WHEN Bobby emptied out his Thomas the Tank Engine money box, there was a surprise. He was just £1 short to pay for the New Mario and Luigi Dream Team 3DS game.
This windfall had occured because Bobby doesn’t really care about money unless there’s a new DS game he really wants to buy. Having resisted an upgade on one of his fave apps, he had done it.
I gave him his pocket money a day in advance and we popped straight on Amazon to order the new game.
“When will it come?” said Bobby with that hopeful face that made him look about four years old and completely irresistable.
“Coupla days,” I said, trying to shield from view all the alternative game suggestions that the website was helpfully popping up in front of my gaming addict’s eyes.
Bobby made a disappointed face. “Awwwwwwww.”
Oh come on, I thought to myself. He’s saved all this cash for a game, the least you can do is pay extra for him to have it tomorrow. Then I spotted that I could have a free trial for a month of Amazon Prime, so I opted for that, and next day delivery.
The computer confirmed that the Mario game would arrive on Saturday.
Except that the game didn’t arrive on Saturday. The postman arrived with another parcel and said that it wasn’t on the van. I couldn’t understand it. My guaranteed delivery had flunked, big time, and I’d just told my autistic son that it would definitely arrive today. Bit stupid. Cast iron guarantees are never wise when it comes to dealing with an autistic person. Always build in the 'maybe'.
He took it rather well, all things considered. Course, he expected me to be the font of all knowledge when it came to Royal Mail and I could only shrug and tell him I didn't know why it had failed him.
The package didn’t arrive on Sunday either. On Monday morning, I was sure it was just a simple weekend delivery mistake and assured him that it would arrive when the post came. As the postman pulled up in his van and I jumped to meet him, he handed over a Jiffy bag that wasn't a DS game.
There was nothing for it, I’d have to complain. When complaining, I always start pleasant. No harm in it, you can save being arsey for when they’re unhelpful.
This chap was the most helpful chap I think I’ve ever spoken to. He was close to devastated when I told him that I’d promised my autistic son something on Saturday and autistic kids don't really get the notion of ‘delayed’.
He’d call me later, he explained, and if it hadn’t arrived by 4pm today, he’d send us another one double super extra expensive express. He also extended my Prime trial, since it hadn’t worked. He was obviously used to being shouted at a lot, because he thanked me for being so understanding.
So I replied: “Well, since you’re being so understanding as well, do you mind having a quick word with my son to tell him what the plan is?”
I passed the phone to Bobby. “Hello,” said Bobby. “I have saved all my money for my Mario game. Where is it?” He stood quietly as the guy explained what he was going to do about the problem.
He gave no indication that he’d heard what was being said, so I whispered “Is that ok Bobby?”
Bobby nodded (helpful). Then he said: “Yes. Thank you.” He never signs off, he just hands the phone back to me.
I thanked my helpful customer service guy. I felt that by this stage if the game didn’t arrive, he’d drive it here himself and it sounded like he was based in northern Ireland.
Having spoken to Amazon personally, Bobby was happy with his reassurances. I think a couple of years ago this may have taken a lot longer for him to get over. But he has learnt, bless him, that life is full of small disappointments. Most of them can be resolved with a little patience.