A few months ago my wife and I were picking up some bargains in a major department store. The store was having a special housewares sale, and we came armed with a discount coupon. The clerk we were dealing with suggested that we open a new credit account with the store, since that would give us an even bigger discount for the day. We took this advice and purchased quite a few items which were not in stock. The clerk assured us they would be shipped in due course and even gave use exact dates when they would arrive.
We waited for the shipped items to arrive - and waited and waited. They never came. Eventually, I went back to the store to find out what had happened. After a lot of searching across multiple incompatible information management systems, it turned out that our orders had been cancelled, and the goods had never been shipped. Why? Ultimately, the reason turned out to be because the store had a rule that only one discount could be used during one transaction. We had tried to use three different discounts. The system responsible for shipping detected this and cancelled the transaction. The fact that it never notified us, the purchasers, about this appeared to be something that was not totally unexpected by the store staff.
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