As more of a gag gift than a serious attempt at romance, I went online to the "Valentine's Berries" website that my wife and I saw advertised.  Her preferred treats come from Chocolate Manor in downtown Davenport, but the ad was just so goofy--with their suggestion that the only thing that could make Valentine's Day more romantic is more strawberries, and roses thrown in just in case--that I had to order them and surprise her.

This was last week, February 7th.  I made a pretty conservative purchase, considering what they were suggesting, and because I was so far out, I could pick my delivery date for no added shipping fees!  Since I was going for comedic effect, I chose the 13th as my delivery day, giving my wife ample time to enjoy each over-sized, over-priced strawberry.

Since placing my order, I received no less than 10 emails from "Berries Town" and their sister company, "Flowers In Your Face" offering me added discounts for multiple orders as a "Gift", but I passed on the spam.  Finally on the 13th, I get another email from "Berries-R-Us" saying that my order has shipped, and would be here Friday.  Friday.  The 15th. The day AFTER Valentine's Day.  Which, in the world of Valentine's Day Gift Business would be one day late. I double-checked my original order for the delivery date to make sure I had selected the right day.  I had--the 13th.  So why was I only receiving this delivery email on the day when I was supposed to already have the juicy treats in hand? And how in any world would the delivery date AFTER Valentine's Day be acceptable?

A call to customer service was next up.  My first representative was doing the best she could, but I could tell that the cards she was reading from weren't helping her get the idea.  What confused her was why I hadn't received my fruit, and why I had received an email with the wrong delivery date just that day.  I was frustrated by her lack of command of English (It was worse than mine, even) but she offered me a refund--of my shipping costs.

This option would leave me with the balance of the gift which was now not going to arrive even remotely on time, was her solution.  Which is why I asked to speak to her supervisor, at which time she offered a full refund.  But I was on the customer relations high, and I wanted satisfaction.  Satisfaction I knew I wasn't going to get, but now i wanted to see where it would end up.

The Supervisor reiterated the offers of refunding the shipping and the purchase price, and telling me that I would probably get the strawberries anyway, so there was that bonus. My hope at this point was still that I could get some of the "Very Berries" overnighted. Supervisor told me that she couldn't help me in that regard, since all the strawberries were sold out. Bummer. I took my refund and told her to have a nice day.

Shortly after I hung up with the Berries Police, I was watching TV and saw another ad for the greatest Valentine's Day Fruit Gift ever, with the special tagline that said specifically, "Last day to order for guaranteed delivery by Valentine's Day!"  I was under the impression they were "Sold Out."

So I couldn't figure out where in their business plan letting down a paying customer makes sense.  Clearly they were done taking orders for Valentine's Day at COB on the 13th.  I wonder how many other people ended up like me--having though the "Berries Gram" was the way to go, only to find out the day before that some error would force them into a plan B that probably doesn't exist?

Thankfully, since I'm a man of action, I also happened to get some chocolates from The Chocolate Manor, and I'm taking my gal for a romantic dinner at Gunchies. She's pretty cool like that. I hope all your V-Day plans come true!

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