Advent Calendar From Hell: Act Now This Offer Won’t Last Forever

Update: I wrote this post in 2011 but I ordered the calendars again in 2012, and finally gave up in 2013.  If your gift calendars are unopened (or you have an issue with your calendar) and Jacquie Lawson does not respond to your request for support you can dispute the charges through Paypal which is what I did successfully last year.  It is such a shame that such a beautiful product causes such angst. I am done ordering. 

For a limited time, Odd is offering to send you “The Advent Calendar From Hell.” Act now because this offer won’t last forever.

A few months ago, when I wrote about E-Card Day on El Morno, I discovered Jacquie Lawson e-cards. The cards are beautiful and I love them. I bought a one-year membership immediately.

When Jacquie Lawson sent me an e-mail offering Advent Calendars for Christmas, I said to myself, “Now that is a good idea,” and I looked at the sample card. It was beautiful and magical, so I bought the cards in bulk to send to clients, friends, and my sweet mother.

This is where my troubles began….

My friends, my family, and my sweet mother, for the most part, are not techie people. Most of them have older computers, some use Macs, but more than a few use PCs—and I know you are not going to believe me, but some happily use Internet Explorer. Heck, my mom still cheers the AOL sign-in guy as he runs across her sign-on box.

Knowing this about my friends, my family, and my sweet mother, I would never send them anything that would thwart them on the computer, much less a holiday computer stocking stuffer that was supposed to offer them a magical holiday experience.

However, I did thwart them. Not one of the recipients I sent an Advent calendar to could open it.

The help desk at Jacquie Lawson took four days to respond to my help request. An Advent calendar is time sensitive; ideally, you open one window or door on the card every day. But hey—delays do happen around the holidays. I understand. Unfortunately, I did not understand the reply e-mail when the company did respond. I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and assume they outsourced my request to a non-English-speaking country. They had no idea how to respond to my questions, so they just repeated my problem to me and appreciated my business.

Next, I went to the Jacquie Lawson Facebook page, which was filled with delighted senders and recipients of the Advent cards. Where do people find friends like these? I wondered…not that I would trade my mom and friends for those tech savvy friends. Never.

My help request was answered quickly on the Facebook page. Here is what I was told: “The Advent calendar has been so amazingly popular. But unfortunately it is very advanced technology—we’re pushing at the limits of what can be achieved in Flash/Air, and that means that a few people are having problems, especially on older computers.”

The message included a troubleshooting link…which is 752 words long and talks about start buttons, control buttons, installing, uninstalling, and asks if you are using XP, Vista, or Windows 7. If you contact the help desk after trying the troubleshooting, the reps will only help you if you can offer a detailed description of your problem—in other words, “The darn thing won’t open!” is not going to get you a reply e-mail. There is no phone number listed.

Just what everyone wants to find in their e-mail in-box over the holidays—a complicated Advent calendar that promises to be magical if you can open it. The calendars—in my opinion—should have included the warning, “Technical support not included.”

Now I’m afraid that if I send the calendars, my family will take back my Christmas gifts, and I will put friends and clients between a rock and hard place as they ponder, Do I thank her and pretend this was wonderful, tell her it’s the thought that counts, or never mention it and just let her assume I was rude and thoughtless for not saying thank you?

The good news for you is—my fear is your adventure and possible gain.

Misery loves company. Let me share a calendar with you. My only request is that after I send you the “Advent Calendar from Hell” and the troubleshooting directions, you try to open it and leave a comment sharing the experience.

To receive a card, just leave me a comment: ‘Send me the EFFEN ADVENT CARD FROM HELL. PLEASE.”  Odd Loves Company!

23 thoughts on “Advent Calendar From Hell: Act Now This Offer Won’t Last Forever

  1. Well, I requested and received from you the Effen Advent Card from hell. You were kind enough to send troubleshooting instructions as well, but guess what? I felt like living on the edge this morning, so I didn’t even open those instructions and went straight for the gift. The Advent card downloaded and opened successfully in about five minutes. It is truly lovely. Thank you for my trip to London, Katybeth!

  2. Even though I wasn’t named, I am still most appreciative of your thoughtful awesomeness. I am hoping a new effen MAC goes on sale in February so I can replace my 5 yr old effen MAC and then we can send cards back and forth with abandon!

    • Thank you Julianne. I think it’s a lot to ask someone to buy a new computer so they can open the Advent calendar you sent them but I will look for too send those cards back and forth. 🙂

  3. I received one from another friend. Couldn’t open it, of course. I’m not sure but I think if I installed Lion on my Mac, then Snow Leopard, then updated Flash Player and a few more things, I could do it. I figure I’m talking about $60 and 600 hours. . . .

    I’ll just check the desk calendar. 🙂

  4. It has been a lovely experience so far. All it takes is a totally new computer. I used to be one of those people who had trouble opening things, and now I am one of those people who send others things they cannot open. All it took was a couple effen grand. Totally worth it.

    Decorating the tree on this advent card was very satisfying! My tree is so beautiful!! I love it!!

  5. Pingback: December 19: Look for an Evergreen Day, Hard Candy Day, Oatmeal Muffin Day

  6. Ok. I didn’t get one! Boo Hoo! 🙂 j/k. I remember my first banking time years ago and almost everybody have problem with AOL, they just won’t stop debiting cust acct regardless the service has been cancel. Because of that experience I never actually sign up with AOL and never knew much about it.

  7. Hey – I am so angry with Jacqueline advent calendar. I have been trying to uninstall it from Lion on a Macbook. I have tried and tried and it seems to be stuck in an error loop. It has never worked properly without hassles and tries to open eveytime I boot. I wrote the details very thoroughly and their reply is to just drag the icon in the garbage. but I told them that that didn’t work. I don’t think they are involving any programers and ended by telling me to call Apple tech support. I am not paying them to get software support! Time to start surfing the web for answers. Do you have my answer? How to uninstall on Lion?

    • Hi,

      My mom has the same problem on her computer (windows) but I was able to uninstall it on my Mac. Although I can not remember exactly what I did–it involved more than dragging it to the trash. I did have luck getting answers to other problems by going to the Jaqueline Facebook page. They did not respond to my request for help on their web site. I won’t be buying the calendar this year 😀

      Good Luck!

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