Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Bloomex: The War of the Tulips

On May the 7th it was Brandi's birthday. I decided to try and be a good boyfriend and have her favourite flowers, tulips, to be delivered along with some chocolates. I arranged for this in mid-April, paying extra for morning delivery before 12pm. I won't go far into it, as you can get the whole story from the following emails between me and BloomEx.

It is a story of tragedy and comedy. They start of serious, but then get more amusing towards the end.

May 7th

I had paid extra for this to get delivered on the morning, as I knew that at 12pm they would need to be going out. It is now 12:30, and I am having to try and convince her to stay in the house and wait, obviously being able to say why. Why has it not yet been delivered, and when can I expect it will be? And will I receive my money back for the morning delivery I didn't get?

I had tried to call directly, to get a quicker answer (as due to the nature of this email, an instance response is needed), but after navigating the menus I was just told to leave a message.


May 7th

It has now been an hour and a half since the latest it was meant to be delivered, and an hour since my email, and there is still no response. Can you please respond ASAP.


[after trying their helpline and finding out it doesn't let you speak to a representative, I ended up calling the sales line, who updated it to say it wasn't delivered.>

May 8th

This is not acceptable at all. Not only did I pay extra to get the flowers delivered at a certain time which wasn't honoured, the flowers haven't been delivered at all. I am left looking like I have forgot a birthday, when really I placed the order weeks ago. What do you plan to do about it?


May 9th
Thank you for your order. We have received your claim of non delivery. We have placed a trace on your order and will follow up with our production facility. IF your order still has not been delivered as of Monday May 9th. Please respond via email to wecare@bloomex.ca or at 1-888-912-5666.Thank you.Management.ab

May 10th
I have just been informed that the flowers have now been delivered. Not only were they two days late (making sending birthday flowers pointless...) they didn't even have the message on them that I wrote. What's worse... on the phone when I said "i remember you said tulips were your favorite", I had the reply "yeah, but these aren't tulips".

This is completely out of order. I paid for a specific delivery time, on a specific day, with a specific message, and a specific bouquet of flowers. Instead I just got some type of flowers sent on some day, that could have been from anyone. It has made me look really bad, and I regret ever placing an order with your company. I thought having to put up with the long.distance would be made easier if I found a flower company to user every so often.

I also haven't had any email response to the ones I have sent, and was only able to get the order updated as not delivered by calling your sales line.

What do you plan to do about it?


May 10th
We attempted delivery, but recipient was not available. Your order was returned. Please advise of  a new delivery address in order to send it out. Sincerely,Bloomex Management Mg

May 10th
From this it appears you aren't reading any of my emails. I will paste the last ones I have sent you:
[Pasted all emails so far]

May 10th
Thank you for your message.We apologize that the product did not meet your expectations.  We will resent your order out FREE of extra charge as a token of our appreciation.  Thank you, Management.ab

May 10th
Thank you for your reply.

I hope you understand, it isn't that the product didn't meet expectations, it didn't meet the the advertised description. I paid for tulips, with a note, with morning delivery on Saturday. I received another type of flower, without a note, on a Monday. As I am sure you are aware, flowers are usually bought as a gift to celebrate a day or event. Delivering the flowers now is useless to me as it is no longer her birthday. I have had enough hassle trying to call and email, and trying to get her to stay in after the delivery time for possible lateness, so I would just like a refund for the products and services I didn't receive as promised, and no longer require.

May 11th
Dear Andy

 Thank you for feedback on the product received. We apologize that the
product did not meet your expectations.. Records indicate that the product
that was ordered was sent out. You have claimed the product you order is not
what was received

At Bloomex we are committed to customer satisfaction. We will send a new

 Thank you for choosing Bloomex. You are a valued customer to our company
and we look forward to serving you again soon.

Bloomex Management

May 11th

How do I place a new order, free of charge? What are the rules surrounding it?

Thank you,

May 11th
A resend will be processed. Bloomex Management Mg

May 11th
You have already sent some flowers once, incorrectly. Not only will I seem like I forgot her birthday originally, I will then seem weird for sending her two lots. I do not require the same order again, I would either like a new order (our at least be able to send them in june), or a refund.

May 11th
I have just received pictures of the flowers, and I am pretty shocked. They look close to death already. Most are wilting and shrivelled up, and they are most certainly not the tulips I ordered.

As you can see, you would not want to receive these flowers, much less be the person to have them sent. And what's worse, they aren't even the product I ordered. I am insulted that they were even sent under my name.

I would like a refund please.

May 12th
Dear Customer, thank you for your business with Bloomex. Your order was delivered on the 11th of May. We sincerely thank you for your order and we will be pleased to serve you soon again, thanks, Bloomex.

May 12th
I can't tell if this is some sort of practical joke or not. I didn't ask for you to send any more flowers, I just wanted a refund. I most certainly didn't want you to send her the wrong flowers (again).

So now I look a bit like a psycho. First it appears I forgot her birthday. Then it looks like I am giving some sort of subtle threat sending her dead flowers. Now it seems I am testing her motherly instinct by sending her unblossomed flowers that she didn't want, to raise as her own. 

They appear to be some kind of lily, and I know nothing about flowers (apparently we aren't so different). I'm half expecting to find out that I've made a mistake here, and instead of pressing 'tulips' I clicked an "I'm feeling lucky" button.

Please process a refund. And don't worry about apologising about them not being up to my expectations... my expectations are pretty low at the moment. 


Ps. Here is a picture of the new flowers.

May 12th
Dear Andy,
Your order has been resent to your recipient with fresh flowers.Unfortunately we can not take further actions on this case.Thank you.Management.ab

May 12th
You obviously didn't read my last email. MY order hasn't been resent. An order you imagined up has been resent. I asked for tulips. I didn't receive tulips. You can send as many roses, lilies, daisies, poison ivy, or whatever you want... it won't mean that MY order has been sent. If you ordered the Bible from Amazon, and they sent you a Quran, and you complained that you didn't receive what you want... and then they send you the 'Customer Service For Dummies' book (albeit, FREE of charge as a token of their appreciation), would you count that order as closed?

You can send me as many flowers as you want** but it doesn't change the fact that I ordered Tulips, for morning delivery. I didn't receive tulips, on a morning.

Please process a refund. I will not be easily deterred with single-sentence template replies.


**but please please don't

May 13th
Dear Andy,
Our records show that your order was delivered on May 11th at 6:15pm and signed for by Brandi.
Bloomex Management. lmc

May 13th
Ah awesome. Is that your records, or was it the email I just showed you? There is no debate over whether it was delivered. You delivered the wrong product. I still haven't received my tulips. I do very much like tulips, and you are being very withholding of them. Have the stock price of tulips gone up? Are you expecting a tulips rush during the spring so you are holding onto them tightly, and hoping your other customers will think lilies are tulips? That seems very selfish.

So just out of interest, what went through the mind of the person who gave me the lilies? Did they decide, based on my note, that tulips weren't the best flower to match the occasion? I really have to disagree with the lilies. I thought they were for funerals (which would mean that both flowers you sent refer to death). If they genuinely were offering their expertise in helping me decide on a flower, then thank you... but I really would like my tulips.

At first I thought I misunderstood the situation, and maybe you felt so guilty about forgetting to deliver the flowers, the ones you sent after were a way of saying sorry. And then because you still hadn't sent any, you sent some more as a further apology.

Also, I don't think Brandi actually signed anything? If you can prove she has signed for tulips, then I will drop the case.

Now. Please give me a refund.

With love,

May 17th


Now you have had time to think about what you have done, have you decided to either fulfil my ACTUAL order, or to refund me the money? I am still eager to point out that I didn't at any point purchase lilies or any other flower, only tulips. Tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips (repeated both for effect, and hopefully it might stick in your head).

Please let me know asap whether you will be sending tulips (tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips) or refunding my money.

Yours sincerely,

tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips tulips.

May 17th
Our records show that your order was re-delivered on May 11th at 6:15pm and signed for by Brandi.  We have confirmed that we sent tulips, as they were in stock at that time.  No further action can be taken in this case.  We apologize for the inconvenience. Bloomex Management. mr

May 17th

I ordered this:

And I got this

Now this is my face:

And this is how I picture you:

I had drawn a cage full of tulips behind you, but you stood in front of it so it can't be seen.

The website says your 'experts' should be able to tell you whether the top two photos are the same thing. After their intense research and debate, can I have my tulips or a refund please?


May 19th


Just checking to see if there has been an update on whether your experts have decided if there is a difference between the picture of the tulips and the picture of the lilies. I am more than happy to offer my assistance if needed? 

Can I have a refund or the tulips please?

Thank you,

May 20th
Dear Andy, thank you for your business with Bloomex. Your order was delivered on the 19th of May. We sincerely thank you for your order and we will be pleased to serve you soon again, thanks, Bloomex.

May 19th
I've just been informed that the tulips were delivered, and are very nice. Possibly the best tulips I have seen, though that may be due to the exciting, tense build up to getting them.


So, 12 days, 26 emails, 3 bouquets of flowers, and 2 boxes of chocolates later, Brandi finally received her tulips. Woo! Just goes to show, persistence is important!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Brazil, Manaus (Amazonia): My Memoirs, Part I

Last year a friend called me about booking flights to Brazil. It's been quite a long time since I've been to a far away country, with a beach, and it was a good price so I was really up for it!

We had planned to go to 3 main areas; Manuas, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.
Manaus is deep into Amazonia, so I was looking forward to this most. I had hoped to cross 'Go into the Amazon' off my list, but after getting there I quickly realised that to cross off what I would count as 'going into the Amazon' would take a holiday in itself. Nonetheless, it was amazingly beautiful (pun).

Here are my Manaus memoirs:

- The 27 hours travel from my house to the hostel. It actually went fairly quickly. The long walk around the Frankfurt airport, and confusion as to what the little underground doors are.

- Being taught how to play Rummy by Andy, then getting a 'Rummy' in my first game, while losing 98-20 or something.

- The epic rain when arriving in the rain forest. I suppose it is in the name, but floods were over a foot high!

- Being the first customers in the Manaus Big Bob's, and having my Big Bob Burger brought over buy a guy called Bob. We then went on to eat a Big Bobs almost every day, in almost every place.

- Everywhere in Manaus looking like it was war-torn, with burnt out buildings (I think it was actually just rain damage).

- Having a wander around Manaus, watching Brazillian children play football. They were better than most adults I've seen.

- Playing Pokemon White, lots, and lots, and lots.

- Touching my first tree in the Amazon after going up the River Negro on a boat trip, then awkwardly dancing with some Native Indians.

- Seeing the Native Americans village, and it reminding me exactly of Hugo's House of Horrors 3 (and the great memories of me and my mom playing it).

- Swimming with pink dolphins. Accidentally kicking them thinking it was the steps to get back up to the platform.

- Hugging a baby sloth, and how cute it looked up at me and blinked slowly, then wouldn't let go of the vest (that's right, I was wearing the vest).

- Having my photo taken next to a huge anaconda.

- Walking alongside monkeys and crocodiles (or whatever the Amazon version is), and seeing the amazingly beautiful place with the huge lilly pad things.

- Seeing the 'meeting of the waters', where the cold, fast, clear Amazon meets the slow, warm, black River Negro, and because of the differences they don't merge. You can literally feel it go from hot to cold in a second.

- Wishing I hadn't eaten any food cooked on a floating house.

- Climbing the 100ft tree and getting a beautiful view of the tree tops.

- Talking to lots of Brazillians about UFC.

- Meeting a German guy and an Australian guy, and talking to them all evening. The German guy's apartment is being used for a German reality TV program while he is away. How interesting!

- Getting absolutely owned by mosquitoes. I really had never been bitten until Brazil, yet the number of bites brought horror to the faces of even the Brazillian people.

- The breathtaking views of the 'flooded forest', with the trees being perfectly reflected in the water.

Over the next few weeks I will put the memoirs of the rest of my holiday.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

My Second Boxing Fight

Here are the good pictures from my second fight. I can't remember what the score was, but I drew. I felt a bit disappointed because I felt like I should have won it. Towards the end I had a decent point difference, but was aware of it so I went on the defensive to maintain it, instead of continuing doing what I did to get it.

Before the fight I didn't feel too confident. I felt like I hadn't eaten enough, so didn't have enough energy, and I felt like I didn't warm up enough before. It has taught me a lot for the next fight.

There is a video at the bottom.

Last minute talk.

That low left hand. Looking to pick a shot.

For some reason I decided to go for a Floyd Mayweather guard. No idea why. Haven't done it before.

I don't remember what he said.

Trying to keep my cool.


Hopefully this was a right hook.

If in doubt, resort to wrestling.

Loading up.

Super dooper double punch!

I'm pretty sure this went right through his head. Hax.

My poor ribs. I was actually worried he was going to break them a few days before I fly to Brazil (probably because everyone told me he would).

Me getting hit. Sadface.

Jabba jabba!

Fight photo with the sponsor. He looks pimp.

And here is the video:

My entrance was the oldschool Batman theme, and in the video you can hear my mom saying that she doesn't like me boxing haha.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Second Boxing Fight: The Outtakes

... Because it's hard to get punched in the face and not look like an idiot.


Mmmmm... nice hand.

Double knockout.

Look at his nose.

Because sometimes you just need a cuddle.

Inevitable fail.

Nom nom, glove.

I'll put the good pictures, and possibly video on soon.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

113) Find 10 geocaches: Part 2 & 3

If you want to read about what Geocaching is (and if you don't know I highly recommend it), you can read my first post about it here...

Part 2: Clent with Brandi

As part of mine and Brandi's first date, we went for a walk to Clent Hills. I love geocaching because it gives you a bit more of a purpose than just wandering aimlessly, and then you are happy when you find one.

We first tried to find one on the way to Clent. We walked to the location the GPS took us, but then I didn't have internet so we searched around the bushes for a while but with no success. Eventually I managed to get the internet and looked at more details about the Geocache, to find that it wasn't actually in that area, but the clues on the page will direct you from there. Annoying! We decided to move on.

When properly in Clent, the new GPS coorinates took us to the top of a hill. It was tiring. The clues on the Geocache page said to stand by the gate and look ahead, and it will be under a tree. We searched all the trees and I couldn't find anything. I was silently about to give up, until I heard Brandi call over saying she found it. She said it without the enthusiasm I would have expected, so I wasn't sure if she was lying or not... but she wasn't.

The Geocache was under some roots, a little way away from the tree. We signed the paper and started to walk back. A small distance from the hill we saw a rainbow literally ending a few meters ahead of us in the next field. It was amazing. Something I wouldn't have seen if I wasn't up there Geocaching. It reminded me a lot of when I saw the rain cloud start just in front of me last time.

This is the Geocache we found.

Part 3: Clent with Dan

I decided to introduce Geocaching to Dan. Dan is a guy that I was at Uni, but didn't know him until we were placed in the same job for our sandwich year. He is an absolute legend. We are kind of different, but in a way that compliments each others personality. If it was wrestling, he would be my tag team partner.

Now it is the Spring, Clent looks a lot nicer, and is a lot warmer than it was, so I decided to take a few pictures. I think the place is really nice, and a perfect spot just outside my house to Geocache.

I first took Dan to the place me and Brandi found ours, just so he knows what kind of thing he is looking for. Then we walked down a hill, into a forest and started looking for this Geocache.

It didn't take us too long to find it in a little hole underneath a 'tree with 8 trunks'. We dug it out and signed it.

Since we were so successful we decided to try and look for another. This one looked harder, since it had no added information, just the coordinate. We failed pretty hard! But, still, a great success overall, and he has said he wants to do it again.