken link. Imagine that.

**I do have this one beef with J. Crew to offer, however. Why are the DODOcases listed as men’s items? Why aren’t they OK for women too?

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8 Responses to The $80 Screwup

  1. heidi says:

    Call JCrew. Talk to their customer care, explain what happened, give your feedback. Maybe they’ll resend it (they did that to me once when a UPS guy threw a dress in a my recycle bin- the dress was out of stock so they refunded my money. two days later i found the dress in my recycle bin)

  2. Mac B from Tennessee says:

    I had the EXACT same thing happen with a Logitech Harmony Remote. I’m not about to admit how much that screw up set me back, google it if you care to see how stupid I am.

  3. Mel says:

    That. SUCKS. Ugh, I’d be so mad at myself. And I’m stupid like this all the time — not checking shipping info, that is (I did this with a purchase from JustFab, which I never received, then suddenly received two of the same item when I called to ask what they could do about the missing item).

    PS: I also had another kinda similar experience right before we purchased our new house; delivering to the new address because shipment was something crazy like 8 weeks out. The delivery day got bumped up, and I freaked out because I didn’t think we’d in the place by then. The delivery took super long for whatever reason, and it ended up being delivered the first day I was at the new house, cleaning it up and prepping for the move. My first package. 🙂

  4. katelin says:

    oy that’s so annoying and frustrating. maybe you can still get refunded?

    cute new case either way 🙂

  5. OH NO!!! huge, huge, huge bummer. maybe the people that live there will nice and send it back, maybe?

  6. Andrea says:

    I agree with heidi, call customer care and tell them what happened so they can get the feedback about their website.

  7. courtney says:

    Ugh, that blows. Convenience, my butt — if I have to confirm my delivery address with Amazon every time I order something, the same should be true of J.Crew! I’ll gladly take the extra five seconds to confirm the address!

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