Another 24 hours……

no amazon

So another 24 hours has passed.

I received three emails sent a couple of minutes apart saying:

Hello Shelley,

This is Roselyn from Amazon Customer Service.

Certainly, we appreciate the time you have taken to bring this to our attention.

I understand your concern regarding your orders and you had to contact us. I completely understand your disappointment. That’s definitely not what we want our customers to experience.

I’m sorry about the trouble you had. I’ve passed your message on to the appropriate department in our company for consideration. We value this kind of feedback, as it helps us continue to improve our store and provide better service to our customers.

I’ve checked also your conversation here with the previous representative and I can see here that my co league was set you a follow up to look into this problem to have a full refund for your items.

Again, I can completely understand how frustrating and annoying the situation can be when something like this happens but believe us it was never our intention. We try our level best to provide convenient and stress free shopping to our customers but in this case we haven’t met the standard. Please accept my sincere apologies for this.

One of our aims at Amazon.com is to provide a convenient and efficient service; in this case, we didn’t meet that standard. I’m truly sorry, and I hope you’ll consider this an isolated incident and give us another chance in the future.

On a personal level, I appreciate your patience, cooperation and understanding in this matter. It is our privilege to have you as our valued customer & we want to make sure you are always taken care of.

We hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,

Roselyn D.

I don’t see any resolution or any comment on how this will be resolved in there!  Do you?

 

Score: U-Haul 1: Amazon 0

This is not a usual subject for my blog. It’s barely even dog related. However, it is a commentary on the sad state of affairs in Corporate America.

I recently had the opportunity to deal with two major U.S. Corporations and had a bad experience with both. The difference in the way the two companies handled and resolved my complaint however is like night and day.

thumbsup uhaul

 

I had reserved a 6×10 enclosed U-Haul trailer to pick up from a local dealer. What should have taken no longer than a couple of hours maximum, turned into a full day ordeal. The local franchise owner (1/2 an hour away) had the trailer ready, but unfortunately repairs to my van had put my debit card capacity close to my daily limit. That issue was easily resolved with a phone call to my bank, who increased the daily spending limit temporarily on the card.

The serious problem began after the trailer was hooked up afterwards. While the signal and brake lights functioned properly, the running lights would not operate. Since I expected to be driving in the dark having functional running lights was imperative. The franchise owner did not have another 6×10 trailer on his lot, but he did have a 5×8, and I decided to take it instead. From that point the problems continued to escalate. He was unable to credit back the difference to my bank card. Calls to the bank could not resolve it. Calls to U-Haul corporate office could not resolve it. The owner was unable to refund the difference in cash at that moment. So I was stuck with a trailer with no lights. However, calls to corporate head office resulted in a semi-desirable resolution – take the trailer down to the Corporate store in Brampton (a further half hour away and a major city) and they would repair or replace it.

So off I went with the semi-functioning trailer in tow. Upon arrival there a maintenance person checked it out and decided the fault was with the trailer (not my van or the connection). I expected the trailer to be replaced, however, the manager came out and said, “You rented from a franchise, I can’t exchange it, sorry. He should have refunded your money.” I explained he COULDN’T refund my money which is why I had brought the trailer down. “Nothing I can do”, she said shoving the paperwork back at me and walking away.

I went ballistic on the Corporate customer service phone line. Finally, they called the manager, told her to switch trailers, which she finally did. I asked U-Haul what they were going to do about the trouble I had been subjected to, and the customer service person said there was nothing that could be done until the trailer was returned but to speak to the manager of the franchise when I returned the trailer. Unfortuntely, the delay in making the switch took me into rush hour in Brampton, and the exodus to the suburbs resulting in an hour drive being almost two hours to get home. One day of my life totally lost over a trailer.

I do have to commend the Franchise Owner though on his handling of my complaint when I returned the trailer. His question to me was “What will make you happy?”. I named a figure – he increased it by nearly 50%. Will he get my business again? Definitely!! High recommendation for the U-Haul Centre on Stewart Rd in Orangeville!!! Boos for the corporate store on Main St. in Brampton. 🙁

no amazon

Now let’s compare this to a recent Amazon experience.

Using my phone, I ordered 4 30″ dog crates to be shipped to a U.S. depot for pickup May 10th. According to the website they would be delivered May 9th.

First, shortly after this, my credit card showed fraudulent purchase for $600 U.S. Whether this was a fault of Amazon’s systems or not I can’t say, but it is the first time that has ever happened to me.

I called to give them a replacement card number, not wanting to risk entering it on the phone again. I asked if the crates would still be delivered by the 9th and was assured they would be. Wrong!!

I phoned customer service and spent almost 3 hours on the phone trying to get the crates re-routed to another destination. No luck. Furthermore, because the crates were now out of stock, Amazon couldn’t just send another order out to the destination. I was advised to place an order for a similar item and they would cover the difference and have it shipped to the new destination. I asked if they would arrive for when they were required and was assured they would arrive by Tuesday.

I pulled over, used my computer to place another order, which came back with a confirmation saying they would be delivered Thursday. No good. I needed them for Wednesday. Called customer service. Nothing they could do. Ended up cancelling the order and speaking with “Erick L.” who assured me customer service would be in touch to resolve this. I demanded that someone listen to all the tapes of my dealings with this order, and explain why I had been lied to about delivery dates, and made to go through this frustration.

Monday (three days later) I get an email from the U.S. warehouse that the crates (that were supposed to be cancelled) had arrived. I figured I would leave them there for Amazon to deal with.

So yesterday, I get a phone call from the U.S. depot – they have received a shipping label to return “A” crate to Amazon, but I would have to pay $55.17 in storage, and handling fees. I told them to deal with Amazon, I was not paying anything.

This morning I called Amazon again – spent nearly another hour on the phone with another customer service person on a bad line (so I couldn’t understand his name) explaining what was going on, and that I was not going to spend any more time on this without sending Amazon a bill for MY time that they were taking away from my clients. He promised that someone would get back to me today. So here we are with about an hour left in the day, and surprise! surprise! no contact from Amazon.

So I decided to put all this in writing, and I will post it as a review on Amazon’s website, as well as share it on social media. Will it get me any response from Amazon? Most likely not, but I do feel better for venting, and relieving stress is good, right?

 

Are you my type?

I thought it might be interesting to have a discussion about “type”. What is type and why is it important? Recently I saw a post where someone asked about the structure of their dog, and the comment was made that it didn’t matter what the dog looked like. I’ve been mulling this about in my head for a few days, because it DOES matter. Type is the defining qualities that make a dog recognizable as a breed.  We should be able to look at a dog and immediately say “That is a Cardigan”, or “That is an Irish Wolfhound”, or “That is a American Foxhound”.    And we should be able to do this whether we are looking at a sillhouette of the breed, or looking at its head. The dictionary defines type as “a person or thing symbolizing or exemplifying the ideal or defining characteristics of something.” So what are those ideal characteristics, and who decides what is right and what is wrong?

BDIC dolly

Let’s look at the UK (Country of Origin) standards for the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
Under “General Appearance” the Cardigan says: Sturdy, tough, mobile, capable of endurance. Long in proportion to height, terminating in fox-like brush, set in line with body.  The Pembroke standard says: Low set, strong, sturdily built, alert and active, giving impression of substance and stamina in small space. If we went on these two descriptions alone – any of these could be a Cardigan or a Pembroke.

LONG, LOW SET DOGS
 
skye terrier

Breed A

 
petit-basset-griffon-vendeen-01

Breed B

 
dandie dinmont

Breed C

 
basset hound

Breed D

 
dachshund

Breed E

pekinese

Breed F

So what makes these NOT correct? Why are they not corgis?

The answer to that can be found by digging further into the standards for other defining characteristics that make up what we call “breed type”.   It is the factors that when one looks even at a silhouette makes that individually recognizable as a specific breed.
Whether you believe it or not, I think that  every single person who is reading this really does recognize it, otherwise you would not have been attracted to a specific breed.  Let’s test it – look at the silhouettes below and see if you can match them to the breeds pictured above, as well as picking out the Cardigan and the Pembroke.

silhouette 1

Silhouette 1

silhouette 4

Silhouette 2

silhouette 2

Silhouette 3

 
pekingese_silhouette_postcard-r32dfa29a5c4d40daaf367b106a98a5e2_vgbaq_8byvr_324

Silhouette 4

 
silhouette 5

Silhouette 5

silhouette 6 
 
silhouette 7

Silhouette 7

 
silhouette 8

Silhouette 8

How did you do?   In case you did have an issue, here are the answers:

Breed Photo Silhouette
Skye Terrier A 5
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen B 7
Dandie Dinmont Terrier C 2
Basset Hound D 8
Dachshund E 6
Pekinese F 4
Cardigan Welsh Corgi   3
Pembroke Welsh Corgi   1

What would probably be surprising to most readers, is how much these breeds that you would immediately dismiss as “not a Corgi”, actually have in common with Corgis.   Five of the six breeds you would immediately dismiss because of their dropped ears – but how often do we see dogs where the ears have not come up?   Four would be dismissed because of coat – but corgis DO carry a fluffy gene, and although reputable breeders don’t breed for that characteristic they do pop up.

Would it surprise you to know that the Dachshund and Basset are descended from the same lineage (Teckels) as the Cardigan, and that they, together with the Pekinese have the same front as the Cardigan?    Look at the prominent prosternum (breast bone) and the way the legs wrap around the egg shaped front.  I was very surprised to learn this from a Peke breeder when she allowed me to go over a shaved down Peke. Let’s make this a little bit tougher now.   We have determined that coat length and type are defining features that make up Corgi type.   So what about these dogs?

Lancashire Heeler

Lancashire Heeler

Swedish Valhund

Swedish Valhund

These are two European herding breeds that are dwarfs, with shorter coats, and prick ears – what makes them distinct from either of the Corgi breeds?

Lets look at the Lancashire first. In size this breed is similar to the Pembroke, and slightly smaller than the Cardigan.  The coat however is different.  The standard calls for a fine undercoat covered throughout by weather resistant, short, thick, hard, flat topcoat.  This is different than the “medium length” described in the Pembroke Standard, and the “short or medium hard texture” coat of the Cardigan.   Then Lancashire is always either Black and Tan or Liver and Tan, whereas Pembrokes are red, sable, fawn or black and tan with or without white markings, and Cardigans are  blue merle, brindle, red, sable, and tri-colour with brindle or red points. The Lancashire is not as long bodied as either of the Corgis, with the body being approximately 1″ longer than the height at the withers, and the front is not bowed like the Cardigan, nor does it have the prominent prosternum of the Pembroke.   There are many more differences – but these few simple observations separate the Lancashire “type” from the two Corgis.   You can read more on the Lancashire standard at this link

Now lets look at the Swedish Valhund.  Again we have a dwarf dog with upright ears. The Valhund is a slightly taller dog than either of the corgis with the ideal height being 12-13″.  Again, like the Lancashire, colours are different with the description being: Grey,  greyish brown, greyish yellow, reddish yellow or reddish brown with lighter “harness markings” and cheeks being desirable.   The tail of the Valhund can be long or short and carried in any manner – bob, straight, curled – all are correct, whereas Pembrokes naturally have a tail that comes straight off the back and Cardigan at a downward slope.  A full standard for the Swedish Vallhund is at this link.

Very interesting to note is the description of the feet and forequarters in these four breeds.  Which do you think describes the Lancashire, the Vallhund, the Cardigan and the Pembroke?

  1. Forequarters:  Shoulder long and set at an angle of 45 degrees to a horizontal plane.Upper arm slightly shorter than the shoulder-blades and set at a distinct angle. Upper arms lie close to ribs, but are still very mobile.  Forearm when viewed from the front, slightly bent, just enough to give them free action against the lower part of the chest.Metacarpus (Pastern): Elastic.  Feet:  Medium sized, short, oval, pointing straight forward with strong pads, tightly knit and well knuckled up
  2. Forequarters:  Shoulders well laid, angulated at approximately 90 degrees to upper arm; muscular, elbows close to sides. Strong bone carried down to feet. Legs short but body well clear of the ground, forearms slightly bowed to mould round the chest. Feet turned slightly outwards.  Feet:  Round, tight, rather large and well padded
  3. Forequarters:  Lower legs short and as straight as possible, forearm moulded round chest. Ample bone, carried right down to feet. Elbows fitting closely to sides, neither loose nor tied. Shoulders well laid, and angulated at 90 degrees to the upper arm.Feet: Oval, toes strong, well arched, and tight, two centre toes slightly advance of two outer, pads strong and well arched. Nails short.
  4. Forequarters:  Well laid shoulder, elbows firm against ribs. Amply boned. Pasterns allow feet to turn slightly outwards, but not enough to cause weakness or affect freedom of movement.  Feet:  Small, firm and well padded.

Number 1 is the Vallhund,  2 is the Cardigan, 3 is the Pembroke and 4 is the Lancashire.    Note that the Pembroke standards says LOWER LEGS AS STRAIGHT AS POSSIBLE!!  This is a major difference between the Pembroke and the Cardigan which says “slightly bowed”.    If your Pembroke has curved legs and feet that point outwards it is not correct.

Armed with this information can you pick out which of the silhouettes below are Pems, Cardis, Lancashires, and Vallhunds?

 
Silhouette 1

Silhouette 1

Silhouette 2

Silhouette 2

 
Sillhouette 3

Sillhouette 3

 
Silhouette 4

Silhouette 4

 
Silhouette 5

Silhouette 5

 
Silhouette 6

Silhouette 6

VALLHUND 1

Silhouette 7

Silhouette 8

Silhouette 8



 

 Have you got your answers?

Silhouettes 3, 6 and 8 are Pembroke Welsh Corgis.   Did #6 fool you?  He is indeed a Pembroke in Australia where docking is not permitted and here is the photo I used to create the silhouette.

Ch. Dygae Limited Edition

Ch. Dygae Limited Edition – photo Courtesy of Diane Baillie

 

Here is another example in colour.   Even with the tail there is no mistaking this dog for anything other than a Pem.

Tailed Pem 2

Photo courtesy of Diane Baillie, Dygae Reg’d

Silhouettes 2, 4 & 7 illustrate the three varieties of tails found in the Swedish Valhund.

Silhouette 5 is the Lancashire, and Silhouette 1 is the Cardigan.

Lets look at some of the other differences between the two types of corgis now.   When I look at a corgi head, I want to be able to immediately identify whether it is a Cardigan and a Pembroke, and there are several factors that determine this.   The shape, size and placement of the ears, the cheeks, the width and shape of the muzzle, the shape and placement of the eyes.

I am going to use slides from a Powerpoint presentation  I created for judges education to demonstrate differences between the breeds.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A COPYRIGHTED PRESENTATION AND THESE MAY NOT BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE DISTRIBUTED

Many, and dare I say almost ALL, of the pet Pembroke corgis I see posted on Facebook do not have correct heads.  They either have Cardigan ear size, shape and placement, or they look like basenjis, or are apple shaped like chihuahuas.   If you posted a picture solely of the head the breed could not be identified.  Therefore it is not correct TYPE.

Poor shoulder angulation, roaching toplines, and short backs are in abundance, as well as Cardigans with Pem-type croups, and Pems with Cardigan croups.   Docking the tail off a puppy does not make it a Pembroke, any more than cropping its ears would make it a Doberman.   Again these are features of “TYPE” that have been lost in the mass proliferation of questionably bred corgis to fill the demand of the pet market.

And of course this is the subject that you don’t even want to get me started on!!   Mixing Pembrokes and Cardigans to get a ‘cool” colour is a travesty to both breeds.

So in conclusion, Yes, it does matter if your dogs legs are too long,   It does matter if the head is incorrect and it does matter if his tail set isn’t right, and his colour isn’t acceptable.  These are all signs of careless breeding being done to fill a niche market created by those who “just want a corgi”.

Do you want “just a corgi” or do you want a corgi that you can be proud of as a good representative of its breed?   Until buyers start demanding that those producing puppies increase the quality of what they are producing, there will always be those who just breed to sell puppies.   They tell buyers that there is no need to prove their breeding stock in the show ring because it is “just a pet”.   To my mind, and those of most of my peers, “just a pet” should be just as healthy, sound and well-bred as the dogs we keep for ourselves as part of our breeding programs.  It should be correctly structured to no have conformation faults that will lead to devastating injuries such as spinal cord or ACL tears or luxating patellas.  The parents should be health tested to ensure that no preventable diseases are perpetuated.    Because “just a pet” deserves to live a long, happy, healthy and pain free life too.