We Apologize for the Error in Filling Your Order

Dear Valued Customer,

As the chairman and CEO of BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com, I wanted to take a moment to personally apologize to you for the extreme inconvenience that resulted from a mistake in fulfilling your recent order.

I have conducted an extensive internal investigation into this matter, and could find no satisfactory reason why our fulfillment system substituted your original order of a case of Nev-R-Die D-Cell Flashlight Batteries 12-Count (KI139809) with a Live African Bull Elephant (WL897189). I further understand that the animal arrived dead in its shipping crate, and that it had actually been dead for some time, evidently long before it was dispatched from our warehouse. This was traced to fraudulence on behalf of our supplier and you may rest assured that our relationship with this supplier has been terminated and a strongly worded letter of opprobrium sent.

Of course, we realize it takes more than a strong letter to correct a situation of this magnitude. It is one thing to say that a dead elephant was delivered to one’s doorstep; it is quite another to have to deal with the consequences. I can only imagine the horror — I believe no other word will suffice — on opening the crate and being confronted with the carcass, a once-majestic beast surrounded in a blinding cloud of flies, its skin rippling with the movements of dozens of rats that had occupied the husk as though it were some ghastly putrefying mansion. I do not doubt that your children continue to have nightmares about it, nor that it raised a host of questions about life, death and the laws of nature that you had had no expectation of addressing for at least several more years. Furthermore, our customer service team “dropped the ball” in processing your return, and while the laws for transporting animal remains are admittedly obscure, that is no justification for our failing to retrieve the crate for eight days. I understand your homeowner’s association levied numerous fines against you and our legal department is currently reviewing your claims in this manner.

I further want to assure you that the anti-Semitic graffiti on the interior of the crate was in no way the doing of BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com and that we addressed this with the aforementioned supplier. Finally, please accept my apologies regarding the behavior of the delivery driver. We use this courier service on millions of deliveries a year and they are normally the picture of reliability. That your driver was intoxicated and repeatedly challenged your family to “step up and see if you can take” him is so far beyond the realm of what we typically experience from this firm that I am at a loss to explain it. Sometimes misfortunes come together in a “perfect storm” and that seems to be what happened in your case.

With that said, what is BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com going to do to rectify this situation? Here are the remedies I have personally instructed our Customer Service team to provide:

You want Nev-R-Die D-Cell Flashlight Batteries 12-Count (KI139809)? You’ve got them! I am shipping you a complimentary order of batteries this month, and the month after that, and the month after that. In fact, I will ship you an order of Nev-R-Die D-Cell Flashlight Batteries 12-Count (KI139809) free of charge every month for the rest of your life, and every month for the rest of your children’s lives and of their children’s lives as well. Your family will enter the 22nd century never having known the inconvenience of being without a fully charged flashlight, by which time a superior alternative to alkaline batteries should be well established.

Are you familiar with the German concept of schadenfreude? This word describes the pleasure one naturally feels at the misfortune of an enemy, and while we at BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com like to consider ourselves your friends, we understand why you might hold a different view. That’s why I’ve ordered a company-wide program of mortification and abasement, effective beginning today. I will spare you the details — the document I distributed this week runs to three single-spaced pages — but let me give you the 10,000-foot view.

First of all, you have likely already seen the apology blimp I dispatched to your residence; it will hover there for a full thirty days, cycling a series of “we’re sorry” messages on its illuminated sign. Every BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com employee was required to memorize and recite a litany of self-abuse that leaves each man and woman in no doubt about the severity of this transgression and his or her role in it. The Customer Service representative in charge of your case was terminated and her work space and computer ritually destroyed. The temperature in the BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com offices cycles without warning between sweltering and freezing; chairs and desks have been replaced with cheaper, ergonomically punishing office furniture reclaimed from a former Soviet military base; and employees are subject to random emotional and psychological assaults from a squad of hooded ex-CIA operatives given license to roam the building at will. Our IT department will be sending you a link to a private web portal featuring live feeds from our internal security cameras, allowing you to watch these efforts in action. This program will continue for a year and a day, at which point the executive team will evaluate its efficacy. During that time, rest easy knowing that the emotional trauma you suffered, that sense that the entire universe was arrayed against you, is now being visited a hundredfold on the architects of your misfortune.

Lastly, I may or may not have ordered further compensation that I am legally barred from discussing or even acknowledging. For instance, it is not impossible that the attractive courier sent to hand-deliver this letter is in fact a prostitute who is performing an expert, wildly creative act of fellatio upon you even as you read these words. It is even possible, though not legally provable, that she was instructed so far as to time your climax to occur just as you are reading the following paragraph:

Remember, at BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com, we do anything it takes to keep you satisfied. Absolutely Anything™.


Marie Levy-Marston
CEO, BuyAbsolutelyAnything.com