Sunday, November 20, 2016

Red Flag Luck

Every once in a while, I do something incredibly stupid on the internet. I'm sure we're all guilty of that, even the folks who are always so concerned about security and privacy once in a blue moon duplicate a password somewhere, or mixup their business email with their casual email (or spam email) when signing up for something that may or may not look slightly shady.

For me, it was clicking on a sponsored ad in Facebook, and buying something without first checking out third-party reviews of the place. And as I placed the order, I got the overwhelming sensation of "I'm going to regret this in about five minutes" except that it was about thirty seconds before my shift started and I didn't have five minutes to worry about it. Oh, and there was a timer counting down to end the sale; talk about a red flag!

But no, I clicked through all that, and I guess I got lucky.

I bought something from GeekHoodies.com. It's more coat than hoodie, but it does have a hood, so I guess one could technically call anything with a hood "hoodie."

A few hours after my shift ended (and several hours after the "no strings" cancellation period came to a close), I finally had a chance to look for those third-party reviews, and I found them in spades.

For those having a little trouble keeping up, many online retailers censor their negative reviews. It's one of those red-flag thingies. Some bury them, some delete them, and some just give you quoted excerpts from submitted reviews without letting you read the reviews themselves (quotes out of context much?). To get around that, you just have to look for reviews about said retailers that are posted on websites that the retailer has no control over, including blogs, YouTube, and a swath of independent review websites.

All of the third-party reviews I found were negative, and I started getting a sinking feeling. But then I remembered something: I am a at least mostly competent sempter (the male/neutral form of seamstress). For the nicer and fancier patterns (though I rarely use patterns, or rather, typically make my own), I'd be lucky to find one as cheap as I bought the coat/hoodie for. So even if the thing smelled rubbish, even if it didn't fit, even if it were falling apart at the seams, I could do something about it.

The order took about four weeks to leave the "factory" (located somewhere in China), and another three to be delivered, which is about four weeks longer than they said it would take. However, it arrived intact, to a somewhat reasonable degree of quality, and fit (though if I order again, I'd go a size up).

It is functional, though the fabric feels warmer than it actually is (more of an insulating layer than a stand-alone coat--the wind goes right through it) and the two (only two!) pockets are almost too small to fit my hand. I've already decided I'm going to modify it some, the cut of the fabric leaves plenty of space to hem in a couple larger pockets without changing the outward appearance, it just a matter of finding appropriate fabric for the job.

So my Assassin's Creed I (DM Original) 2016 Edition, black, large was not a total waste of money, though I definitely wouldn't recommend any business toward GeekHoodies, under any circumstances.

That said, I am willing to do something largely out of character for me, which is the following: if you (or someone you know) did place an order for any one of GH's other products (in their size L or larger), and you're not happy with the quality of the purchase, I'd be willing to buy it off you for a nominal fee that covers little more than the cost of shipping. But that's more than you'd get from GH, because they'd charge you shipping for the return, and the shipping would be close to or more than the refund amount.

If I have to tear it down (or it's already falling/fallen apart), I'll share the pieces and pattern so you (or someone you know with skill in semptery (I know, not a word)) could build one of your own.

How's that for a deal?

Shoot me a message at dreamer@dreamclassier.com and we'll see if we can't work something out (probably be a private auction on ebay just so there's a paper trail and receipt of the exchange--trust only goes so far, and I mean that in both directions).

Review Summary:
Quality: 6/10
Price: 9/10
Customer Service: 1/10
Delivery: 0/10
Recommendation: Just Don't

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8 weeks


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