02 October, 2008


A representative of a company that shall (for now) remain nameless asked to be linked by Soldiers' Angels today. The standards for that are that the company has either made a major donation, partnered on a project, or is offering a discount to Angels or military personnel.

Since the company met none of those criteria, I politely declined. Here's how the email conversation went from there:

Representative: Perhaps I forgot to mention in the preceding e-mail [yes, he "forgot"], but our process of shipping to APO and AFO destinations is FREE of charge to military personnel and family wishing to send them [product]. Most all other sites have additional fees associated with that service for obvious monetary reasons. We on the other hand feel that we are doing our small part to help support our troops by offering this discount.

Awkwardly stated, but I assume he means APO/FPO shipping is free, which I confirm in a subsequent email. Then I look at their site more closely as I prepare the link... and discover that most every product includes free shipping for ALL customers. Not cool.

FbL: ...now that I've spent more time on your website, I see that the free shipping is not anything special for the military--it's offered to all customers. I'm sorry, but you really don't qualify for a link. Best of luck with your excellent company, though.

Representative: True, we do offer free shipping almost site wide.
But it does cost us extra to ship to military addresses, an expense that we don't mind paying. Sites that ship to AFO/APO addresses cost more to ship to than domestic addresses do...we don't charge anything extra for Military addresses.

At this point, my BS Detector starts shrieking (shipping to an APO/FPO is just like shipping to any other stateside address, cost-wise).

The question is, how shall I deal with him? I see three options.

1. Direct and professional: "I'm sorry, but you are just not eligible."
2. Sweet and supposedly oblivious: "I'm so sorry to hear that you are being taken advantage of by your shipping company!"
3. Direct and honest: "Liar! I'll be sharing this story with my Internet friends."

Considering I'm still in the same nasty mood I was yesterday, I think you can guess which one appeals to me the most... :D

[btw, here's my portrait after the last email he sent.]

UPDATE: Of course I'll be the perfect professional... I'm just fantasizing. I was trying to be lighthearted, but I guess my bad mood made it DOA. My apologies.