I don’t know about you but free online deals entice me. Now I realize they can only come to no good. Whether it’s Hulu or Door Dash, The New York Times, or search engine optimizers, I’m done.
Remember the old adage “You get what you pay for?” It’s usually true.
Here’s my story:
On Saturday night, at my guy’s house, I wanted to order in from a Middle Eastern restaurant instead of his neighborhood Thai establishment that we often ordered from.
This was our chance! I had a great online deal from our local food delivery app. A free delivery with my first order’s 30 percent discount lured me.
The app’s communication skills lagged behind my intent. While submitting my order online, “Error” popped up in red. The app somehow recognized my guy’s address and demanded that I use his mobile phone number to place my order.
First I tried calling the preferred restaurant to change the delivery address for the order.
“No, we can’t do that,” the nice restaurateur told me. “You must call the app directly on their 800 number.”
“Oh damn,” I thought. When a young woman finally answered the phone, following recordings that announced, “Your call is important to us,” and some uninteresting piano Muzak, I asked, “Where are you located?”
“Offshore,” she replied.
“But where?” I wasn’t a former journalist for nothing.
She wouldn’t tell me where. “I’m afraid the driver will deliver our dinner to the wrong address.”
“I’ll call the driver and we will settle this confusion,” she said.
“Wait, you’re going to call the driver from ‘somewhere offshore,’ telling him where to deliver our dinner in Minneapolis?”
My guy received a text: “Your driver has arrived.” But we didn’t see anyone outside of his house. He texted back, notifying the driver that he must have gone to my apartment building.
Couldn’t he just come to the correct address?
“I’ll get in trouble if I change the delivery address” without hearing from the other-side-of-the-world app rep, said the minimum-wage delivery man. We gave him a good tip. Poor man with a crappy job.
The offshore rep reached him. Our food arrived after more than an hour’s miscommunications — by laptop, texts, and phone calls.
The food was only okay. Greek salad with shredded iceberg lettuce. Too creamy humus. Too much unflavorful rice and not enough lamb.
Our saga was not over.
Two days later my credit card company reported a fraudulent charge that was too coincidental.
“Someone tried five times to charge $50 to Google ads on your card,” the Visa rep said. Oddly enough, that was the amount of my food app restaurant charge. A new credit card is on its way.
Probably from offshore.