Friday, 25 November 2016

Epic Fail

             There are instances when the threads of various topics I am working on intersect. Once such instance happened recently and got me looking into wrist compasses. I came across a wrist compass at a very modest price and decided that it might make an interesting topic for this blog, if nothing else. Other than my limited budget, one of the reasons I selected this model over others was the statement:

             "The compass face can also be rotated to allow you to save your heading, which makes checking you're heading the right way exceedingly quick and easy."

             I cannot really see much point in a wrist compass that does not have a bezel or moveable section to do this.

             I ordered the item in the afternoon and it was with me next morning, which was rather impressive for first-class mail.

             I just could not get the glass to rotate. The mark on it stubbornly stayed at 12 o’clock. The compass was made by the same company as the Italian Army-style compass I recently acquired. You will recall that the bezel on this was very stiff initially so it was possible that I was doing something wrong.

             The supplier had sent me an email, so I replied, asking for advice and including the statement from their webpage.

             A reply arrived, stating they had checked their listings and could not find the description I had mentioned. It just so happened that the webpage address was still in my browser history. I sent them the link and cut and pasted the statement from the second paragraph.

             The next day another reply arrives. This states that the webpage does not mention that you can rotate the housing.

             I have a look at the webpage again. A whole paragraph has disappeared! Can you guess which one?

             I have an idea. I put the webpage address into “Wayback Machine” and find an older version of the webpage. There is the second paragraph. I have sent the company this link and for good measure took a “snip” of the page including the second paragraph that had vanished overnight. No reply so far.

             Two lessons learned here. The first is that if you are complaining about a misleading or incorrect representation on a webpage, take a “snapshot” or “snip” as proof for if the webpage changes. Secondly, Wayback Machine can be a useful fallback.

             In fairness, the supplier did offer to let me return the item from the start. Given the low cost I was not going to bother and was just going to chalk up the loss. Now, given the changing webpage, I have decided to return the item and am curious as to how they behave. Will they return my money or will they welch because the packaging has been opened? I have no idea how I could have determined the housing could not be rotated without removing the packaging!

             I will update this page when the matter is resolved, and will name and shame if necessary.

The Books