|MEMORABLE MOMENTS||Printer Friendly Version|
Memorable moments at Alternatives 2000
Delivery problemsAfter having difficulties with the postal service in her area a customer told us,
“I chased down my mailman screaming 'Give me my hair!'”
UPS's policy is Delivery Signatures are left up to the discretion of the driver. We have reason to question that wisdom because UPS tracking stated they had left the package…
“Beside the house” It was pouring rain that day.
“Under the porch”
“In the bushes”
“Left in carport” The customer didn’t have a carport.
“Leaning against the garbage can” Good thing it wasn’t trash pickup day.
“Leaning against mailbox” The mailbox was a few feet from the street, the customer’s driveway is about a block and a half long and couldn’t even be seen from the house! Hum, UPS is still using trucks aren’t they?
“Left with daughter” after which the daughter replied “Oh yeah mom, a package came for you about 2 weeks ago, you didn’t get it?”
Our favorite and it’s happened more than once, UPS rerouted the package to a different destination because they stated
“The recipient didn’t live at the given address, they lived in a different state.” To which we asked “So, how long have you known her?”
And a variation on the previous one...
"The recipient moved."The lady is going through chemotherapy, has no hair, is house-bound without her hair and was definately at the listed address at the "attempted delivery time", no truck even came by that day. When we were through, UPS not only reimbursed for the first shipping charge but delivered it Saturday by 10am at no charge. Normally the Saturday shipping charge would have been over $75. Since UPS has zero-tolerance for drivers intentionally not delivering packages, the careless driver will likely go from "flipping boxes" to "flipping burgers"!
Infrequently Asked Questions
A customer traveled from Virginia to our location in California, and purchased a very expensive 36-inch long blonde Human Hair wig. After her appointment, she and her husband stayed over at a local motel. The next day, she called our salon and told us:
“I had an embarrassing problem this morning. Could Toni cut about 6 inches off of the bottom of my wig?”
“6 inches! You realize you would be having us cut several hundred dollars from it’s value...are you sure?”
“Oh yes, I’m sure.”
“Umm, well I went into the bathroom and forgot to sweep the wig to one side before I sat down…”
After we all got our "Eews!" and "Yucks!" out of our systems, Toni easily shortened the wig to avert future disasters.
We've heard this one more than once...“Can I exchange this wig with you, because I am tired of dealing with that other company?”
Helping a curious customer can lead to answers like this... “Yes, I do believe that merkins are made with human hair, it's texturized scalp hair for a natural look and to answer your next question... Spirit Gum.” (For those that don't know, a "merkin" is a pubic hairpiece.)
This one raised a few eyebrows!
“Do you have any wigs with real human skin caps?”
We replied “No?”
Our webmaster came up with a different response.
“Would you like that with fava beans and a nice Chianti?”
In fairness, it wasn’t until much later that we realized the person was really looking for a wig with benefits of a latex skin cap. The wording of the question threw us off track.
First-Time Internet UsersEveryone has to start somewhere, and we certainly welcome every visitor to our site. We sometimes forget that occasionally people are on the Internet that have never touched a computer before. This makes us think “Exactly how did you find our site?”
“… You can’t see the rest of the picture? What happens when you scroll down the page?”
“Scroll, what does that do?”
“… Click Next? Next what?”
“… Add to Cart? Oh I see!”
“… Would you like me to walk you through placing an order?”
“Sure that would be great.” A few minutes later…
“… Since you are walking me through this, can’t you just do it for me?”
“Oh? Ok, no problem…”
While answering the phone at 6pm, “Good morning, Alternatives 2000”. You'd be surprised how often this happens.
“What is the 2 letter abbreviation for Mississippi? Arizona? Maine?”
“Didn't Toni type up a list of abbreviations for you, and don't you have it taped to the wall in front of you?”
“Yes. But it’s just easier to ask.”
“Easier for whom?”
A former employee changed a customer’s order without talking to the customer and shipped a totally different wig in a different color. When questioned about why, she stated, “Well, it was the only wig left in the box we got from the supplier, so I changed the customer's order to that one.” The supplier had sent the wrong wig and this employee actually changed the customer's order and sent her the wig that was shipped to us in error. Thus a former employee.
Same employee decided that the address a customer had given was wrong and promptly changed it to the location where the customer used to live. When questioned as to why she changed it, she replied “Well, nobody told me she moved!”. When told that having the new address on the order was in-fact telling her, she replied, “Good point.”
Hard to give up a bad thing.
Hair integration wigs and partial hairpieces are some of the most difficult to color match to a person’s own hair, because most people have different colors of hair on different parts of their head. Well, it is just about impossible to have a factory match the transitions across the integration or hairpiece without the person being present. So, after years of dealing with all the trouble, one last go was made of it. Over the next 2 months we got 75% of them back and ultimately decided that we should no longer attempt to make them generally available. Blondes and reds are particularly difficult to match, so that's why the only partial pieces you're likely to find on our site are in dark colors only.
Website MomentsHosting a website involves countless details. In the early days (pre 1998), our former webmaster only knew how to write static html webpages. This made it very cumbersome to have a shopping cart system, and also very hard to keep track of the growing number of web pages needed to create the site.
Newer methods came along and our new and current webmaster decided we would benefit greatly from a database driven website. (Mid 1999) He completely redesigned a new website and made arrangements to get the new site up and tested prior to the switch over. Then, at the last moment, our domain name would simply be switched to the new server and Ta Da, new website.
OK, so everything is all set, new site is fully tested and the only thing to do is switch the domain so it pointed to the new server and new site. Our hosting provider was called and was told we were ready to complete the switch to the new server. Apparently the task was handed off to someone at the other end that didn’t know what was going on. After a few minutes, presto, no website at all! A panic call was made to the person who actually made the switch. They stated “When I went to make the switch, I noticed a bunch of files on the new site. I wanted to make sure you had a clean start so I deleted all of that stuff off the server.” Well, when the blue cloud of profanity died down, the entire website (over 10MB of files then, over 200MB now!) was uploaded over a 21Kbps modem connection. Remember the days of dropped connections, connections barely working etc.? It took almost all day to complete the upload.
After the above problems, we received a letter from the hosting company. Thinking it might be an apology we quickly opened it to find a letter stating that beginning the next month our $300/yr plan was going to have additional charges due to the heavy usage our site puts on their server. How much of a usage surcharge? Over $5,000/yr at current usage and if our usage doubled it would be $10,000/year etc.(!)
Within 1 week we found a new hosting company that had a free first month “trial” and unlimited usage for about $400/yr. Great, we set everything up and switched. Right away there were speed issues and the server would freeze about once an hour. They installed new, faster servers that week and not much changed except while it was running it was faster. They installed even faster servers the next week same result. We were told that we would just have to cut back on our traffic. Uh, right...(Sometimes ya just wanna reach through the phone and slap that person to see if they are awake.)
On to the next hosting company: We switched over and for several days things were great. The new hosting company was also hosting major government sites and some of NASA’s contractor’s sites. Great! But three days after we went on-line with them, a drunk driver crashed into their building and destroyed the main power source to the hosting company’s building. It took contractors and the power company nearly a week to get things going again.
It was at that moment that the decision was made that as soon as it becomes practical to have our own server hosted in-house, we would be much better off. A few months later, we did and never looked back. (This allaboutwigs website was created at the same time. The switch is discussed in the What's New 1999.)
Oh, and the company that had the free trial month, they sent us a bill for $400. They claimed that “trial” meant that the first month was free but that we still owed for the remaining 11 months. Uh, where did you learn English? Trial in the dictionary has 2 definitions that apply to this situation.
1. The act of testing something to find out about it.
2. An annoying, frustrating or catastrophic event.
Looks like we mistakenly thought they meant the first definition when they obviously meant the second.
More to come....