The Long, And Not Particularly Interesting, Story of A Hat

16 Nov

According to the tracking system, the hat was being stored in a warehouse in Caerphilly, not a million miles from Cardiff. There was no clear address however, and attempts to contact the company by phone failed. I thought I would leave it for them to deliver it to me, as that was their job after all, I thought.

After a few more days, it was pretty apparent that the hat was not going to be re-delivered. I probably contacted the NFL shop’s customer service team. I was not, at this stage, frantically trying to trace the hat as the event I’d intended to wear the hat at had passed after all. Also, of course, I am not, and never have been a Cleveland Browns fan, so my cause for wearing the hat at other occasions other than Stone Roses concerts really were pretty meagre. It would be an ardent Stone Roses fan indeed who would see me wearing the hat on other occasions and think, “must be a Stone Roses fan”.

So anyway, what happened was, despite the hat at one stage being held somewhere probably not more than 10 miles from my house, the delivery company must have then made the exceptional decision to return it to its point of origin across an ocean 3000 miles away.

More contact with the NFL’s online customer service operatives, who, I will say from the very start, were pretty helpful. Either they do not have all that much to do, or they are very much over-worked, because for each one line email I might send, they would send back a reply of several paragraphs, none of which read like a reply that had been cut-and-pasted a million times.

They apologised for this first cock up, I was given a full refund, and they said I could get a 20% discount if I was to order the hat again. I will say this again, not being an actual Cleveland Browns fan, I did start to doubt if it was now really worth me buying this hat. I do quite like wearing baseball caps as a rule, so adding one more to the collection was not out of the question. Despite, again, having no affiliation with the teams, I have a Washington Redskins hat, and a New York Yankees hat (it’s a bit funkier than the standard NY one), both of which I’ve picked up in different places on life’s journey. I had a 1927 hat (a reference to the year Cardiff City won the FA Cup final), but I think I gave that one away to a friend. I have another Cardiff City cap, but it’s not such a great looking one. I’ve lost at least 2 caps that I liked and haven’t been able to properly replace. I have a fairly boring Nike cap, but at least it fits quite nicely, so that’s the one I tend to wear. So anyway, having this Cleveland Browns hat was not really a big deal – maybe I could have one, maybe I wouldn’t bother – 20% discount, though quite generous, was not so much that I felt massive incentivised to re-order the thing.

Well, about 2 months later, I must have felt sufficiently financially stable to make the decision to re-order the hat. I put in the order, put in the discount code they had given me, which still worked a couple of months later, and as I was now effectively getting it for the same price, but with free postage, I was fairly happy about that. Filled in the name and address details as standard…

Except, I couldn’t have filled the address in quite as standard. I must have used the automatic address finder. Like online tracking, 9 times out of 10, the automatic address finder is a great little system. The only thing about my house is that it has both a name and a number, and the automatic address finders often go just by the name. Some have the name as well as the number, and usually, I will pick this option. This time, without noticing, I must have picked the option that just showed the name of the house.

So this time, when the delivery guy came to deliver my hat, he must have not known exactly where on the road I lived. Perhaps he even had the hat in his hands, and had walked along my street, but without knowing the house number, again, would not have made a delivery. And made no delivery of a note to say that he couldn’t deliver the item.

So again, I must have looked at the online tracking system. This time, I saw that the problem was they had an insufficient address. There was a section where you, the deliveree could respond to the deliverer with more information, so I tried this. Exactly where this message was sent to, I have no idea. Tried phone numbers, no response, etc etc.

Well, there was no way this time I was going to allow the hat to be sent all the way back to the USA. UPS, the company that NFL had this time elected to arrange delivery had an office based in Germany. My frantic emails to the NFL customer service team I think meant that they prevented exactly the same fate as the last attempted delivery, and the hat this time, I think, was at least halted on its return journey somewhere in Germany. And the key thing was that UPS now had the correct address.

Finally, I thought, nothing could go wrong. I would have the hat. The hat I had waited so many months for now, and yet, the hat, which really, I didn’t even particularly want or need. This hat was, believe it or not, delivered. And guess what? Wrong size.

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1 Comment.

One thought on “The Long, And Not Particularly Interesting, Story of A Hat

  1. Stephen

    Never have I had to read such a load of whitter, whitter, whitter, and more whitter.
    But I’m glad I persevered. Some bits were very entertaining. Page Two just about came out top.
    Hope those kind and patient people back in NFL have seen your post.

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