Cchristmas is a magical time of year, especially for a 6-year old girl. In her eyes everyone can see a more than special sparkle in the knowledge of being a good girl all year long, in order to receive that special present.

My wife and I lost that special window through the eyes of a child when my daughter grew up and became a beautiful woman with a beautiful life. Six years ago she gave us a remarkable granddaughter whose love of life was exceptional to the point where everyone she came in contact with had to smile.

This year my daughter gave my wife the task of buying the special doll for our granddaughter. Weeks before, she would hint to us about the doll with the specific knowledge, it would be under her tree on Christmas Day.

That special day came and we all met in a small town around Boston to open all of my grandchildren’s special presents. Since my daughter married, this became a very special tradition for all of us. My granddaughter knew the size of the box that would contain her special doll. She was patient allowing everyone to open one present at a time.

This was so everyone could experience the excitement of this special time. It then became my granddaughter’s time to open her gift. She tore open the holiday wrapping as if it never existed, tore open the box of which the on-line service sent the special doll and reached through the bubble wrap in order to finally own what she has wanted for a long time.

Her face immediately became ashen and her eyes immediately watered instead of showing excitement and love of the moment. She pulled out a small package that contained a shower curtain!

Everyone was silent and then rushed toward her in an attempt to make, what was an important time for her, unimportant. We failed and she rubbed some tears from her eyes, got off the floor and told everyone that everything was fine. She then left the room to play with some toys that weren’t so special.

The next day I called the on-lone company and told this story to an Athena. She was shocked and stated they would credit the amount the doll cost. I then explained to her that her company ruined Christmas Day for my grandchild.

When she asked why I didn’t open the box that stated it was the doll from the invoice I told her I didn’t know that an on-line company, who was supposed to be a competent company, would make such a horrid mistake on such an amazing day.

She told me she could do nothing to help me and transferred me to supervisor named Charles. He offered me a $5 – $10 credit after I explained the tragedy that happened the day before. I attempted to explain that they should send the correct doll immediately, so I could get it the same day.

They told me they couldn’t do that and I would have to re-order the doll. When we attempted to reorder the doll it was almost $20.00 more than what we originally had purchased it for!

A full 30 minutes later I was transferred to an Alex. He told me that there was nothing they could do for my granddaughter and thus me. He was extremely pretentious and literally talked down to me because he was obviously put out that I had the audacity to waste his time. He also told me there was no one else I could talk to.

After getting off the phone I couldn’t believe how poorly I was handled. I first thought that I might have talked to the wrong people and started telling my story to a new series of people. I first talked to a Rickitta. Who, like Athena, was shocked her on-line company would make such a mistake at such an important time. She could not help me so she transferred me to Priscilla who transferred me to Nick. Like Alex he also told me there was no one else I could talk to.

Sitting at my desk 90 minutes later I couldn’t believe how humiliated I felt. Have these on-line companies gotten so big and so impersonal that employees, who are hired to take care of customers, feel comfortable to embarrass them?

After this experience, I wonder how many other on-line customers have had the same experience. I am beginning to see how on-line shopping will probably degrade even further after many stores close thus reducing competition.

Christmas is a magical time of year especially for a 6-year old girl. In her eyes everyone can see a more than special sparkle in the knowledge of being a good girl all year long in order to receive that special present. Instead she received a memory that will be with all of us for a very long time.

The End.

The day the on-line Scrooge ruined my granddaughter’s Christmas

By Jim Fabiano

Jim Fabiano is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine

You can contact Jim at: