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Talk about timing...and I nearly blew it!

I got an e-mail this morning from an unrecognized address with a subject of "Notification of payment received." I figured it was junk mail and pressed delete. But, in the split second the message previewed before being deleted, I caught, out of the corner of my eye, the words "PayPal," "Dear Molas Online," and "$407.53"! Quickly I pressed CTRL-Z to undo the delete. I read the e-mail carefully and confirmed that someone had indeed sent a large sum of money to my PayPal account.

But for what? The Molas Online script is supposed to send me an e-mail notification every time a sale is made. It didn't. <gulp> So I knew I'd made a sale to someone in California, but I didn't know which molas she wanted.

I was pretty sure the script I use keeps online records. I logged into the server to find what was stored. I found two relevant folders: orderdata and orderinfo. The orderdata folder keeps track of what items are sold. I found the most recent file -- the only 2004 entry -- and read its contents. There was only one mola listed, the Campesino. It's a very nice mola, but not worth $400+ dollars! <Ugh!>

I was starting to panic. I can't just keep the money if I don't send someone the molas, and returning the money would be painful. I looked in the orderinfo folder and read the most recent file. These files apparently contain information about the buyer. Fortunately, this buyer provided a phone number, which is one of the optional fields.

I called the number. "Hi, is Ms. [x] there?" "Speaking." "This is Derek Henderson with Molas Online." "Oh my, a real voice!" I explained to her that my server had an e-mail glitch, and that I had her money but didn't know what she'd ordered, and that I could make sure her order was shipped out first thing in the morning if she could tell me what she'd ordered. She was happy to fax me the printout she'd made of the order confirmation page.

So, now I know which ten molas I've sold. When I get home tonight I will pull them out of storage, and I will mail them to her tomorrow morning. Her address is at a business at an airport, so no doubt she will be selling them to unsuspecting passengers at a tremendous mark-up. But I don't care: they're hers now. And going to London will be that much easier for me now!

If any of you want to buy any of my molas, talk to me instead of going through the website. And if you're in the Boston area, I'll waive the shipping charge.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
am0
Aug. 21st, 2004 01:50 pm (UTC)
This is, in my opinion, one of the worst effects of the deluge of spam: masking of valuable legitimate messages that appear to be spam. I've found a few, myself, though none were as important as this one was to you.

I'm glad you caught it and were able to rectify the problem enough to make the sale. I hope you get the server problem fixed so it won't happen again, too.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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