Christmas Nightmare: Chess Set With Pieces That Move Themselves… but wait – OMG this will shock YOU!

So, it’s December 12th and I decided to order a chess set for a very special person as a gift, but not a normal chess set, one that has pieces that move themselves!

Being a member of since 2010 meant that is where the search would begin. You see, I heard about such a chess set but couldn’t for the life of me remember any details about how to purchase it.

Then it happened, members at the chess forum to the rescue. Square Off Chess was the company with this amazing contraption.

Order placed, credit card charged, order confirmation emailed,


5 day guarantee of delivery and finally…

Fedex confirmation of the order.


This makes me, George, very happy. What a professional company… it’s all so cool at this point I am camping out beside my door just in case it’s early.

Oh ya, and I hit the refresh button so many times hoping my package might, just might, arrive early.

December 20th, the morning of. It’s finally going to happen. The Christmas gift is going to arrive today.

Oh oh, what… just… happened??


This Fedex report shows that the shipper cancelled the order and had it returned.

Being on the Internet as an IT guy, CEO of a 25 year old Internet company I decided to find out what happened.

Christmas was, well, not going well so far and I had to take my disappointment (and anger – don’t ask) to the Internet to find out about this “shipper” that cancelled my order.

First, off to the company website at Square Off.

Hmmm, no phone number for customer support. But a contact form so I filled it out to ask “wa happened”?

I Googled the address of the shipper and found their number. It rang and a nice guy answered the phone. I told him the story and he said, “well, we are the shipper but we only operate as the fulfillment center. I asked if he knew why the shipment was cancelled and he quickly accessed his database and said, “I don’t know”.

So here I sit on December 21st waiting to hear back from Square Off. Tick Tok….

Email arrives with the question. “What is the order number?”

The answer is simple… I provide the order number and ask again, “wa happened”.

After 18, that’s right, 18 back and forth emails with the owners of Square Off I am told they are so sorry for the mixup and the package is now in the clear and will be delivered. I even asked for 20% to be returned to the card as their way of saying what I call

Business Sorry“.

Aside: If I brush into someone at the mall I say “sorry”. If I bump some I say “OMG sorry, are you okay?” and mean it. In business, sorry alone won’t cut it with me. So I always invoke “Business Sorry” which translates to “MONEY”. I feel businesses like Rogers, Bell, you know, the giants only mean “sorry” when it includes “MONEY”. I thing most would agree, but I digress.

The owners of Square Off agree and say they will give me my 20% when the package is delivered to me.

Alex (I assume an owner) sends me this message:

Thank you for contacting us.

We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.

We have escalated the issue to the logistics team in regards to your order and we will contact you soon with an update.

We will also process the refund amount of 20 USD once the order is delivered to you.

Requesting your patience in the meanwhile.

I check my email later that day on the 22nd and get a wonderful message from Fedex below


What a relief, finally I am going to get the Christmas gift a few days late. I am happy.

It looks like the mix-up was fixed. 18 emails, 3 calls to FedEx (also asking wa happened) and it’s on “da way”.

Or is it. I decided to re read the email sent to me and noticed English is NOT his first language and that perhaps something is still a foul. Notice he said 20 USD and not 20%?

Better make sure and call FedEx. Ring ring, here we go. FedEx is very efficient and instantly apologizes for the WRONG email they sent. She tells me the package is actually sitting on a flatbed truck in Sacramento CA and will be delivered to the fulfillment center on Dec 26th and not to me.

Most people would have a fit at this time but not me.

Here is my final email:

I contacted FedEx and they told me the shipment is going back to your fulfillment center.

You can keep it there.

I want a complete refund on my credit card today.

Easy peezy.

Lesson learned – NEVER EVER Order from anyone but AMAZON!

George Kosch
Non Owner of Chess Computer that moves pieces on it’s own. Poor me 🙁