Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's a Thanksgiving Miracle!

Let's start off with the obvious: Commenters on the Internet are really, really mean. Period. I don't know what allows people the balls to feel like they can say whatever they damn well please (cough anonymity cough), but it's really painful to read through the comments on, like, 98% of news stories. Whatever happened to human decency?

It's even more painful when the mean comments are directed toward you. Having never been on this side of the equation, I knew what to expect in theory but was still caught off guard reading the 100+ (mostly nasty) comments left yesterday on Consumerist.com when the blog kindly published my lost iPad story (which, as I noted yesterday, was really a crappy customer service story). Among other person digs at me for being "a camwhore" (?) & an idiot, some of the comments included:

  • "Acting like the airline owes you anything is like getting mad at the bartender for letting you go home with the ugly person." (OK, this is funny, though he still misses my point.)
  • "'I recognize that it's my fault...' Judging by all the words following those, I'm thinking perhaps she doesn't" (Again with the point-missing!)
  • "I don't know why she's even bothering to raise a fuss with the airline. This is 100% her fault and her fault only. It's her problem, not theirs. I'd have told her 'tough shit' too." (WHY DOESN'T ANYONE GET MY POINT?)
  • "An alternate title would have been: 'US Airways Employee 'Callously' Reminds Owner of Lost iPad That Not Everyone Has Heart of Gold'" 

And that last comment, my friends, is the crux of the matter. It's clear that the majority of Consumerist posters are heartless trolls - but not everyone is.

This morning, I got a call from a Miami number. Because I don't know anyone in Miami, I ignored it. The voicemail, though, sent me flying out of bed & into a frenzy of excitement: "Hi, my name is Dale Hopta, & I'm a pilot with US Airways. I have your iPad."

I have no idea how this went down. Most likely, a passenger or a flight attendant found it, & this guy offered to try to get it back to its owner. Most likely, he found my phone number in my email signature when he checked around in the iPad for signs of ownership. Most likely, he knew that US Airways' lost & found system is so flawed that if he followed protocol & turned it into them, I never would've gotten it back, so he decided to do it himself. Most likely, this guy is freaking awesome.

So take THAT, all you Consumerist naysayers & the customer service jerk who told me I'd never see my iPad again. I will, because Dale Hopta is shipping it to me this weekend, thus reuniting me with my most frivolous purchase in a virtually unheard-of act of Good Samaritanism.

Here is where I should note that I got really lucky. I have a strong feeling there are a great many people who never see their lost items again, because have I mentioned that US Airways has no lost & found system in place? That, my friends, was the point of my raising such an angry ruckus, something I guess I can't expect Internet trolls to comprehend. But when the system fails, it's nice to know that sometimes you can simply count on the kindness of strangers.


P.S.: Yes, I am sending him a reward, & yes, I am writing a letter to his supervisor. When things go right, I am just as quick to display my appreciation as I am to complain when things go wrong.
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