Reality Trainwreck

Sometimes you build up your expectations. You have an image about how cool something is going to be when it arrives. The dispatch email lands in your inbox. The excitement builds. Each day, even the day the dispatch email arrived you hope that the postman has been and delivered your item. Yeah somehow I have given the British postie the powers similar to Santa, in that they can take delivery of a parcel and then deliver that parcel to its destination in minutes.

Then the parcel finally arrives. It’s waiting for you on the side when you get home. You can’t get the well packaged item out of its wrappings quick enough. You are fighting the layers of tape and plastic it’s encased in.

Finally you have loosened the bindings enough to get it out. You extract the item and unroll it. Then it hits you. What is in front of you is nothing like what you thought you had ordered. It’s a complete disaster. Your heart has sunk, you feel broken. Tears had to be fought back. How did this happen?

There were mistakes made. I think number one has to be my failure to understand the communication from Bags of Love over the image, and trying to do the whole thing on my iPhone. Well the iPhone is my primary computing device at home. I thought I had put up a higher quality image than the initial one. I assumed that the image was big enough to fill the required 24″ by 12″ the second time. So it’s hard not to lay the blame for for all that awful white space at my feet. It doesn’t make it easier to accept.

If we take out of the equation the train wreck that is the printed image, and all that white space. Then we are left with the neoprene mat itself. I have to say that I’m a bit underwhelmed with the quality of the material. What I was expecting was something closer to the play mats I use with my games such as MtG, or Star Wars:Destiny. Sadly this was not close. Even the thinner mats I have for teaching MtG with from Ultra Pro are better quality. The play mats I had done ages ago using Patriot Games were better quality wise, and more like the game mats I’m used to. It’s the texture and finish that is so different. It felt and looked cheap and not as robust as my other gaming mats (including the Patriot Games ones).

While in a state of shock and major disappointment, I stumbled across a leaflet that had been placed in with the mat, offering £5 I think it was off my next order. Plus on the other side it invited you to share your order with them and the world on social media.

Like a petulant child looking for some sort of pay back for the disappoint suffered, I acted like Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, and posted the above photo on twitter and instagram with the caption “Biggest disappointment ever. Wasted my money with this. Won’t be going with these again @bagsoflove”

To be fair to Bags of Love, they reached out and have offered to help sort this out, and replace the mat with a new one of a design of my choice for free. But with the condition I delete the tweet and post I sent yesterday. I’m not one for deleting stuff, I’m admitting my part in this disaster. The initial offer involved me pre-ordering and then letting them know. But after my reply they did offer to do that side of things too, with me providing a new design. They are keen to resolve this. But my next paragraph sums up where I am on this. So Bags of Love do deserve some credit for their response to the situation, and keenness to resolve it .

It’s been an expensive learning experience. Not one I can really afford. But the initial experience broke me, and I don’t have the heart to go through all this again. Never has there been such a big gap between reality and what I thought I had ordered since I was a ten year old ordering mail order practical jokes like itching powder from the back of my childhood comics.

I wanted a 24″ by 12″ neoprene play mat for Star Wars:Destiny with that amazing picture of the X-Wings skimming the surface of the lake. In reality what I ended up with if I cut it out is a mouse mat for a smurf.

Time to put my hurt behind me and move on.

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