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Before we pick up a book to start reading, we usually want to know if the story is true or fictional. With that in mind, let me state right now that the following is a true report. I won't be surprised if you doubt it, but it really is.

Readers might have noticed the problem I reported with the usually excellent bookseller, Book Depository. I'm no stranger to web development so when I encountered coding that reduced my order from three down to one, and did so several times, I dismissed the aggravation as faulty coding.

I found the Contact page and passed on the observation.

I still can't quite believe the reply, though perhaps I am being unduly harsh on this usually excellent company.

This is response, in full (minus the employee's name to avoid any embarrassment), 'Hello Paul, I'm afraid that we only have 1 copy available. Have a wonderful week. Take care! Kind Regards,----------, Customer Advisor' That's the reply. I read it a few times to be sure.

A keen sense of humour

If I visit my corner store for a pint of skimmed milk, and there's none on the shelf, they'll soon restock.

If I'm buying a skinny latte at Costa, and there's no coffee, they'll get some more rather smartly. If the chemist hasn't any aspirin that I'm asking for, he'll ask me to come back in 20 minutes, by which time he'll have some.

Ironically, as if the possessors of a keen sense of humour, they emailed a questionnaire entitled 'How would you rate the support you received? Good, I'm satisfied. Bad, I'm unsatisfied.' Often I don't bother, and I presume that's the way with most of us. This time, the opportunity was too tempting.

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