A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

50 Shades of White

Ambient glow, Christmas tree lightsThe LED lights on the Christmas tree were designed to give me a headache. If there are fifty shades of white... these would be at the top end of dazzling, with potential to cause dizzy spells. Had they appeared on the news, I suspect an advisory would need to be issued prior to any footage being shown.

My daughters thought it an excellent trick to put the lights on fast shuffle mode, this served only to increase the frequency of dizzy spells and encourage me to leave the room. 'These are so getting replaced next year,' I thought to myself, while struggling to find humour in the situation for the umpteenth time over what felt like many days.

The karma fairy took pity on me, and in the sales I spied a set of ambient-glow, pale white lights. 'Not bright enough,' said one disappointed reviewer, 'Subtle white light with only a static setting,' said another. 'Perfect,' I thought to myself and added them to my virtual online basket. I also popped in a set of cute mini Christmas trees from the well-known company and logged off before anything else caught my attention.

These arrived promptly from the local delivery company whose driver I'm on first name terms with for always taking in next door's parcels. 'This one's actually for you' she said, before handing over a sizeable box.

'Wow, that's a large box for three small trees and a set of lights,' I said, before adding my thanks and joking that I'd see her tomorrow with yet another parcel for the neighbours.

I opened the parcel, pulled out the gorgeous new lights and in a moment of post-Christmas bewilderment, contemplated removing the old set from the tree and replacing them. Fortunately I came to my senses and reprimanded myself for being daft. Hadn't the Christmas tree taken forever to put up and caused enough mayhem already? Besides, if I'm lucky and up early enough on New Year's Day there's a chance I could take the tree down before everyone else has risen from their post party slumber. The lights were returned to the box.

At the bottom of the parcel were not one set of mini trees, but six. I unwrapped one of the trios and added these to the already bountiful selection of Christmas decorations scattered all over the house. Some tasteful, some not so. And despite being a control freak, I hadn't the heart to change a thing the rest of the family had done to mess up the house even more make the house appear more festive than it already was.

I checked the invoice and called customer services. After confirming my name, email, order number, address, postcode, telephone number and inside leg measurement,* I wondered why they needed so many details when a customer was simply trying to do the right thing. I went on to explain that I'd received six sets of trees, rather than the one I'd ordered.

'The reason you've only received one is because they've sold out,' said a helpful customer services assistant at the end of the phone.

'No, no,' I said. 'I only ordered the one set.'

'Oh,' said the assistant. 'Are you saying that you have six sets?'

'Yes,' I added for a second time.'

'Oh,' she said again. 'Thank you for your honesty. I'll pop a prepaid label in the post and maybe you'd be kind enough to return them with a cover note, or the returns department will be really confused.'

'I'll do that.' I said.
Does anyone actually listen to what's being said I wonder?

Any bets on whether the five sets returned will be credited to my account warranting another puzzling phone call to Customer Services? The jury's out until this time next week.
Wishing all my readers a bright and Happy 2016. Here's hoping the New Year will be a fabulous one for each and every one of you.

* This information may not actually have been given.

Copyright ©2015 Izzie Anderton


  1. Oh gosh just reading about your conversation has given me headache! Happy new year, I hope you have a great celebration and may 2016 be filled with everything you want. Thank you Izzie for being so supportive as always :)

  2. Oh those flashing lights should come with a health warning I'm sure! Good for you for replacing them already and what a shame about having to return those christmas trees. I think I've wished you happy 2016 already, but I sincerely wish it to you and yours again and I look forward to keeping up with your adventures xxx

  3. Blimey, good to see these guys flying the flag for customer service ;-)

    Happy New Year to you all lovely xx

  4. I hope the lights didn't cause you too much trouble. Have a fabulous and wonderful 2016!

  5. Oh you areso much more honest than me, if I hadnt been charged for the six, I would not have mentioned it. Though im not sure what I would have done with six sets of trees!!


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