24-Nov : I place an order with Hawkins Bazaar for a whole bunch of toys and stocking fillers, some for Matthew and some for friends' children.

24-Nov : I receive order confirmation email with correct details.

01-Dec : I receive the complete order, at my work address where I had requested it to be delivered. Our Goods Inward Guy signs for it and passes it on to me. I wrap and distribute the contents accordingly.

16-Dec : I receive an email from Hawkins telling me my order has just been dispatched, will be delivered on 19-Dec, and giving me a tracking number with the courier. The courier's website lists the parcel for that tracking number as "delivered 01/12, signed for by [Goods Inward Guy]".

18-Dec : I ring Hawkins and say "Er, I hope you haven't dispatched a duplicate shipment, and most importantly I hope you haven't charged my credit card twice...?" They assure me they will look into it and let me know, but tell me that sadly it does appear that a duplicate shipment has been sent. As soon as it arrives I am to ring them again to get an RMA number to return it, and they will make sure my card is not charged twice.

20-Dec : I receive a very weird email from a previously unknown address (nothing relating to Hawkins) - but sent to the email address I supplied to Hawkins - that simply says "No output destination". However there is a PDF attached which is my Hawkins order listing, but with my customer reference number listed as "Duplicate Order". Twenty four minutes later I receive another email, this one actually from Hawkins, which says:

Dear [geekette8],
We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The courier website states that your parcel was delivered on 1/12 and signed for by [Goods Inward Guy]. I have arranged for a duplicate order to be despatched from us on express delivery this means your parcel will be with you by thursday at the latest. Unfortunately 2 of the items on your original order are out of stock so i have arranged for a refund to be issued back to the original method of payment for the following items -
[foo] and [bar].
Again we would like to apologise, if you have any further queries then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind Regards,
Rachel Copperthwaite
Customer Services
Hawkin's Bazaar

OK. So. Previously I did *not* have a duplicate dispatch en route to me (despite the conflicting emails) but after ringing up to make sure I don't, as a result I now *do*?
Sounds like they think "Goods Inwards Guy" has absconded with your package since you didn't personally sign for it and are shipping a second order because of that.
I should have added that I did make clear in the phone call on the 18th that I *had* received the original parcel with no problems!
Looks to me like you've paid once, got a partial refund, and got two lots of stuff. Looks like it's not your problem. Receive the second lot of stuff at work and let it sit there until they tell you what to do with it.

But check the credit card.
Doh. I'd be tempted to keep the 2nd package as a fine for their stupidity. After making sure you hadn't been charged twice.

Of course I read this whole thing before figuring out that you didn't mean the first shipment was delivered and signed for in the future, on January 12th. You crazy folks with your backwards dates!
Oi, our dates are monotonic - day, then month, then year. *You're* the crazy ones, with the units in no particular order! How do you justify that then? (You know, it's just as well we got bombed on 7/7, come to think of it, isn't it )
I like the Japanese way. Year/month/day, which goes well with hour:minutes:seconds.
I like to think of the leftmost unit as the most relevant to whatever scale you're using, although having them all in descending order of size makes sense in a different way.