My sixth grade teacher was considered one of the toughest in my entire prep. Students feared her and parents fought to get their kids in her class. One of the things she was famous for was weekly math problems. Every Monday morning, when we got into the classroom, a paragraph of a problem was written out on the large chalk board in the back right corner. We were allowed to work together but we also had to present our work before being allowed to move on to the next one. Those were some of the toughest riddles I’ve ever solved. That is, until yesterday.
“Have a great night,” our usual UPS guy said as he grabbed his signature machine and headed out the front door of the office.
Piled on the counter were two boxes. One was from Amazon and it contained the new Acer I had ordered a mere sixteen hours earlier. The other box was from, well, I wasn’t sure. I crouched down and with my hands on my knees read the label which was addressed to me. Next I read the sender: Lenovo Direct, a computer manufacturer.
I’m familiar with Lenovo. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I visited Fry’s to test drive the keyboard on the Acer. And sitting a few inches away was the Lenovo U110. Out of curiosity, I tried that one too. My heart melted. But as soon as I saw the price tag, I walked away. The U110 just didn’t fall into the category of unnecessary-indulgent-impulse purchases. At least not while I’m paying for grad school.
I opened the Lenovo box, pulled out the shipping order paperwork and sure enough is was sent to me. Although it wasn’t the U110 but some other model, the Y730. It’s the kind that though labeled a laptop is hefty enough to, in my book, qualify as a desktop. The Acer I bought weighs 2.2lb. The Lenovo I dream about weighs 2.6lb. The Lenovo I received weighs so much I needed two hands to pull it out of the box.
“Hi, I know this is going to sound crazy but I just received a laptop I neither ordered nor want.”
“It was bought with a Visa ending with 7957,” the representative noted.
“Yeah, I don’t have a Visa ending with those digits. And while waiting to call you, I checked my credit report and the only activity in the last two years is my car lease.”
So here are the facts: I received a Lenovo computer I’d never want, sent to my office with that address also noted as the billing address, purchased with a card that is not mine and the purchase was confirmed with an email that I don’t use, nor does the .com string lead me anywhere. While I have been pondering a computer for a few weeks, my purchase was last minute and occurred on Tuesday of this week. The Lenovo was ordered on Saturday.
Lenovo gave me return instructions and later today I’ll drop the box at UPS to send it back. Experian put a 90 day alert on my credit records but since credit companies identify cards by all numbers save for the last four and I only have the last four, the credit card is a dead end. More importantly, since I wasn’t technically a victim of credit fraud, all of the alert crap on my account fails to solve a single dilemma with this scenario. Because, let’s remember, the only thing that happened is I received a laptop for free.
“I’d call Lenovo accounts receivable and see if they can narrow down information on the card. Like the bank or even the first four digits of the card?” the Experian rep suggested.
So I called Lenovo.
“Everything’s encrypted because it was bought online.”
“But it’s my card.”
“Not necessarily. You could just be the drop point.”
“Well, since it was another email address, the delivery can be tracked. And later someone might call UPS and have them retrieve it and deliver it elsewhere or stop by your office to pick it up.”
I fell silent, peering around the corner that leads to the front door.
“Ma’am?” the Lenovo rep asked.
Note: My coworker had a random realization that, because I oversee most of the office supply orders, shipping labels on boxes we discard in the dumpster commonly have my name and office address noted. Applying that theory, perhaps the moron didn't realize we were an office instead of a residence and that, therefore, any delivery would be delivered instead of left at a door. There are six residential homes immediately to the right of our building. The label on the Lenovo box is to me but there is no company name noted (insert dramatic crime thriller music here).