A couple of weeks ago I was washing the dishes when I realised there was both an absence of puppies and a suspicious silence. That’s never a good combination.
A few moments later I discovered the cause: the puppies were preoccupied with chewing up the stylus I use with my Wacom tablet. The side button was destroyed, and after cleaning off the dog lick I found the stylus just wasn’t working any more.
For the rest of the evening I used the built-in trackpad. That’s annoying, but I’ve done it before when I take the MacBook Pro to meetings and it’s not that big a deal.
After some research I found I could buy a new stylus online from a local store (ascent.co.nz). A mere $71.47 would sort it out and the green tick graphic on the web page showed it was in stock. I ordered on 27 June, with a note that I needed the item urgently and was prepared to cover an extra cost for speedier delivery.
An email arrived to confirm my order. Then an hour later a second email arrived to say the stylus was back-ordered and “expected to ship Friday, 29 June”. Of course, ‘expected’ could mean anythng, and shipping on Friday probably meant it wouldn’t arrive till Monday, at least. The trackpad was driving me crazy — I couldn’t wait that long.
To cut a longer story short, on the 29th I bought a whole new graphics tablet and emailed to cancel my stylus order, after spotting that my credit card had already been charged. When I queried how an item listed as ‘in stock’ could in fact be back ordered Ascent responded:
Unfortunately we can never guarantee a product will be available at any given time. All we can do is try to give a best guess indicator based on what our supplier tells us, which is reflected in our backorder ETAs and stock indicators on the web site.
Well, if they don’t know if an item’s available or not they shouldn’t use a graphic to show it is available! I don’t have time or energy to investigate whether this falls under false advertising or not, but I was pretty peeved.
They did refund the credit card charge promptly, and they did respond promptly and politely to my cancellation email, but I’m definitely not a satisfied (potential) customer.
The good news: the old, non-widescreen tablet had a bit of wear; my new widescreen format Intuos tablet is fresh and lovely.