Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Princess of wails
There’s an ongoing special offer at one of Dubai’s home appliances and electronics emporia. Sharaf DG states that “If we don’t have it, you get it free!” It’s a brand promise, not some temporary offer.
My first reaction on hearing of this promise was unsurprisingly to take the pee and ask for a Princess V48 motor yacht, in the sure and certain knowledge that they’d not have one, and thus save myself around $650,000. And that might be for a secondhand one.
Alas, the offer doesn’t extend to items that are not on Sharaf DG’s normal stock list. According to the company’s website, “This means if any customer does not find what he is looking for, he can register his requirement with our sales team who will procure the product within a stipulated time. And if we cannot deliver as per our commitment, the customer will get the product absolutely free.”
Assuming, presumably, that the product in question ever shows up.
When Beloved Wife went in search of printer cartridges that were out of stock, and a special order was placed, they should have been in store and available for collection 24 hours later.
So when the SMS arrived after three days, I went with receipt in hand and collected the printer cartridges that were now available as a special order. Well, two were. The receipt said three, but two’s better than having to throw away the printer.
At the checkout, I asked about the “If we don’t have it, you get it free!” thing. I was told that this would only have applied if Sharaf DG had failed to produce the product within 24 hours. But when I pointed at the dates of the order, the SMS, and today’s calendar, the checkout girl grinned and noted that I’d already paid. And when I checked the full terms and conditions, it became readily apparent that there was no way I was ever going to get free cartridges.
Tom Waits was right: The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.