Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Saucy Parley

So.... I had a little trouble with a recent clothing order from Old Navy. The emails between the customer "service" department and me are shown below (details have been changed for privacy reasons or to protect you from knowing my waist size).

Battening down the hatches, I invoke parley:
To whom it may concern:

Re: order number: 1**J***

I recently placed the above order last week and was pleased to see that it arrived today (ahead of schedule).

After checking the items I received against the invoice, I noticed that I did not receive the Hot-Potato-colored Broken-in Khakis I ordered (7760560024630). However, I did receive a Saucy Red Men's Classic Tee (4195420520504) which I did not order, is not listed on the invoice, and actually was never even placed in my online shopping bag.

I called to speak with customer service, and the very polite woman, who I am absolutely sure was not from Groveport, Ohio, and despite whose first words were "I'm sorry this happened," could only offer me the following two solutions:
Mail back the offending Saucy Red Tee and wait for Old Navy to receive the Saucy Red Tee, process the Saucy Red Tee (which, again, isn't even on the invoice), and then wait for Old Navy to ship the appropriate item (Hot-Potato-colored Broken-in Khakis) back to me. This option will likely take at least a week and a half. Should I really have to wait another two weeks for Hot-Potato-colored Broken-in Khakis which I ordered and paid for last week?
The second option would be for her to place another order for me for the Hot-Potato-colored Broken-in Khakis, which would require charging my credit card again (she stated she would waive shipping - well gee, I would hope so). I would then need to ship the Saucy Red Tee back to Old Navy; only then would I receive a credit to my card for the "purchase" of the Saucy Red Tee (which I didn't order, didn't pay for, and didn't even want); she stated I would receive only an $8.00 credit for said Saucy Red Tee (despite being charged $19.00 for the elusive Hot-Potato-colored Broken-in Khakis, which I never received). That doesn't quite make sense. Yes, I'm sure you're thinking I misunderstood her; however, she explained this twice.

Neither of these customer "service" solutions seem very elegant, especially, in light of the fact that the mistake was made by your company.

Honestly, I'm not expecting that writing this email is going to get me more than a scripted response, much less a solution that actually seems service-oriented, and I'm sure that, despite offering me the same set of solutions, your response will include some variation of "I'm sorry this happened." Actually, I'm pretty sure you could care less whether or not I continue to shop at Old Navy, so I won't even feign that as a threat.

Best Regards,

Aaron W.

Old Navy fires a warning shot across my bow:

Dear Aaron,

Thanks for the email and your order #1**J***. Please know we
understand your frustration and we do want to offer our sincerest
apologies once again for this error. Upon research, we show the order
#1**J***, does not pull up the proper order for you. Please email us
again with the correct item number and we will be better able to assist
you with this matter.

As previously stated by our phone representatives, to return the
incorrect item you received, you may take advantage of our free exchange
policy by printing a label from the Customer Service section at Be sure to indicate on the return portion of your invoice
that the wrong item was sent.

You can order your replacement immediately by calling 1-800-OLD-NAVY
anytime. In-stock items will be shipped at no charge for standard
shipping and handling. We will bill your credit card for the new
merchandise and process your credit for returned merchandise as soon as
we receive it.

Aaron, please know we understand the inconvenience this order has
caused. You're a valued customer to us and your comments have been
documented and forwarded to the appropriate department, as customer
feedback and satisfaction is the most important consideration when
planning for the future. We hope you will continue to honor us with your

If we may be of further assistance, please contact us at or by calling 1-800-OLD-NAVY. If you are calling
from outside of the U.S. you may also reach us at 1-614-744-3543.


Customer Service Consultant

Recognizing that Tylerann is likely a Rear Admiral in the Old Navy, I kindly respond:

My apologies, Old Navy,

The correct order number is 1**K***. I obviously must have typed "J" instead of "K" because I was trying so hard not to use my middle finger.

May I ask: what is your policy if you had simply left an item out of my order? Would I still have to order it again? Would you charge my card again? If so, at what point would you credit my card for the original charge of the Hot-Potato-colored Broken-in Khakis?

Please note, I essentially received a "free" piece of merchandise because of your mistake, which had I been a less honest man, would likely not have mentioned initially to your customer service representative. I simply would have kept the Saucy Red Tee and only complained that you left an item (Hot-Potato-colored Broken-in Khakis) out of my order.

Please know that I am not looking for a pat on the back because of my honesty; I mention it to make a point about your return/charge a card/credit a card policy.

Tylerann, I do appreciate the individualized reply; however, the same inelegant solution was offered, and I recognize that if you actually had the appropriate order number, you may have helped me more (though I doubt it).

Since I'm making suggestions, I would also recommend that, in correspondence and on the telephone, your service representatives use titles (Mr. or Ms.) to address customers.

Again, thanks for your time,

Mr. Aaron W.
Honest Khaki-less Customer

Old Navy likes the cut of my jib:

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for your recent email regarding your order,
#1**K***. Aaron, please know we understand your frustration and we
regret having disappointed you. We have resent out the Men's Broken-In
Khakis (item #776056) to you with standard delivery at no additional
charge with a signature required. Packages shipped via this method are
expected to arrive within 5-9 business days so you should receive your
package by August 11, 2010. Your new order number is #1***Q**. Once your
new order is shipped you should receive a shipment notification email
within 24 hours.

In regards to the incorrect item you received, you may return the shirt
back to us and our distribution center will return it to stock.

Aaron, we hope this information is helpful and resolves any concerns you
may have had. You're a valued customer to us and your comments have been
documented and forwarded to the appropriate department, as customer
feedback is the most important consideration when planning for the

We hope you will continue to honor us with your patronage in the future.

If we may be of further assistance, please contact us at or by calling 1-800-OLD-NAVY. If you are calling
from outside of the U.S. you may also reach us at 1-614-744-3543.


Customer Service Consultant

Seeing as how no one is going to walk the plank, I relent:

Dear Old Navy and Tylerann,

Thank you for helping me resolve the problem with my recent order. My Hot-Potato-colored Broken-In Khakis arrived today. My wife thinks they flatter my figure.

Per the UPS website, earlier today you received the Saucy Red Tee which I shipped back to you.

All is well that ends well.

Best Regards,

Mr. Aaron W.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


So.... as you've probably gathered, my posting to this blog has become very sporadic (or non-existent). The reasons for the lack of blogging are three fold: I've been busy with other creative endeavors and haven't devoted the time to keep up, I have had some concerns about privacy and opening up our lives in a blog, and I've been kind of lazy.

As time allows and as interesting or worthwhile anecdotes occur, I'll blog, but scheduled posting will continue to be infrequent.

So.... Pursuing Pineapple is officially on sabbatical.

Not completely gone and hopefully not forgotten.

Pop Culture Mash Up

So.... I was wasting time online yesterday and found the most awesome pop culture mash up I've seen in quite some time. The pic is from the set of the new Smurfs movie.

Gargamel with Tim Gunn (holding Azrael)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adventures of the Flinching Gourmet

So.... Rachel and I decided that we wanted to start our own traditions this Christmas. We felt like being in our home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning was important to us. We attended a Christmas Eve service at the Presbyterian church (we're friends with the minister). After looking at Christmas lights and running by some friends' house, we headed home.

We had already started cooking that afternoon, so the potato gratin was already half way finished. We started the popovers and readied the asparagus for roasting. Now to the main event. Rachel stopped by Weldon's Meat Market in Hot Springs a few days before to pick up a couple of filets. I was at home for lunch when she brought the steaks in; I unwrapped the package to examine her purchase - never before had my mouth watered at the smell of raw meat. We were making our Tennessee version of Steak Au Poivre (Peppercorn Steak). We call it a Tennessee version because instead of the traditional cognac to deglaze the pan, we use Jack Daniel's. After searing the steaks, start the sauce by adding garlic and shallots, then deglaze the pan. Then using a lighter, carefully ignite the remaining alcohol to burn it off.

Lighting of the Advent Whiskey

I really have done this before - it just looks like I haven't. Rachel captured such a wonderful shot, I couldn't not share it. Nothing in the kitchen caught fire, and the flames eventually burned away (it took like two full minutes - not like the ten seconds they show you on television). After adding beef stock, cream, and a few other ingredients, the steaks are returned to the sauce for a few minutes.

The meal turned out wonderfully: Tennessee Steak Au Poivre, Rosemary Infused Potato Gratin, Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest, and Simple Popovers. We were delighted. We even used our fine china, crystal, and fancy flatware. It was a great first Christmas together.

This Christmas would have been perfect had I not developed one of the worst cases of exudative tonsillitis I've ever seen - I'll spare you the pictures.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

So.... from both of us to all of you:

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Card of Christmas Past

So.... in 1986, the Texarkana Arkansas School District announced that their Christmas Card that year would be chosen from a design submitted by a student in the district. I was in fifth grade and referencing the razorback motif (the high school's mascot), I submitted my design in early October. And thought nothing about it.

In early December, our principal Mr. Thompson came to our classroom and presented me with a framed copy of the District's 1986 Christmas Card.

This year Rachel and I found a way to incorporate the framed copy into our Christmas decor. It stands proudly amongst our collection of Santas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


So.... Rachel and I decided that we should try to be conservative this year, so we picked a dollar amount that we could spend on each other and worked very hard to get each other lots of little gifts that were creative but meaningful (and in the budget). We've been wrapping each other's presents (and other folk's gifts) over the last couple of weeks, and it's been fun to watch the pile grow.

I've always put up a tree and usually put the gifts I'm giving to friends and family under it, but it sure is fun to see packages for me under the tree this year.