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My wife and I attended the Grahamwood Charity Auction last week. Let me first state I do not have a child attending the school. I don’t even know where the school is located. I went to the event because the money went to charity. Fine. I paid for my wife and I at the entrance; $35. Still good.

The charity auction was a “silent” auction. You look over the items, then place a bid. I wanted one thing. A fossilized piece of wood. That is all I wanted to win. I stayed at the event the entire evening. And guess what? I won the item. It was mine! Or so I thought. We left that evening and figured we could call or email the charity to discover how I could pay for and pick up my item. (There were over 300 items and I doubted the organization could figure out who won what in just a few moments at the end of the auction.)

Here is a photo of the item that I won.

fossilized wood

Notice how the photo lacks any detail. I will get to that.

On Monday, my wife called the person in charge of the auction. There was a problem. The fossilized piece of wood was nowhere to be found. It weighs 30 pounds! Someone stole the fossil? From a charity? This was no small item. They were looking everywhere for the item. I was told that those transporting the item would be emailed, asking if anyone knew what had happened to the fossil. (Here is a hint. People do not read email. I get more than 30 emails daily, all of it junk email. I work in a small office. Contacting people by email doesn’t work, especially since people do not pay attention to email messages. You HAVE to CALL people on the phone.) Anyway I was told that my name and number would be saved on her phone just in case the fossil was later discovered. Fine.

I didn’t hear anything Tuesday. I didn’t hear anything Wednesday. I placed a message on the charity auctions Facebook account. “Still waiting to hear back about my fossilized wood that I won in the auction.” No reply. Thursday I sent a text message to the person who said she had saved my name and number on her phone in case the auction item was found. “Hello. (I introduced myself again.) Have you called all of the parties involved about the auction item I won at the event? It has been a few days without an update from you.” (This was a suggestion to call people to look for the item.) No reply to my text.

Friday morning, I called the same person and left a message. No reply.

I did receive a message on Facebook Friday afternoon though, asking if I had contacted those who were in charge of the auction. “I sent a text message yesterday. No reply. I called and left a message today. No reply. Maybe you can inform them I would like to chat with someone when they have the time.”

I finally received a phone call Friday afternoon. They have yet to find the fossilized wood item that I had won in the auction. She said she texted me yesterday with that information. (She didn’t.) The person I was speaking to couldn’t get my name correct. (Remember, she “saved” my name and number in her phone on Monday. Remember, I included my name in the text message that I sent Thursday.) She went on to state that my registration paperwork (with my name on it) was placed in a prominent place so they could contact me if the item was later found.

So what would I have done to correct this problem? How about finding another fossilized rock and let me purchase that? The charity wins and I win. Refusing to answer Facebook messages, text messages and phone calls is bad for any charity. At least make it appear as though you care for a customer, instead of “I sent some emails”.

Maybe my auction item will be found in the future. The way auctions are supposed to work: you bid on an item, you win the item, you pay for and pick up the item. In this case it didn’t work and I am very disappointed. I do not remember much about the fossil, but I will remember the poor customer service.